Can I say "a wish come true" to abbreviate "a wish that has come true"?

Can I for the title of my book? the title would be "no wish come untrue" does that sound correct and is it?

I know it is awkward way of putting but my book will be a fiction about utopia, and hence I d like to use no wish come untrue, is that possible?

I m looking for a title for my book that would give the reader the feeling of a world where any wish is granted without exception. I d like to have a title as short as possible to give this meaning by 2 times negation.

So far the best from the community was "no wish not come true"

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    I don't understand: do you want to use "a wish come true" or "a wish come untrue"? You say different things in the title and in your question.
    – stangdon
    May 26, 2016 at 17:54
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    "A wish come true" sounds very similar to "a dream come true" which is a fairly common phrase. Both are easily understood, so it depends on your preference and what you meant by "no wish come untrue." May 26, 2016 at 18:27
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    Please clarify the question, as the title of the question and the description provide two separate examples, so it is not clear what your actual question is. May 26, 2016 at 18:28
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about learning English, it's asking for an artistic choice to be made on behalf of the questioner. Possibly this would be a good question for elu.stackexchange.com.
    – Ben Kovitz
    May 27, 2016 at 7:33
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    @BenKovitz Hi, Ben. It will take less than an hour for ELU to close this question. ELU Help Center explicitly mentions "writing advice" and "critique requests" are off-topic. ELU always closes a request for naming something no matter what that is. I agree with you this question is off-topic, here, too as it could generate primarily opinion-based answers. But reading the below answers, I will not vote to close this question. :-)
    – user24743
    May 27, 2016 at 8:18

7 Answers 7


I'd like to have a title as short as possible to give this meaning by 2 times negation.

No wish ungranted.

Three words is the shortest I can manage.


I posted the above without explanation because the OP is looking for a phrase to use as a book title. There is no need for a book title to be grammatically correct, indeed sometimes something that is deliberately not grammatically correct can work very well to draw a potential reader's attention. So No Wish Ungranted met the OP's criteria for a short title with a double negative. I think it sounds kind of intriguing, and if I saw a novel with that title I would pick it up and at least read the blurb. (As an aside, I'd be interested to see what such a novel was about: I'm picturing a world of conflict because with everybody getting their wishes they're all becoming selfish and wishing for things that contradict other people's wishes. Perhaps the protagonist has to find a way to stop all of the wishes from being granted so that everybody can live in peace?)

Anyway, I've now been asked in a comment to compare my suggestion with a couple of other options. So...

No wishes ungranted

Changing "wish" to "wishes" really makes no difference to the meaning, but in my opinion it doesn't sound as snappy. It doesn't flow as well. Of course, that is a matter of opinion. "No wish[es] ungranted" doesn't really fit into a sentence very naturally: "We live in a world in which there is no wish ungranted" would sound more natural as "...in which all wishes are granted", but that doesn't matter since it is to be a book title.

No Wish Goes Ungranted

No Wishes Go Ungranted

These mean the same thing as each other: both imply a state in which all wishes, both now and in the future, will be granted. There's not necessarily any implication that wishes are granted instantly, but neither is there reason to expect any significant delay. These variations do fit better in longer sentences, but again that is irrelevant when we're looking for a book title.

Really there isn't a huge difference between these variations, so for a book title just use whichever one you like the sound of the most. Obviously I prefer "No Wish Ungranted".

Finally, let me explain the difference between a wish being granted, and a wish coming true. "Granted" implies that somebody (or just "the universe") has heard your wish and actively decided to grant it, and there is an implication that whatever you wished for could not have just happened naturally. "Come true" implies that something you have been wishing for has come to pass, but may have done so just through natural circumstances or random chance.


"To come true" means to be become reality. When a wish comes true, it goes from a wish to being real. The wooden puppet Pinocchio wished to become a flesh-and-blood boy and his wish came true.

Given that, it is not clear what "come untrue" would mean. The wish went from a wish to...what? Did it remain a wish? Or did the wish come true in part but have an undesirable element? For example, the poor man became rich, but he got very ill.

It would be an enigmatic title for a work of fiction, but that's not necessarily a problem.

P.S. Here is the affirmative statement in the simple past:

The wish came true.

The negated form is:

The wish did not come true.

We use auxiliary "did" + not + bare infinitive "come" to produce the negated past of affirmative "came".

