I would like to use "wish" to say the following... and then I realize I am not entirely sure how to use wish grammatically

"Do you wish the system to shutdown?"

"Do you wish for the system to shutdown?"


I am NOT asking for the distintion of meaning between wish and want. In fact I will edit out the want part (it was just to help possible replies). I am asking for the correct usage of wish.

  • Possible duplicate of Which is the appropriate word here : 'wish' or 'want'?
    – Kreiri
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 9:02
  • I am asking for the correct use of wish. Not the difference in meaning with want. Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 9:06
  • 1
    It is hard as the word is in the correct place in the sentences, but it is the wrong word in those sentences, which is why people are confusing your question. "I wish I had already learnt all this English grammar stuff" is a much better example if you don't want everyone confused.
    – WendyG
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 9:45
  • 2
    Also, the verb is separate: to shut down. Shutdown is a noun.
    – stangdon
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 14:31
  • 1
    Are you trying to create a message that the system woulda display to the user/operator to confirm that they actually want to shut down the system ? Just guessing at the context. Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


The differences between wish and want are discussed in as another answer (mentioned in a comment above). I would refer you to the Oxford dictionary definition of wish instead. As it explains:

  • Wish to (with infinitive) is similar to want to .
  • Wish something, wish for something, or wish someone something (no infinitive) describes a desire or hope that "cannot or probably will not happen" - this is related to making a wish.

In the context of asking the user for confirmation of a shutdown, if you specifically wish to use the verb wish, I would recommend the phrase

Do you wish to shutdown the system?

But without an obligation to use wish, I would choose something like

Please confirm system shutdown (y/n)


As nobody else has answered in 6 hours here is my best attempt at an answer.

Presuming you want the system to shutdown so you can go home early, but it is no way under your control.

"Do you wish the system would shutdown as well?" Fred said looking at the bored expression on my face.

Unfortunately as my school preferred comprehension and vocabulary over grammar I can't explain why.

But I honestly think you want to use it in the technical sense, in which case the only way to correct your sentence is to use the word want.

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