to wish, in Portuguese

TO WISH FOR / THAT / TO in Portuguese

I thought something was wrong with my dictionary when I couldn't find the Portuguese verb to wish for. Such a basic thing. It's as if there were no verb for to want. Maybe wishing is an innately American thing. Or perhaps Brazilians are just content and don't have any need for wishing 😉

So let's solve this. Saying to wish, in Portuguese can be accomplished in just a few common ways. Usually, the verbs GOSTAR, and DESEJAR or QUERER will get this done.

What we're trying to convey, is this:

To want or hope for something that is far from a sure thing.

Here are examples of what we want to say:

I wish I could go.
We wish you well.
It's what I've always wished for.

Right away you might be thinking that these are all going to call for one of the SUBJUNCIVE moods (conjugation). And you would be right! (present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, future subjunctive) Remember, the subjunctive mood is triggered whenever there is doubt and uncertainty - whenever something is hypothetical.

I wish I could go. > Eu gostaria de poder ir.

Literally: I would like to be able to go.

We're wishing it would rain. > Estamos torcendo para chover.

TORÇER is also a good candidate.

They wish it were true. > Eles gostariam que fosse verdade.

A really great example of the imperfect subjunctive.

She wishes she was here. > Ela gostaria de estar aqui.

Literally: She would like to be here.

I wish you well. > Te desejo bem.

This is of course just the plain old present tense!

It's the job I've always wished for. > É o trabalho que eu sempre quis.

The literal translation of this would be: It's the job that I've always wanted.