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I know that ように can be used like 'as' or 'like' and can also be used like 'ために'. But I was watching this TV show where they show 絵馬 and I noticed that almost all the wishes end with ように, which I couldn't understand at first. A web search turned up this which says:

if it's at the end of a sentence (or just after a verb, but that's usually at the end), it can mean you want something to happen, or like... "may x happen" or "let x happen"

My question is, could you use this in every day conversation? Like for example, if I hope our team wins, could I say: 勝ちますように? My extremely limited experience says it sounds weird, but is it? I remember hearing ように used like this before (いい物見つかりますように) but that was in a game (and spoken by a little child) so I'm not sure if that counts.

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Related: How does this ように work? –  istrasci Nov 22 '13 at 20:42
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could you use this in every day conversation? As mentioned, it's not at all uncommon to hear from actual people, but I don't know that it would come up in real conversations very much unless you're specifically wishing something to the person. テストうまくいきますように = May you do well on your test / may your test go well. But you're more likely to just hear something like テストがんばってね! –  istrasci Nov 22 '13 at 20:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It is extremely common to end wish-making phrases with ように. In fact, I (a native speaker) do not know of another way of making a wish.

Everyone regardless of age or gender uses this ending. We often add どうか for emphasis at the beginning of the phrase as well.

「(どうか)ドラゴンズが勝ちますように!」

「(どうか)花子さんと結婚できますように!」

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花子って相手ですか? (^_^) –  istrasci Nov 22 '13 at 20:40
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私の好きな人の名前ではありません。「太郎」や「花子」は昔から例文によく使われる名前なんですよ。 –  l'électeur Nov 22 '13 at 20:47
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どうか is kinda like 'please' right? So aside from using it in a prayer/wish, is it correct to assume that I would only say this if I am asking an indirect(?) favor from the person I'm talking to? so if the person I'm talking to is not at all involved, what should be used? I was thinking of ドラゴンズが勝つはずです but it sounds stronger and its like you're not wishing them to win but expecting them to win. –  Jerahmeel Nov 24 '13 at 2:20

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