Why don't the sentences such as

I wish I were(was) rich.
I wish she were(was) my mother.

contain conjunction?

It seems to me

I wish if I were(was) rich .
I wish if she were(was) my mother.

are more correct.

  • 1
    The if is embedded in, or already implied by, the act of wishing. Adding it to the sentence creates a tautology.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 4, 2016 at 6:55
  • In that case, wish is identical to if. It's subjunctive. If you put if there, then it needs other clause to complete sense. Mar 4, 2016 at 6:59

2 Answers 2


Actually, you're on the right track, but using the wrong conjunction. The conjunction that is implied in both sentences:

I wish that I were rich.
I wish that she were my mother.

This word is commonly left out, since it is understood.

By the way, were is correct rather than was. Since you are expressing a hypothetical condition (you are not rich, she is not your mother), you use the subjunctive.


In this case you can use if only if you start a "new" sentence:

A: Hey man, are you buying that car?

B: I wish! If I had the money I would buy it right away!

I hope this example helps, as it has already been stated it's implied that, not if. You can find some useful informations here.

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