I wish he didn't draw on the wall.

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
Peter always draws on the wall.
1. I wish he didn't draw on the wall.
2. I wish he wouldn't draw on the wall.
Please tell me if the first sentence is right?
Thanks.
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello, Mimi,

    Yes, the first sentence is right.

    What interests me is the difference between it and the second sentence, which is also right but is appropriate to different circumstances.

    Obviously in both cases Peter draws on the wall.

    I wish he didn't suggests that there's not much one can do about it; it's part of his nature, and unfortunate. It's what a mother might say, reviewing the progress of her child.

    I wish he wouldn't suggests that he can be cured, or constrained, or discouraged, from this activity. It's what a headmistress might say before talking about how she was going to deal with the matter.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, Thomas Tompion.
    Thank you very much.
    Similarly, Is it right both the following sentences are correct?
    My grandmother always complains about something or other:
    a. I wish she didn't complain about something or other.
    b. I wish she wouldn't complain about something or other.
    However, The second sentence is the best choice, isn't it?
     

    aplomb

    Member
    India, Hindi,English
    I would like to ask here the tense that should be followed by wish.
    As in the first sentence its past tense.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi, Thomas Tompion.
    Thank you very much.
    Similarly, Is it right both the following sentences are correct?
    My grandmother always complains about something or other:
    a. I wish she didn't complain about something or other.
    b. I wish she wouldn't complain about something or other.
    However, The second sentence is the best choice, isn't it?
    I hear it better if we make it more specific.

    Of the old lady:

    a. I wish she didn't complain about her back.
    b. I wish she wouldn't complain about her back.

    Each is correct and you couldn't say one was better than another; each is appropriate to its own circumstances.

    a. If you say this, you might be suggesting either that you wish her back was better so she didn't have to complain about it, or that you wish she would just keep quiet and bear her pain in silence.

    b. This has a more plaintive note, to my ear. It suggests that her complaining is becoming something of a trial, and might even not be based on real discomfort, but on a need to have something to complain about.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you very much, Thomas Tompion.
    It is very interesting to know the hidden meaning in the sentence. I can't feel it without your help. Thanks a lot.
    Ah, I think you are having your breakfast. It's 3:32PM here, in Vietnam.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you very much, Thomas Tompion.
    It is very interesting to know the hidden meaning in the sentence. I can't feel it without your help. Thanks a lot.
    Ah, I think you are having your breakfast. It's 3:32PM here, in Vietnam.
    Mimi, you know I always have breakfast around 3.32 p.m. We're having storms here and my saluki didn't sleep well, so I'm up early.

    I enjoyed your question. The differences in meaning are quite subtle and I wondered about them. If I were you I'd keep an eye on this thread. Someone may come in with a different point of view.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Today I wrote a sentence: I wish he succeeded, to express my discontent. I assume that he is my competitor at office; one day he is promoted to a higher position, but I am jealous of his promotion.

    However a native teacher told me it should be: I wish he had succeeded.

    Just now I did a thorough search on this forum, ending up more bewildered. Could you please explain it to me? Thanks.


    LQZ
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Today I wrote a sentence: I wish he succeeded, to express my discontent. I assume that he is my competitor at office; one day he is promoted to a higher position, but I am jealous of his promotion.

    However a native teacher told me it should be: I wish he had succeeded.

    Just now I did a thorough search on this forum, ending up more bewildered. Could you please explain it to me? Thanks.


    LQZ
    Can you tell us a bit more about what you wanted to express, LQZ? I'm pretty sure that neither I wish he succeeded nor I wish he had succeeded works in this context.

    Are you being sarcastic?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Then I suspect what you want is something like "I wish him every success":).
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you want him to be a failure, you'd say:

    I hope he doesn't succeed, or
    I hope he won't succeed, which is referring to a more specific task, usually.

    I can't imagine anyone saying I hope he wouldn't succeed:cross::eek:. I hoped he wouldn't succeed:tick::thumbsup::) would be fine.
     
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