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In trying to search for a Japanese equivalent to "I hope~" in English, I've found two expressions 「といいね」and「ように(祈る/願う)」. However, I'm not sure how to use them properly. (I feel that the latter construction is more similar to "I hope" purely in terms of structure, but that doesn't mean anything, necessarily.) What is the difference between these two expressions?

For example, what's the difference between

(1) 試験に合格するように

(2) 試験に合格するといいな

in trying to say "I hope you pass the exam"?

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2 Answers 2

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I think you mean ますように rather than ように. 試験に合格しますように is more natural.

They are basically the same meaning. However I think 試験に合格しますように has a stronger wish than 試験に合格するといいな.

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  • I thought verbs in ます form cannot modify nouns. Isn't 合格します modifying よう in 試験に合格しますように? Jan 27, 2018 at 4:06
  • You should remember ますように as a phrase. Jan 27, 2018 at 5:55
  • Would one say ますように even to very close friends/family with whom they don't often use ます form? Jan 27, 2018 at 6:46
  • Yes. you can use it to everyone. Jan 27, 2018 at 7:09
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    Yes, what you said is basically right, but there may be some people who use only ように as the meaning of hope. 合格するように祈る is natural. By the way, 合格のように is unnatural. Dec 6, 2018 at 8:20
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The main difference is whether you want it to sound like a wish/prayer/humble request (~ますように。), or like a simple hope/desire for an outcome (~といい~).

Take this example:

「彼が長生きしますように。」 ‘May he live long.’

「彼が長生きするといい(です)ね。」 ‘It will be nice if he lives long.’

In trying to say 'I hope you pass your exam' I would use

「試験に合格しますように。」 'May you pass your exam.', 'I pray that you pass your exam'.

「合格するといいね!」 'It would be nice if you passed!'

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    1) お手柔らかにしますようにお願いいたします。 sounds unnatural... You'd say 「お手柔らかにお願い(いた)します。」 or just 「お手柔らかに。」 2) I don't think you say「お試験」...(I don't think you say 「ご試験」, either, though..)... P.S.「お受験」は言うんだけどね~。
    – Chocolate
    Jan 27, 2018 at 4:07
  • @Chocolateさん: 文章校正不足してしまいました💦。ご指摘ありがとうございました!
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 27, 2018 at 5:16
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    受験 is used only for 小学・中学受験(primary and lower middle school) and never for 高校/大学受験(upper middle school or university)... 私立(か国立)の有名な小中学校を受験することを俗に「お受験」と言います。 (I didn't mention this in my previous comment cos I didn't expect you'd use お受験 in your post... I thought you'd change the example to just 試験に合格しますように。... Sorry for my late response, 遅くなってすみません...)
    – Chocolate
    Jan 28, 2018 at 8:04
  • 勉強になりました。I didn't realize the difference. Thanks for the info.
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 28, 2018 at 8:16

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