Present wishes indicate something that is “contrary to fact.” That is, wishes are something that is untrue but desired. For example,
|I wish that I had a sports car.||(The truth is I don’t have a sports car.)|
|I wish that I were a doctor.||(I’m really not a doctor.)|
For present wishes, the past tense is used in the that clause, because it indicates a situation that is only imagined. Sometimes the word that is omitted.
|She wishes (that) she had a diamond ring.|
|He wishes (that) he were rich.|
To express possibility (can) and future intention (will), use the modals could and would respectively.
|She wishes that she could sing.|
|They wish that she would stop.|
When a “be” verb is required, the word were is used, regardless of the subject.
|We wish you were here.|
|I wish (that) I were taller.|