What's the difference between the に祈る and を祈る forms?

Like what's the difference between (1.) and (2.):

  1. うまく行くのに祈ってくださいね。
  2. うまく行くのを祈ってくださいね。

EDIT: What's the difference between the ように祈る and のを祈る forms?

Like if what I want to say is "I pray that he will recover quickly", what's the difference between (1.) and (2.):

  1. 早く治るように祈ります。

  2. 早く治るのを祈ります。

  • 1
    -1, your first example is not actually used.
    – Amanda S
    Jul 1, 2011 at 21:22
  • you are right.. edited
    – Pacerier
    Jul 2, 2011 at 8:28
  • 1
    (1) Please be careful when editing a question after receiving answers, because changing the question after receiving answers can be very confusing to readers. I reverted the question to revision 2. (2) I think that what Amanda meant is that “What is the difference between …” is not the correct way to ask a question unless you know that both examples are used. Jul 2, 2011 at 16:05
  • 1
    In real conversation うまくいくように祈って*(い)て*くださいね。is more commonly used I think. (うまくいくよう祈って... is okay too. いくように祈って... is more casual.)
    – user1016
    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:19
  • 2
    And 早く治るように祈ります。and 早く治るのを祈ります。are both grammatically okay but 早く治るよう祈ります。/早く治るよう(に)祈って(い)ます。would be more natural. (I think this is because 祈ります is less casual than 祈って(い)ます so it doesn't go well with よう.)
    – user1016
    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:31

2 Answers 2


1) うまく行くのに祈ってくださいね。

This looks strange. I'm not sure where you found it. のに means "although" making the sentence sound like: "Although it goes well, please pray."

I think you're confused with ように indicating a goal.

Most prayers are formed like this: うまく行くように(祈る)。

2) うまく行くのを祈ってくださいね

This is the correct form for the transitive verb 祈る

Can also replace の with こと


1- ように indicates the goal. You pray so that things goes well. Prayers in temples are formed like this and many people before an exam for example or before a speech will address a prayer like this. (no need to be in a temple) The verb 祈る is sometimes omitted.

2- Vb + の/ことを祈る

This is more of an everyday hope expression, a wish for luck. (second meaning of 祈る is "to wish")

Most people will translate うまく行くことを祈りましょう as "Let's cross our fingers"

You can also say: 成功を祈ってね -> "'pray' for my success" or "wish me success" Or something like:


3- And thanks to istrasci for pointing out that using only に indicates to whom you address the prayer: 神様に祈る

  • 4
    +1 about 〜ように. If you simply use 〜に, this indicates the object to whom you're praying. Usually like, 神様に祈る (or whomever you pray to). Thus, it doesn't make sense to pray to 「うまういくの」.
    – istrasci
    Jul 1, 2011 at 14:44
  • heys you are right about the よう. i've updated the question, so what's the difference between the 2?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 2, 2011 at 8:21
  • @Pacerier: maybe the edited answer will clear things up.
    – repecmps
    Jul 2, 2011 at 10:38

1) Pray so that it goes well
2) Pray that it goes well.

This quite direct grammatically speaking. Nothing fancy here. に is the aim of the prayer, and を is the content of the prayer.

  • 3
    repecmps’s answer and istrasci’s comment on it are correct here. うまく行くのに祈ってください is not a correct sentence. Jul 1, 2011 at 15:21
  • @Tsuyoshi ok noted, i've updated the question
    – Pacerier
    Jul 2, 2011 at 8:23
  • @Axio so there's actually no difference between deciding which to use?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 2, 2011 at 8:23

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