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Which is true and please explain why?

  • Happy birthday. Wish you never grow up !
  • Happy birthday. Wish you never growing up !

In fact I'm confused. I don't know which one is true?
Up to now I have thought about the question as follows:

  • The original form should be: I wish that you never grow up so I think the first one is the answer
  • On the other hand we can say wish is a transitive verb so needs an object. The object should be a noun clause. So the verb will be converted to a gerund and option 2 is the right answer.
  • What are your own thoughts on this? – Victor Bazarov Oct 10 '15 at 20:31
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    @VictorBazarov I think the original form should be: I wish that you never grow up so I think the first one is the answer but seems that I'm wrong – Sepideh Abadpour Oct 10 '15 at 20:35
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    @VictorBazarov On the other hand we can say wish is a transitive verb so needs an object. The object should be a noun clause. So the verb will be converted to a gerund and option 2 is the right answer. In fact I'm confused – Sepideh Abadpour Oct 10 '15 at 20:39
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    Those are actually good thoughts. Why don't you edit them into the text of your question? – Victor Bazarov Oct 10 '15 at 20:43
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There are semantic and syntactic differences between the things we wish and the things we hope.

When we address wishes to another person we usually employ wish as a "ditransitive" verb: that is, the syntax requires that the person addressed (you) act as the Indirect Object, the Beneficiary, and the thing wished for that person be expressed as the Direct Object. This Direct Object is a noun phrase, not a clause:

I wish you (a) happy birthday!
I wish you many happy returns!
I wish you much joy!

When the complement of wish is a clause, there no Indirect Object, and wish expresses something which you desire for your own benefit.

  • If the clause employs a finite verb it is usually cast in the "subjunctive past" (a past form uninflected for person or number), often a past modal; in this case the sentence expresses either your longing for something you regard as impossible or only remotely possible.

    I wish he would treat her better.
    I wish she were here.
    I wish I had a Mercedes instead of this damn 76 Dodge Dart.

  • If the clause employs a marked infinitive verb (to VERB), the sentence expresses a polite but firm command that the subject perform the action named; there is often an implied threat of your displeasure or worse if the action is not performed.

    I wish him to treat her better (or I'll cut him out of my will.) I wish her to come here (and stop wasting her time in the country.) I wish to have a Mercedes (so take this damn Dart away and junk it.)

If you want to "wish" an event for somebody you usually express it with hope + a 'content' clause (that clause):

I hope (that) you have a happy birthday!
I hope (that) you never grow up!

But hope always implies some degree of uncertainty; your tone of voice, or further qualification, will usually indicate how much uncertainty is intended.

I hope you have a happy birthday, and I'm sure you will!
I hope you have a happy birthday, but it doesn't seem very likely.

You may also hope for an eventuality, with a noun, gerund or infinitive phrase as the object of for.

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The expression accompanying "Happy Birthday!" has the complete form of

I wish you {object}

like "I wish you happiness" or "I wish you many happy returns of the day".

The expression

I wish that {subclause}

is actually a shortened version of

I wish to myself that {subclause}

which seems rather out of place as a "birthday wish" expressed by others.

In the expression

Wish you never grow up.

the four words stick together to form a subordinate clause, which then sounds like

I wish to myself that you never grow up.

Back to the original formula!

[I] wish you {object}

What can we use for the object? Pretty much anything, including, and often used in this particular context, the "to-infinitive" phrase:

I wish you never to grow up.

I believe you're looking for that particular one. As it happens, you can substitute a gerund for "to-infinitive", thus making

I wish you never growing up.

a close second.

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