Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 9: 13/16


Pray that/for, Hope that/for, Keep fingers crossed that


Verb[る] + ように + (いの)
Verb[ない] + ように + (いの)


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About ようにいのる

As we have seen several times now, the auxiliary verb ようだ is frequently used with verbs, to express that the 'completion' of an action is the specific goal/wish of the speaker. It does this implicitly through the meaning of the kanji (よう) 'manner of doing'.
ようにいのる (or (いの)る in its kanji form) is no different, and will imply that the speaker is praying for (A) to be done/completed. This comes from the meaning of the う-Verb (いの)る itself, which can be translated as 'to pray', or 'to beg'. Despite being able to be used when actually praying, this grammar point is used most often to express a 'hope'.
  • 明日(あした)(ゆき)()学校(がっこう)(やすみ)になるように(いの)
    I hope that it snows tomorrow and school gets canceled.
  • 世界(せかい)平和(へいわ)になるように(いの)
    I hope that the world becomes a peaceful place.
In a similar way to other ように structures, ないように may also be used with (いの)る, to show that someone is praying for something 'not' to happen.
  • 授業中(じゅぎょうちゅう)先生(せんせい)()ばれないように(いの)
    I hope that the teacher doesn't call on me during class.
  • 友達(ともだち)(くるま)()(まえ)()ないように(いの)
    I hope that I don't die before I get to ride in my friend's car.
However, 'unlike' other ように structures, ように(いの) will sometimes be shortened to ように by itself. This is especially true after ます.
  • 今年(ことし)(くに)(かえ)れますように
    I pray that you can go back to your country this year.
  • 明日(あした)テスト合格(ごうかく)できますように
    I pray that I can pass tomorrow's test.
This is the only ように structure that will have the verb that comes after it omitted. Therefore, ように (by itself) will always mean 'to hope for', and should not be confused with ようにする, ようになる, ようにいう, and other similar grammar points.
Fun Fact
といい is also used to express 'to hope for (A)', or 'to wish for (A)'. However, unlike ように(いの), the person that the speaker is praying for with といい will mainly be determined by the use of (praying for someone else), or な (praying for themselves).
  • ()たい大学(だいがく)()けるといい
    I hope that you get into the college that you want to get into. (Hope for your sake)
  • 来年(らいねん)海外旅行(かいがいりょこう)()けるといいな。
    I hope I can travel abroad next year. (Hope for my own sake)



  • ()きてここ()られるように(いの)ているんだ

    I am praying that I can leave this place alive.

    • (かれ)安全(あんぜん)(かえ)れるように(いの)ろう

      Let's pray that he can come home safely.

      • 日本語(にほんご)能力試験(のうりょくしけん)合格(ごうかく)できるように毎日(まいにち)(いの)ている

        I am praying every day for the ability to pass the JLPT.

        • うまく()ように(いの)って(ください)

          Please pray that it will go well.

          This is a common expression similar to 'Wish me luck'.

          • (おや):「マルちゃん(なに)(いの)ているの?」

            Parent: 'What are you praying for, Maru-chan?'
            Daughter, Maru-chan: 'I am praying for the ability to fly like an eagle!'

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            ようにいのる – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

            • Johnathan-Weir


              When it says “praying” does this have the same feel as “praying” in the western religious sense? And is this still used regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof?

            • Johnathan-Weir


              Still kind curious about this

            • mrnoone


              Good think you have bumped it! I wouldn’t have noticed it other way

              Yeah, Japanese use it quite often even if they do not pray at all or are atheist. Similar to English. You can think of it as “hope” in that case.

              I pray (or simply “hope”) that you can live the town alive.

              I hope () it helps,

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