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Is 'wish' correctly used? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 1:35:56 AM
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I wish the Government can make this declaration:

"As for education, we promise you that if your child completes 10 to 12 years of primary and secondary education, he or she will have a place in any of our tertiary institutions, in the ITE, polytechnic and universities."

Thanks.
Shivanand
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 2:02:44 AM

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Yes!

Cheers!

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन। मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥
thar
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 2:19:34 AM

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Except you need to say

I wish they could say.... (they can't - the wish is for a better system)

Or
I hope they can say (I don't know whether they can or not, or in the future I hope it will be true)

But wish....can....
Is wrong.

Wish + subjunctive, and here it is not optional.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 4:32:37 AM

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Hello, Thar!
I hope Koh Elaine doesn't mind my expanding her question a bit (this seems to be more practical than starting a new thread).

The usage of "wish" has always been puzzling me. I don't know how many times I asked questions about it, but I still can't quite get my head around it.

So you say wish + can is incorrect.

But then I understand "wish" can refer to yet-undetermined future, can't it?
For example "I wish you a happy New Year". Isn't this a legitimate sentence?
Then can't I expand it this way: I wish you a happy New Year. I wish next year you can finally fulfil your dream and go to Africa.

?
thar
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 4:44:15 AM

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Those are different things


This is only my own idea, thinking about it, so it might not be clear.
I think you can look at it as two different forms.
OK, update. 3 forms!

1
I wish + ind object + object
To bestow a wish:

I wish you a happy birthday
I wish you well.
I wish you a successful year

(Think of it like the verb 'to gift') - it is bestowing of the noun on someone.

2
I wish + clause
I wish [that].....

To desire, fantasise:

That is unreal (at least for now) and takes the subjunctive.
I wish I were taller.
I wish he'd stop doing that.

(Think of it like the verb 'to hope' - it is what you do)

3

I wish + infinitive phrase
To demand
I wish to be heard
I wish him to be released from prison.

(think of it like the verb 'to want'. Again, it is what you do, but it is a demand, not a fantasy)


So 1 fits with a noun object
I wish you a happy new year.

But it doesn't work with a verb clause
I hope that next year you can go to Africa.


Only if it is unreal, 2
I wish next year you could be going to Africa.
But you won't be. You have been transferred to Surbiton.


Or you could make a demand, an order, 3
I wish you to go to Africa next year. I am posting you to DR Congo. You have no choice.

Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 7:45:09 AM

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Wow, thank you very much, Thar!

This is the most thorough summary on "wish" that I have ever been able to get hold of.Angel I wish it were included in English grammar books.

So it's three different "wishes" in effect, each demanding its own tense/mood... Amazing.
thar
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 1:45:44 PM

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Thanks, Kirill.

I don't know if the grammarians here would go along with that list, - and of course there are subtleties of meaning with the third one, but I think it is OK.

It explains the 'wishes' in 'best wishes' = ie sentiments you give to people!

I don't know if Whitney Houston hit your shores?
This is an excellent example of the first form in action.
It is taking that pattern and pushing it from the normal (I wish you joy) towards the unusual (I wish you love).


You can see how different it is from 'I wish that you were...'
'I hope [that]' for the clauses.
'I wish you' for the nouns.

Quote:
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of
I wish you joy and happiness
But above all, I wish you love


(it includes an AmE use of adjectival adverb 'kind' which you may or may not want to promote Whistle )
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 8:38:10 AM

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Thanks, Thar!

Just one last question on this -
I seem to have also seen "wish" used without the indirect object, just wish + noun... Can it be used that way? If yes, I imagine it would fall under your #3, something that I want for myself:

I wish revenge.
I wish a glass of whisky, and I want it to be served immediately.

Correct? d'oh!
TMe
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 10:11:08 AM

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So the correct sentence is

I wish the Government make this declaration.

I am a layman.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:22:47 AM

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I wish a glass of whisky

No, I can't really accept that one. You might get asked 'what does sir wish?' but you would answer 'I'd like a whisky, please'
I wish + noun just sounds a bit odd. But I can imagine hearing it said in that way - to place an order. I wish to have a whisky. Just feels a bit strange.



I wish the Government make this declaration.
No, that doesn't sound right at all.

Either you dream:
I wish they had made...
I wish they would make....

Or you order
I wish the government to make....

Or you use one of the wishes the fairy or genie has granted you
I wish for the government to make.....Whistle

Let's see if anyone else is more accepting (of the first, maybe) Think
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:47:38 AM
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No, sorry Kirill,d'oh! I don't see either of those two sentences as being possible, either.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:09:04 AM

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Thanks. This is again from "Gone With The Wind":

The only time crying ever did any good was when there was a man around from whom you wished favors.


It says "to wish favors". But maybe this is a very rare use, and not natural except in some specific situations... Not like when you want a glass of whisky Angel
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 4:02:14 PM

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Possibly historical. I think that "wish" was used to mean "want", 'way back then.

I would say "from whom you wanted favours" or (more likely) "who you wanted favours from".

("Favours" in this sentence also sounds a little dated. And so is the whole theme - a woman wanting something from a man and using tears as a tool.)



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 5:10:03 PM

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But isn't 'favors' here gifts - not things they do for you?

I would think that, if it weren't for the crying! (Not a way to attract a man - and I guess she was a user, wasn't she Think )

But, yes, it is just 'desire, want'.

But notice the 'from whom'.

On its own, it sound odd. With an indirect object, it sounds OK, although old-fashioned.

Eg
I wish revenge
no
I wish revenge upon him
OKish

I wish gifts
no
I wish gifts from him
OKish
(and obviously in her vocabulary)

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