What is a good way to express a wish about something that won't or is unlikely to happen?

For example:

I wish I were tall enough to be allowed on that roller coaster.

I wish I could eat that much and not gain weight.

I wish I had been born 100 years ago instead.


1 Answer 1


A good way to do this is to use the construct Conditional + いいのに.

For example:

I wish I were a tiger

I wish I were taller

I wish I had enough money to buy that car

I wish she looked pretty

It's a pretty simple construct, and any conditional form can work.

  • 2
    More naturally, よかったのに > いいのに、あったら > あれば, etc. Interestingly enough, however, you correctly used だったら.
    – user4032
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:55
  • Just curious, why are those more natural than what I had before?
    – Blavius
    Jun 6, 2016 at 16:25
  • That makes a lot of sense, thankyou :)
    – debrucey
    Jun 6, 2016 at 19:52
  • Can you also use なら and ば for this? Is there any difference in meaning?
    – debrucey
    Jun 6, 2016 at 20:17
  • 2
    @Blavius いいのに is much more like "why (on earth) don't?" than counterfactual. I mean, it can be, but doesn't especially sound like. We use ればなあ/たらなあ more often if you want a non-past tense. Jun 7, 2016 at 7:31

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