Here is the affirmative in the present-perfect:

The wish has come true.

In centuries past, they said "is come", using "is" as the auxiliary with the past-participle "come".

The negated form using the present-perfect:

The wish has not come true.

has come untrue would be ungrammatical, and nonsensical. It might nonetheless be used in a title for a literary work, where it would be understood to be an intentional violation of grammar (compare the poem by e.e. cummings that begins "Anyone lived in a pretty how town"). It might be thought to be playing on "untied". We can say

His shoelace came untied.

His shoelace had been tied, but then it became untied.

But we could not say

The food came uneaten.

unless we were in some magical world in which digested food could miraculously reappear on the table again after it had been eaten; or unless we were trying to find an unusual circumlocution for "was vomited".

We could say

The food came uncooked.

The food was not pre-cooked, but was raw, and needed to be cooked.

These are all different meanings of the verb "to come".

come true ... come untied ... come uncooked

A tied shoelace can become untied. But cooked food cannot become uncooked. Similarly, a dream that has come true cannot then later become untrue.

A wish goes from dream to reality as the raw becomes the cooked.

So, if you want to say "This is a world where every dream comes true", you can say it affirmatively:

All dreams come true

Every dream comes true.

If this is a world where everyone remains disappointed:

No dream comes true.

I'm not encouraging you to use the double negative. That is your arbitrary requirement. But if we accept the requirement, to state the affirmative as a double negative, we cannot use stative "comes" but must resort to a stative + passive construct:

No wish stays ungranted.

[Compare: No food remains uncooked. Food does not cook itself. Wishes do not grant themselves.]

But that would be a rather clunky title for a work of fiction. So we change the statement to a mere fragment of a sentence, a simple noun-phrase:

No Wish Ungranted or No Wish Unanswered

  • so you think I should stick to my original concept of "no wish come untrue"? (wish or wishes? can I use wish to mean plural which sounds better to me) May 26, 2016 at 20:58
  • also above there are 2 nice alternatives: no wish ungranted or no wish goes ungranted. could you please compare these to my original. I liked the enigmatic comment of yours for my title. it doesnt have to be all clear I guess for a fiction book. could you please compre the other 2 with or without plural version with "no wish come untrue" ? ah and there is a 3rd alternative and that is "no wish not come true" if you were write, which one would you find clear enough and most artistic title among these 4? thx a lot May 26, 2016 at 21:03
  • "goes" is unnecessary. No Wish Ungranted implies that all wishes are granted, as asked. No Wish Unanswered implies that wishes result in something, but not necessarily exactly what the wisher was hoping for. No Wish Comes Untrue is odd and almost nonsensical, but in a good way.
    – TimR
    May 26, 2016 at 22:57
  • no wish come or comes untrue? I d like it to have the meaning as in "no wish HAS come untrue" so I thought by leaving HAS out, I d keep the time sense of "have done" rather than "no wish comes untrue" as present time. which one suits better you think? present perfect or present tense for this oddity? I m getting inspiration and courage from you to be nonsensical rather than be boring with very clear statement like "no wish ungranted". so if you were me which one would you go for? thx romano May 26, 2016 at 23:29
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    Going back to your Pinocchio example, I'd assume that a wish coming "untrue" would mean that Pinocchio turned into a boy but then turned back into a wooden puppet. If the wish had simply been "not granted" then he would have remained a puppet the entire time. I'd interpret "comes untrue" in the title as "No wish comes undone;" that is, all wishes that are eventually granted stay granted. (In such a world, if you wished for three arms, and you got three arms, you would always have three arms.) "No wish remains untrue" would be closer to "all wishes are granted."
    – J.R.
    May 27, 2016 at 8:41

If the question is "are a wish come true and a wish that has come true the same, I would say yes, they convey the same meaning. A wish come true is more colloquial and sounds natural to me.

You would never say "No wish come untrue." As a native US English speaker, that sounds stilted and awkward.

