This quite a short question. I was wondering how to express in Russian the sentence "I wish!" without any direct object. As a silly example, in English you could say

— Have you finished your project? — I wish!

Would in Russian make sense to just say Я хотел бы or Я хотелось бы?, without any direct object or would it sound weird? Or is there any idiomatic expression or word that means exactly this, like for example "ojalá" in Spanish?


  • 1
    "Я бы хотел" has similar, but a clearly different meaning. "I wish!" is a sarcastic "No", while "Я бы хотел" is presumptive and mildly positive. In some contexts they do sound close: "Ты уже сходил в отпуск?" - "Ну я бы хотел!" ("Have you had a vacation yet?" - "I wish!"). In most contexts, "Я бы хотел" is "I'd like/love to", without any sarcasm.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 26, 2019 at 16:34
  • хотелось is Neuter gender (relates to omitted but implied proposition это "it") and needs the subject of desire in Dative. So, мне хотелось бы or simply хотелось бы ("it would be desirable to me").
    – Anixx
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 10:57

3 Answers 3


Если бы

- Ты уже доделал свой проект?
- Если бы!

This applies specifically to the exchange in your example.

I'm not sure though how you envision its use in other cases. Check what Multitran has to offer for ojalá


Have you finished your project?

  • Хотел бы я! or Хотелось бы!
  • Аж десять раз!
  • Разве что в мечтах!
  • Увы (и ах)!
  • Где уж там!
  • Да как-то не особо!
  • Да я бы не сказал!
  • Ага, как же!
  • Закончишь тут, как же!

"Have you finished your project? — I wish!" if "i wish" here means something like "not finished but i wish to finish" ... you can say "мы работает над этим".

if you are answer "я хотел бы", or "я хочу" it can be mean (or be interpreted) what you aren't sure to able finish this project.

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