What's the best way to say "I wish!" as in...

A: I hear you're a good dancer.

B: Ha! I wish!


A: Will you help me move this piano?

B: Ha! You wish!

What is the best way to translate these idiomatic expressions, and their sarcastic tone?

  • 7
    I think some of the answers don't really consider the sarcastic way you are using these words. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 13:31

6 Answers 6


I want to make a note that my answer applies at least for Mexico, it would be:

I wish! - ¡Ya quisiera!

You wish! - ¡Ya quisieras!

In this case wish wouldn't translate as espero, but more like desear or querer.

  • I add a little modification to the answer of the 2º question. If the meaning that you want to give to the phrase is near to a joke or say to the other person "i dont help you" use "Ya quisieras" But if you want to say that you want to help and you are happy to help him: "claro ¡cómo quieras!
    – Aracem
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 8:20
  • "Eso quisiera" and "Eso quisieras" are other ways to say it, too.
    – JMVanPelt
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 7:21

For example, in one word I would translate:

B: Ha! I wish!


B: ¡Ja! ¡Ojalá!

Source: RAE

  • Does this work everywhere or just Mexico? I always mix up ojalá and híjole... Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 11:51
  • 1
    "Ojalá" is very common in Spain. In fact, it comes from the arab language, from the times where most of Spain was under muslim rule. There's a nice explanation here: etimologias.dechile.net/?ojala.-
    – rsuarez
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 12:46
  • how would you use Ojalá to You wish! though?
    – isJustMe
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 16:12
  • @Rafael.IT you can't translate You wish! with ojalá. Thats why I just put I whish.
    – razpeitia
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 17:32
  • I see.. is still a good answer, thanks for that!
    – isJustMe
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 17:35

Besides what others have written, I'd add these two translations:

I wish! = ¡Ya me gustaría!

You wish! = ¡Ya te gustaría!


A: I hear you're a good dancer.

B: Quisiera serlo

A: Will you help me move this piano?

B: Si es lo que quieres

'Espero' is more as 'wait' than 'wish'. 'Quiero' is more realted with 'wish' and 'need'

  • 1
    I believe the second use of You wish is meant to be sarcastic. So in the case of Si es lo que quieres (If that's what you want), you'd want to say the opposite of that.
    – Roman
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 3:34

You're better off saying "en tus sueños" as a form of saying "you wish".

It translates from "in your dreams" directly.

  • I don't know why this answer got three downvotes. I have upvoted. Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 23:29

"I wish!" to show disbelief:

A: Juan me dijo que bailas muy bien. [Juan told me you're a very good dancer.]

B: ¡Ya mero! Pues no. Seguro que te estaba tomando el pelo. [Yeah, right. Well, no. He must have been pulling your leg.]

"You wish!" to show rejection:

A: Me ayudas a pasar este piano para otra parte? [Will you help me take this piano somewhere else?]

B: ¡¿Cómo crees?! [Wait, what?! Dream on!]

Both of these expressions, "ya mero" and "Cómo crees" are nice and sarcastic. Another good sarcastic expression of disbelief is "Ay sí" [Yeah, sure], which doesn't work very well in print, because the sarcasm comes across primarily from the tone of voice.

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