What is the difference between

‘I wish it to be clearly understood’


'I wish it is clearly understood'?

The second sentence was taken from Oxford dictionary - 2.1, and it is not clear to me structurally.I want to search about this structure on internet but the problem that I don't know even from where to start or what this kind of sentence is called.

1 Answer 1


"I wish it is clearly understood" doesn't seem proper to this American speaker. No offense to one of the world's great dictionaries!

I can't quite accept that the intended meaning is the same as in the earlier sentence.

"I wish it to be clearly understood" expresses a desire that the listener or reader should grasp the speaker's (or writer's) meaning, or agree with the latter's argument.

"I wish it is clearly understood" seems to be a way of expressing regret that "it" is not understood, or understood only imperfectly. In this instance, I would use the subjunctive, as in: "I wish that it were clearly understood."

  • The first sentence was taken from the ODE (which isn't the same dictionary as the OED but is nevertheless excellent). Further, the dictionary explains the structure by prepending the definition with "[with object and infinitive]" – so this is simply the way (a formula of sorts) the verb can be used to express the meaning ("Want (something) to be done or happen.").
    – user3395
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 22:13

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