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    #1

    wish

    How would you account for this?

    1. I wish I knew you.
    2. I wish you stopped bothering me.
    3. I wish you would stop bothering me.
    4. I wish you had stopped bothering me.

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    #2

    Re: wish

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    How would you account for this?

    1. I wish I knew you.
    2. I wish you stopped bothering me.
    3. I wish you would stop bothering me.
    4. I wish you had stopped bothering me.
    This has to do with the uses of the word "wish".

    "wish" can be used for the present, so number 1 is correct.

    "wish" can be used for the future, so number 3 is correct.

    "wish" can be used for a past regret, so number 4 is correct.

    But for number 2, 'wish" is not suitable; (At least I wouldn't use it, but some might.)
    'hope' should be used. 'hope' referring to the past is used when you don't know if something good or bad did or didn't happen.

    I hope you stopped bothering me. (I am not at home now, so I don't know if you stopped sending me those annoying letters.)

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: wish

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    How would you account for this?

    1. I wish I knew you.
    2. I wish you stopped bothering me.
    3. I wish you would stop bothering me.
    4. I wish you had stopped bothering me.
    You can say, for 2.
    It's time you stopped bothering me.
    It's about time ... / It's high time ...
    Also:
    I'd prefer you stopped bothering me.
    I'd rather you stopped bothering me.
    (More subjunctive with the past tense form).


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    #4

    Re: wish

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You can say, for 2.
    This information took me about one minute (60 seconds! 1; 2; 3...) to sink in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's time you stopped bothering me.
    It's about time ... / It's high time ...
    Also:
    I'd prefer you stopped bothering me.
    I'd rather you stopped bothering me.
    (More subjunctive with the past tense form).
    Further question, if I may:

    I wish I simple past with 'know' works.
    I wish I simple past with 'stop' does not work.

    What is it that makes one good and the other bad?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: wish

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    This information took me about one minute (60 seconds! 1; 2; 3...) to sink in.

    I should have said: If you must use "... you stopped bothering me", you can say:


    Further question, if I may:

    I wish I simple past with 'know' works.
    I wish I simple past with 'stop' does not work.

    Now, it's my turn to take 60 seconds.

    What is it that makes one good and the other bad?
    I'll assume you mean why can we say "I wish I knew ..." but not "I wish I stopped ..."
    This is not the simple past though. It's the subjunctive present.
    "I wish I knew" means *"I wish I know"
    If we were talking about the simple past, you could easily say "I wish I stopped at that hamburger joint. I'm hungry" - though I would say I wish I'd stopped here.

    In fact you can use "stopped" in the present subjunctive. 'Knowing' is something that you generally don't have immediate control over, so it's natural to say "I wish I knew". Saying "I wish I stopped" makes less sense, usually, because if you really wished it, you would simply stop.
    But, you can't always simply stop, and you can say the following:
    I wish I stopped sneezing so much when he brings me flowers. (I wish I could stop ... )
    I wish I stopped more often at red lights. (I wish I habitually stopped ...)
    So you can also say:
    I wish you stopped bothering me when I ask you to. Note this means I wish you were in the habit of stopping bothering me. So it doesn't mean I wish you would stop bothering me now, for which you cannot say I wish you stopped bothering me.)

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: wish

    svartnik: Raymott, please explain why 'I wish you stopped bothering me now' does not work. I have not immediate control over stopping 'you' unless I perpetrate violence.

    The following are not used with would/could, unless a future meaning is implied.
    Stative verbs: know, be, have
    When you use them as a present subjunctive, they mean that you wish your wish was already granted both in the immediate past, and the present. Since they are stative, you are wishing that a certain state existed rather than that a certain event happened (would happen), so the time factor is irrelevant.
    When you use them with would/could, they refer to the future, albeit not necessarily very far in the future.

    I wish you knew. cf. I wish you would know.
    I wish I knew. cf. I wish I could know.
    I wish I were king. cf. I wish I could be king.
    I wish you were dead! cf. I wish you would die.
    I wish I had a puppy. cf. I wish I could have a puppy.

    There are some verbs that can be used with would/could, and sound wrong in the present subjunctive unless used in the habitual sense, as in the second of the set of sentences below.
    Non-stative action verbs: stop, find, eat.
    Your wish with these verbs is that they would/could happen sometime soon, usually immediately; but they must happen in a certain period of finite time. That is the nature of being an action verb and nonstative. Your wish is not necessarily that they were in existence at the time of wishing.
    I wish we could find our way out cf. *I wish we found our way out.
    I wish you would stop bothering me. cf. *I wish you stopped bothering me.
    I wish you would eat your greens. cf. *I wish you ate your greens.

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    #7

    Re: wish

    While I find Ray's rules and explanations meticulous, I have to put in my two cents in saying I don't think "I wish you stopped bothering me" is that bad; is sounds fine to me, because it uses a structure (something we might call a past subjunctive) in a slightly metaphorical, extended sense to describe the state of having no more bothering to worry about, much like "I wish I felt free of your peskiness." The inchoative aspect of the verb stop is clear, and the wish is obviously not for the momentary change of state so much as for the new state of freedom from nuisance. So the stative aspect type and its concomitant grammar seem fine to me.

    Also, logically, the statement "When you use them as a present subjunctive, they mean that you wish your wish was already granted both in the immediate past, and the present" Ray made there seems incorrect to me, at first glance: subjunctives are for non-realized hypotheticals, we'd use the indicative for actual states of affairs, wouldn't we? But this is a side-issue, whether or not it's actually worth exploring I won't see until I wake up and have at least one more espresso. Would that I might have imbibed that espresso already, and I wish I had stopped feeling so groggy.

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    #8

    Re: wish

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post

    Also, logically, the statement "When you use them as a present subjunctive, they mean that you wish your wish was already granted both in the immediate past, and the present" Ray made there seems incorrect to me, at first glance: subjunctives are for non-realized hypotheticals, we'd use the indicative for actual states of affairs, wouldn't we? But this is a side-issue, whether or not it's actually worth exploring I won't see until I wake up and have at least one more espresso. Would that I might have imbibed that espresso already, and I wish I had stopped feeling so groggy.
    svartnik has moved this discussion to the thread "past subjunctive".
    Further illumination can be found there, and your further comments on the developments in that thread would be welcome.
    For 'present subjunctive', I should have used 'past subjunctive'.

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