Optative Sentences – Examples

Sentences are very important in English grammar. It is necessary to know the proper formation of sentences with the correct words. Sentences should be able to give life and meaning to the words we use.

Sentences are basically words lined together to express our thoughts. But we don’t have only one type of thought. Sometimes we state something, sometimes we ask, and sometimes, we even demand or command. These are all expressed through different types of sentences. And one type that belongs with them is called an optative sentence. These are sentences that mostly express a person’s wish.

Let us learn in detail with examples to know them better and use them correctly.

What are optative sentences?

Optative sentences are the type of sentence that helps one express their wishes or prayers concerning someone or something. It can be any wish, be it negative or positive. These are the words that indicate what one desires or looks forward to.

In simple terms, optative sentences are those sentences that express one’s yearning, desire, or prayer concerning something or someone. These sentences are usually used with words like “may”, “let”, etc. And even without them, optative sentences deal with the mood of a person and their intentions.

Let us understand with some examples;

  • May God bless you.
  • May you live longer.
  • May God shower all his blessings upon you.
  • I wish I could come to stay.
  • Let there be harmony.
  • Let there be peace in the world.

These are some of the sentences that help express one’s wishes and desires concerning different things.

Usage of optative sentences

We learned that optative sentences are those that express our wishes and desires that deal with our mood. Optative sentences can be used in different ways. They are applicable anywhere as long as it indicates a wish or prayer one conveys regarding one or the other thing. They end with both period (.) and exclamation mark (!) depending on the context.

Let us discuss some of the common ways of using optative sentences;

May: When one uses the word “may” at the beginning of their optative sentence, they usually express a strong hope or desire or yearning for something. They are usually used in formal writings more than informal. They make the sentence look more elegant. For example;

  • May the Lord bring peace on earth.
  • May you have a safe journey.

Let: It is used similarly to “may”. With “let”, one tries to express what they want a particular thing to be or what should be done. For example;

  • Let the world know hate.
  • Let there be love amongst us.

So these are the two common ways. Optative sentences can sometimes come in between an irregular sentence as well. This happens when someone wishes for something. They can be used with subject-verb inversions. For example;

  • Long live the freedom fighters.

So we see optative sentences are those that help one express their desires and hopes. They are commonly used with may and let, but they can be used in different other ways.

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