  • I know it is awkward way of putting but my book will be a fiction about utopia, and hence I d like to use no wish come untrue, is that possible? May 26, 2016 at 18:31
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    The problem with it, I think, is that wishes don't come untrue. Wishes can "come true" or they "don't come true.' I'm not even sure I understand how a wish could possibly 'come untrue'. Does it mean that it came true and then became untrue later? What is the point of the title? Is it to say essentially that all wishes were granted? Or is it that all wishes were granted and then taken away? May 26, 2016 at 18:43
  • what about wishes that did not come true, can we not artistically adress them by " the wishes come untrue" so no wish come untrue I d like it to give the feeling that a world where wishes can only come true and nothing else.. May 26, 2016 at 18:46
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    Close. What about "no wish not come true"? I think you want the not to come before come because it more closely relates to the word come than the word true. May 26, 2016 at 19:03
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    I think you nailed my book title, do feel entitled to own the share of the cover if you see it one day on a bookshelf :) so can I use this title under my own copyright sir? do you think it sounds striking without ambiguity for a book title? :) May 26, 2016 at 19:25

Besides the jarring effect of wishes coming "untrue", I think your first proposed title has a simple conjugation problem. I think

No Wish Comes Untrue


No Wishes Come Untrue

would at least be closer to a grammatical phrasing.

What you are really trying to say, I think, is:

All Wishes Come True

If so, and you wanted to use negation, rather than using untrue, I'd suggest:

No Wish Goes Ungranted

For some reason, the phrase "comes true" sounds more fitting for dreams than wishes. Not that it can't be used for both (interesting Ngram for the curious reader), but there is something rather jarring about a wish coming "untrue."


Yes, a wish come true is an ordinary, grammatical way to say a wish that has come true.

No, no wish come untrue is not grammatical English.

Is dis a system?

Yes, you can make No Wish Come Untrue the title of a book. But you should understand the rhetorical effect of such a title. A fluent English speaker will hear that title as "broken English": a common kind of grammatical mistake made by foreigners. If you want that effect, then it could be a good title. If you don't understand that the title sounds like broken English, then you might not be ready to write a book in English.

A classic example of a book with a title in broken English is Nize Baby by Milt Gross. Nize is not a word in English. But it suggests how people whose native language is Yiddish tended to pronounce nice when speaking English. The entire book is written in Yiddish dialect, like this:

Oohoo, Nize Baby, itt opp all de rize witt milk so momma'll gonna tell you a Ferry Tail from de Pite Piper fom Hemilton. Wance oppon a time was a willage from de name from Hemilton. So it was ronning along avveryting smoot wit Ho K—accept wot it was one acception: Was dere a hobnoxious past from rets. Hm! sotch a pasts wot dey was de rets. … [I'm omitting most of the story here.] (Nize baby, take annoder spoon rize witt milk.)

Here's my "translation" into standard English:

Oh, nice baby, eat up all your rice with milk so momma will tell you a fairy tale: The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Once upon a time, there was a village with the name of Hamelin. So, everything was running along smoothly (OK), with one exception: there was obnoxious pestilence from rats. Oh, the rats were such pests! … (Nice baby, take another spoon of rice with milk.)

So, you can make any grammatical or spelling error you like, for artistic effect. But you need to have a feeling for the language to understand and control the rhetorical effects your choice of words will produce in readers. The author of Nize Baby knew standard English perfectly, so he knew how to exploit the peculiarities of the Yiddish dialect for humorous effect. It takes (at least) several years of experience using English to develop that kind of feeling for the language. It can't be learned from grammar rules and dictionaries.

On the other hand, sometimes people produce wonderful effects by writing in a non-native language without mastering that language. There's no way to know without trying.


I wrote the above in response to an early version of the question, before it was clear that the OP is asking us to suggest a title for his book. My answer to that is: Is dis a system? If that answer isn't clear, you could ask a question about it, nu? :)


Can I say “a wish come true” to abbreviate “a wish that has come true”?


Does the title "No wish come untrue" sound correct?

No. (whilst you can say " a wish come true", there is no sense to a wish "coming untrue", so this doesn't make sense).

Can you use "No wish come untrue" as the title of your book?

Sure. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/poetic_licence


These don't necessarily mean the same thing.

"A wish that has come true" is an actual wish that has come true. There was a wish made, and it then came true.

"A wish come true" is almost an adjective in a phrase. "He's a wish come true" might describe a dreamy, appealing man, for example, not that you actually wished for him and he showed up. "That vacation package is a wish come true" implies it's a fantastically good vacation package. It doesn't mean there was a wish made for that package to exist and it came true, just that it's so good it wouldn't be unreasonable that somebody could have wished for it.

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