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I'm learning English with "English Grammar in Use. 2012 4-ed. by Murphy R." book and I'm confused with an explanation in Unit 41 "Wish".

It's said there that it's ok to say

"I wish you a pleasant stay here."

or

"I hope you have a pleasant stay here."

but not

"I wish you have a pleasant stay here."

"I wish you would have a pleasant stay here."

So, the question is why I cannot say

"I wish you had a pleasant stay here."

?

I guess it's also correct but just is missed in the examples. Am I right?

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To wish people a pleasant stay

is a hope that hosts typically express when guests/clients arrive. It's what you expect to hear from a receptionist when you check into a hotel. It looks ahead.

When the guests come to settle the bill at the end of their stay, the receptionist may well say:

I hope you had a pleasant stay

This looks back on the period when the guests were staying at the hotel.

It's wrong to say:

I wish you had a pleasant stay

because it confuses the future and the past - and it's not idiomatic.

It's possible to write:

I wish you had better manners

but it's never idiomatic to write:

I wish you have (anything)

Instead, you would say:

I hope you have/had

  • Thank you, Ronald, but it's difficult for me to understand why I can't say "I wish you had a pleasant stay", but can say "I wish you had a car.". What does it really means "because it confuses the future and the past"? – Sergey May 19 '17 at 4:38
  • Or maybe there is nothing to understand and I just have to remember it as is? – Sergey May 19 '17 at 4:44
  • I guess I've just understood that if I want to wish someone "a thing to have" I can say "I wish you had that thing (car, better manners, etc)" but if I want to wish someone "something" (like a being in some state or condition like 'a good day', 'luck', 'pleasant stay', etc) I can't use "have/had" with "wish". Is it close to the truth? – Sergey May 19 '17 at 5:24
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    @Sergey I wish you had.... is fine when it means It would be nice if you possessed.... whether a car, better manners, a fortune or whatever. Also common is: I wish you were/had been here/with me. But you can never use: I wish you have... It is not grammatical. It's: I hope you have...... – Ronald Sole May 19 '17 at 9:08
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"I wish you had a pleasant stay here"

means I know you are not having a pleasant stay here right now, but I wish it were not so.

"I wish for you to have a pleasant stay here"

would be the full version or, in the present subjunctive, "I wish you have a pleasant stay here", which is archaic in style. You could rewrite it to say, "It is my wish that you have a pleasant stay", which uses the present subjunctive and is not archaic.

"I hope you have a pleasant stay here"

should take the present subjunctive as well, but it's not used in Modern English like that. Nowadays, "hope" almost always takes the present indicative:

"I hope he has a pleasant stay."

(Modern English)

"I hope that he have a pleasant stay."

(Shakespearean English)

HOWEVER:

"I pray that he have a pleasant stay here."

(Modern English)

"Wherefore, the defendant prays this court be moved to grant this motion."

(Opening of Modern English "wherefore" clause in legal briefs and motions)

Shakespeare often used a present subjunctive verb when using the verb "hope", but that is almost never the case today. This is the reason why your grammar book is having a problem showing you this example and comparing it to "wish" but with no "verb". It's because "wish" still takes a subjunctive in Modern English (although never in the present subjunctive when "wish" is a verb), whereas "hope" does not take a subjunctive in "Modern English".

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