would stop OR stopped

Mr President,

Both are not correct.  The verb "wishes" in the main clause requires a conditional or subjunctive form in the "that" clause:

12d': She wishes (that) it would stop raining!

She is wishing for a situation that is contrary to current fact.

Here are some examples that would make the other choices work:

12a': She hopes (that) it stops raining soon!
12b': She hopes (that) it will stop raining!
12c': She is glad (that) it (has) stopped raining!

I hope this was helpful.

DocV

DocV I am sorry to say that your reply made me more confused. You have said, "Both are not correct. The verb "wishes" in the main clause requires a conditional or subjunctive form in the "that" clause". The verb forms " stopped / would stop" are already subjunctive. !!!!!!!

Hi, Mr. P,

I think you may have misunderstood DocV's statement that both are not correct. Technically, it's ambiguous, but he was responding to your use of "if they are both correct." What he was saying, therefore, is that it is not the case that both are correct.

So, DocV did NOT mean that both are incorrect. He is saying that options (12d) and (12d') are correct. He does, however, mean that "stopped" is incorrect, and I agree with him. To see why it is incorrect, it may be helpful for you to look at a different case, where things are perhaps more clear:

(X) He wishes she would help him.
(Y) He wishes she helped him.

Both of those sentences work. Sentence (X) essentially expresses a wish that she would consent to helping him, and (Y) a wish that she did something that she habitually does not do. Apply that to the rain example. We can wish, so to speak, that the rain would (consent to) stop.

With "stopped," the sentence is a bit off. "She wishes it stopped raining" means that it habitually does not stop raining, and he wishes that it did habitually stop raining. But that meaning, which is somewhat strange in itself, is inappropriate here given that the example implies that Salma is in England only temporarily.

I'd like to make a small contribution, Mr President. David's examples (X) and (Y) (and the great explanations he provides for them) are in line with this definition of DocV's which I find particularly useful to decide whether the unreal past (subjunctive) or "would" should be used with "wish":

12d': She wishes (that) it would stop raining!

She is wishing for a situation that is contrary to current fact.

In his book "English Grammar in Use," Raymond Murphy explains that, when expressing wishes, the past will be used for situations and states, while the conditional will be used for changes and actions.

If it is raining, her wish can be expressed by using the past continuous:

- She wishes it wasn't raining (this wish refers to the current situation).

If it often rains there, her wish can be expressed by using the past simple:

- She wishes it didn't rain so often there (this wish refers to the habitual situation in that place).

In sentences 12d and 12d', the conditional is needed to refer to a change from the current situation, thus pointing to the future. The situation contrary to fact that DocV mentions is a situation that the person wants to take place in the near future.

Mr President,

I apologize for the confusion.  As David points out, my intent wasn't to be ambiguous, but to address your "if" clause.  I hope that his and Gustavo's contributions have made things more clear to you.

Thank you, David and Gustavo, for your help.

DocV

PS to D and G:  In formulating the second sentence of this post, I initially wrote "my intent was not to be ambiguous", but I realized that that clause was itself ambiguous!  I decided that the contraction "wasn't" was actually superior (if clarity is the goal, and I presume that it is not our purpose here to obfuscate those we serve) to the uncontracted "was not" in this particular instance.  The "wasn't" version can only be understood to mean "it was not my intent to be ambiguous", which is what I meant to say, whereas the "was not" version can mean either that or "it was my intent not to be ambiguous", which does not mean the same thing at all. 

Hi, all,

Gustavo, Contributor posted:

- She wishes it wasn't raining (this wish refers to the current situation).

If it often rains there, her wish can be expressed by using the past simple:

- She wishes it didn't rain so often there (this wish refers to the habitual situation in that place).

David, Moderator posted:

With "stopped," the sentence is a bit off. "She wishes it stopped raining" means that it habitually does not stop raining, and he wishes that it did habitually stop raining. But that meaning, which is somewhat strange in itself, is inappropriate here given that the example implies that Salma is in England only temporarily.

Yes, that's the reason why we can't use 'stopped' here. I just want to refer to the fact that we do have this example in our books and that it is taken from Michael Swan, 3rd edition, page (619). Here, we use wish ... would to express annoyance that something will not happen. 

- I wish it would stop raining. (= It will keep on raining!)

This is another example provided by the editor of Longman Website:

- I wish your brother would call soon. (It looks like he won’t.)

- The following examples are on the same page (619):

  • Wish . .. would(n't) can be like an order or a critical request. Compare:
    1. I wish you wouldn't drive so fast. (Similar to Please don't drive so fast.)
    2. I wish you didn't drive so fast. (More like I'm sorry you drive so fast.)
    3.  I wish you wouldn't work on Sundays. (= Why don't you stop?)
    4. I wish you didn't work on Sundays. (= It's a pity.)

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