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I looked up a good many of answers about subjunctives. But still, it's not clear in my head. I've made up some sentences for it. Could you please review and correct them?


< Wishes for the future >

I wish he would be here.

This means "I'm sorry that he won't come."

I wish he could be here.

This means "I'm sorry that he won't manage to come."


< Wishes for the present >

I wish he be here.

This means "I insist he should be here". It sounds formal.

I wish he were here.

This means "I'm sorry that he is not here."

I wish he was here.

This means the same with above one yet more informal.


< Wishes for the past >

I wish he would have been here.

(Not used.)

I wish he could have been here.

This means "I'm sorry that he couldn't come."

I wish he had been here.

This means "I'm sorry that he didn't come."


< For the past wishes >

I wished + (above all, except 'be')

This means "I was sorry that (above all)"

Ex) I wished he were here. = I was sorry that he wasn't here.

I wished he be here.

This means "I insisted that he should be here."


How close am I?

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Fairly close.

I wish he would be here

Not really idiomatic. It's similar to the expression, "I wish he would get here" which implies he is expected but running late.

I wish he could be here.

This implies lack of ability, not lack of intention -- although it can be used diplomatically to imply inability, when the cause is really lack of interest.

I wish he be here

As you say, a formal and uncommon imperative, usually expressed with something stronger than "wish", "I require he be here for his sister's wedding". Alternately it may be common in "Pirate" dialect which substitutes "be" for most conjugations of the "to be" verb. "Arr matey who be ye?" (= "Hey, who are you?")

I wish he would have been here.

This is fine. It suggests he was unable to be here for unspecified reasons, although his attendance was desired. "I wish he would have been there when our father died."


It might be more useful to make up some sample sentences and see if they mean what you think they mean. For example:

I wish he would have been here when the storm hit.

I wished he could have been here for the party.

And so on.

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