Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Most of the people says I wish I could, I wish you would.

Can't we use I wish I can, I wish you will?

I'd like to know what the main difference between the usage of can/will and could/would is.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

In this context, could and would are used to express an hypothetical scenario. Can and will in the contrary have a sense of immediacy and certainty, so it wouldn't fit.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You say "I can fly" and "I wish I could fly". "I wish I can fly" is wrong.

share|improve this answer
add comment

"Can" asks the possibility, as in "Can you help me?". "Would" asks the person addressed if they have the will, as in "Would you help me?"

So "would" or "will" is more polite, implying that the person addressed has a choice to act.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.