"I wish that you have happiness and hope" "I wish that God will grant to you health..."

Are the above phrases correct? What is the syntax of the verb "wish" when we want to wish somebody to have something or to do something in the future?


This is largely the following sense listed by CDO:

wish verb (HOPE) B1 [T; + two objects] to ​hope or ​express ​hope for another person's ​success or ​happiness or ​pleasure on a ​particular ​occasion:

We wish you every ​success in the ​future.

I didn't ​even ​see her to wish her a ​happy ​birthday/wish a ​happy ​birthday to her.

I wished her a ​safe ​journey and ​waved her off.

However, 'I wish you happiness and hope' might sound more natural as 'I hope [that] you have a happy and successful future' or 'I only want the best for you'.

'I wish + that-clause' is really emphasising the wishing, the desire of the speaker, rather than the the wish: it references a desired rather than an actual state / action / practice. 'I wish that he would drive more carefully.' 'I wish that God [will] grant [to] you health...' / 'I would that God will grant to you health...' are archaic at best. The use of 'that' after 'wish' even grades into the following sense:

wish verb (MAGIC) › [I or T] to ​hope that something you ​want will be made ​real because of good ​luck or ​magical ​powers [= make a wish]:

[+ that] I ​remember ​blowing out the ​candles on my ​birthday ​cake and wishing that John Lee would be my ​boyfriend.

'I pray that God will grant you health ...' is fairly common in religious circles, but perhaps shows a misconception about Isaiah 53:5.

  • How can I express a wish for the future (not with the sense of magic) in which the subject will be defferent from me and the wish will not express ​anger at someone's ​behaviour, like the examples I gave?
    – ichnilatis
    Mar 4 '16 at 11:12
  • @Araucaria The CDO extract specifies the two-object requirement for the sense involved (though whether benefactive or not is debatable). There are also other usages (eg I wish you to go). Mar 4 '16 at 14:20

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