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Suppose I want to say to a friend that despite a team victory what I really wanted for them was a defeat.

Are these sentences grammatically correct given the aforesaid purpose?

  1. I wanted that they have lost.
  2. I wanted them to lost.
  3. I wished they have lost.

Which one of them sounds most natural?

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Check out ELL, you are not new to SE. Avoid posts getting closed. –  Kris Mar 16 '13 at 13:36
I echo Kris' recommendation: English Language Learners is specifically intended to deal with very basic (and often very difficult) questions like this, which are so 'obvious' to native speakers that they get downvoted or closed. –  StoneyB Mar 16 '13 at 14:04
Of course all three are obviously wrong, but it's a close tossup between 2 and 3 for naturalness. –  jwpat7 Mar 16 '13 at 19:28
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closed as off topic by Kris, RegDwigнt Mar 16 '13 at 14:24

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1 Answer

All those are wrong. You simply need this:

  • I wanted them to lose.

The others all sound like poor translations from some other language into English.

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But why cannot we use the subject - they - after the verb ? –  utxeee Mar 16 '13 at 13:43
@utxee Each verb 'licenses' (allows) a different set of constructions. Wish licenses they would lose, but want does not. You have to learn them verb by verb. This quirk began to emerge in English shortly after the Norman Conquest (1066), and I sometimes think it was evolved to discourage invasions! :) –  StoneyB Mar 16 '13 at 13:59
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