4

In my email, there is this sentence:

We wish you a very safe and healthy start to 2024.

Start here is a verb, and wish is a verb too, but there isn't a conjunction word between them. So how to understand this sentence?

How about We wish you a very safe and healthy from 2024?

3
  • 3
    In my opinion, "We wish you a safe and healthy year." would be good enough. If you say you wish a safe and a healthy start, then you seem to be talking about the start of the year only, not the whole year. Then why is it just the about the "start" of a year? Why don't you wan't the whole year to be safe and healthy? So, I think what you want is a healthy and safe year, not just the start of a year.
    – Yunus
    Jan 4 at 6:53
  • 2
    @yunus, because it is a "New Year" greeting, so it refers to the New Year. I see no problem with that.
    – James K
    Jan 4 at 8:04
  • 3
    @yunus The implied meaning might be "When celebrating the New Year holiday, please don't drink excessively or do other dangerous things." Instead of this negative warning, it offers positive wishes, but hopes for "safety and health" at a time in which celebrations are sometimes not perfectly safe or healthy. Jan 4 at 15:42

1 Answer 1

20

"start" is a noun in this sentence. It is modified by the adjective phrase "very safe and healthy" to form a noun phrase "a very safe and healthy start", and this NP is the direct object of the verb "wish".

I know it is a noun because there is an article "a". Only nouns have articles.

The verb "wish", when used like this needs both an indirect and a direct object. "I wish {you} {happiness}", and the direct object is a noun phrase. So "I wish you safe and healthy from 2024" is not correct because "safe and healthy" is an adjective phrase.

You could say "wish you safety and health in 2024". Saying "from 2024" (so in 2025, 2026...) sounds odd as a New Year greeting, which would normally be about the New Year.

9
  • I want to expand on this answer by saying that there's more involved in nouning a verb than just adding an article. The word has to make sense as an object to be used as a noun. "Start" works as an object because it refers to a point in time; it's a synonym for "beginning". "We wish you a very safe and healthy from 2024" from the question is not grammatical because "from 2024" is not a noun phrase, even though omitting the adjective phrase leaves "a from 2024". In contemporary usage, the mere presence of the article is not sufficient to consider "from 2024" as a noun. Jan 4 at 17:55
  • 4
    I wouldn call this "nouning a verb". "Start" is a perfectly normal noun, with over 500 years of use as a noun. Adding "a" doesn't make it a noun, but it does indicate the presence of a noun.
    – James K
    Jan 4 at 17:59
  • The questioner is only familiar with "start" as a verb. The point of your answer is that, in the questioner's mind, "start" needs to be converted to a noun in order for them to comprehend the sentence at hand. The point of my previous comment is that they also need to comprehend that "from 2024" cannot be so converted. Jan 4 at 18:03
  • 2
    @TimSparkles: I'm not sure it's true that the OP is unfamiliar with the noun "start"; (s)he writes that "start here is a verb" (emphasis mine), which suggests that (s)he's aware that in other contexts it's something else. But even if that is indeed the issue, surely the right fix is to clarify that "start" is a standard noun, rather than going off on a tangent about how it could maybe be used as a noun even if it weren't.
    – ruakh
    Jan 4 at 21:30
  • @ruakh That's a fair point, and I completely agree that the first part of the question is best addressed by clarifying that "start" is a standard noun. The "tangent" I'm on is addressing the second part of the question in which "Wishing you a ... from 2024" is suggested as an alternative with a different and incorrect noun phrase. James K does not answer this second part of the question as asked. Jan 4 at 22:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .