I wish him very very ill.

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kreci

Senior Member
Russian
Hello !

After finding out that some guy has an affair with his girlfriend X says : I wish him very very ill.

From the movie Addicted to love.

I looked it up and I have found in a dictionary that it should be wish ill to somebody

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ill-wish

So which form is correct; wish somebody ill or wish ill to somebody or maybe both ?
 
  • rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've never heard to wish ill to somebody. It's wrong. It's always to wish somebody ill. And the very (very) is strange. Ill is a noun, so it can't be modified with very. On the other hand, this is a BE point of view. Perhaps things are different on the other side of the Atlantic.
    Cf. to wish somebody luck, to wish somebody every happiness.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think the dictionary explains it this way because "I wish somebody ill" doesn't show that "somebody" is the indirect object, nor that "ill" is a noun ( bad things).

    "I wish him well" is an idiom - I wish well to him, where "well" is used almost like a noun - "I wish good things for him".
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sometimes it's difficult to say whether a word an adjective, noun, or whatever. And sometimes it's not important anyway. I agree that well is used almost like a noun here. No one would say I wish well to him or I wish him very well.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    What can I say: it's a movie, it's understandable.

    I wish him well.
    I wish him ill.
    I wish him very, very ill.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that films, songs etc. probably aren't the most reliable source of linguistic information. Even in real life people twist the language round to make a point and end up saying something that sounds odd. It's difficult for learners to tell when this is happening.
     
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