I wish and sequence of tenses

confused a lot

New Member
russian Russia
Hello,
in my book there is a sentence:
'You'd better go below, my girls,' said Biddle.
The task is to change it using 'I wish'
Is it right to transform it like this 'Biddle wished the girls would have gone below' or have I done smth wrong?
Thank you in advance.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Were you told to transform the direct speech into indirect as well?

    Since you were told to use "I wish", first person, I'd have written '"I wish you girls would go below", said Biddle'.
     

    confused a lot

    New Member
    russian Russia
    No. He 'wished the girls to go below' is what I would say, without further context.
    Thank you!
    I've thought about that but the task is not about infinitive constructions. More about future, present and past. That's why I'm confused.

    Were you told to transform the direct speech into indirect as well?

    Since you were told to use "I wish", first person, I'd have written '"I wish you girls would go below", said Biddle'.
    Thank you,
    No, I wasn't, but it seemed logical to do so. :( The task made me think a lot. Is my indirect speech correct?
     

    Ivan_I

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "You'd better go below, my girls." - When should they go? In the future.

    1 I wish you went below, my girls.

    This one (2) sounds to me as if the girls are not willing to go and the person is talking them into going.
    .
    2 I wish you girls would go below
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "I wish you to go below, my girls" is the obvious answer.

    For me, some of the other suggestions carry aggressive or over-prescriptive overtones, or imply a lack of confidence that the girls will obey.

    For instance 'I wish you girls would go below' suggests that the speaker thinks they will not go below.

    The original, 'You'd better go below, my girls', is at once affectionate and authoritative. My suggestion loses some of the affection, and suffers from a rather antiquated use of 'wish'.
    'Biddle wished the girls would have gone below'
    No, it should be 'Biddle wished the girls went below', or '...would go below', but both avoid any suggestion that he told them to go below, which is actually what he did.

    You could, of course, say 'Biddle said he wished the girls would go below'. That would imply that he told them to do so.

    It seems to me that the person setting the exercise isn't very familiar with the way 'to wish' is used in modern Englsih.
     
    Last edited:

    Ivan_I

    Senior Member
    Russian
    TT, why is this one not good?

    1 I wish you went below, my girls.

    PS: I have another one:

    I wish you'd better go below, my girls!
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    TT, why is this one not good?

    1 I wish you went below, my girls.

    PS: I have another one:

    I wish you'd better go below, my girls!
    I wish you went below, my girls. - Biddle tells them to go below; this merely regrets that they are not going.

    I wish you'd better go below, my girls! - is not grammatical. You could say I wish you'd go below, or You'd better go below.
     
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