Indirect speech for Optative Sentences – Rules, Examples

In this article we are going to learn about Indirect speech for optative sentences with the help of rules defined in English grammar and quality based Examples presented by our team.

What are Optative Sentences?

Optative sentences are those which express hope, wish, prayer.  These sentences take an exclamation mark either after an interjection or at the end of sentence. Let’s look at the examples:

  1. She said, “May God be your on your side”
  2. Old man said, “would that I were young again”
  3. She said, “Good morning sir!”

Now, lets change above optative sentences into indirect speech.

  1. She prayed that God might be on my side.
  2. Old man wished that he were young again.
  3. She wished good morning to her teacher.

Reported Speech Rules for Optative Sentences

Let’s study how to change optative sentences from direct speech into indirect speech.

Rule 1 – understand context of sentence

Understanding context of sentence is very necessary in order to change in indirect narration or speech. Such as if there is context of prayer or wishes and greeting is expressed in sentence. Sentence structure for indirect speech will be made accordingly. So, Understanding context of speaker is most necessary thing and is understandable in a very easy way.  Here are few examples:

Context of speaker - Rule 1
1. She said, “May God bless her soul.” (Context = Pray)

2. I said, “If I was a bird.” (Context = Wish)

3. Teacher said, “You can go” (Context = Allow)

4. Student said, “May I go ma’am?” (Context = asking permission)

Rule 2 – Changes in Reporting Speech

Reporting speech is part of direct speech (before quoation “” marks). In order to change a optative direct narration to indirect speech we must change verb in reporting speech (that verb is called reporting verb). Here is how to do that:

  • Reporting verb will be initally in Indefinite tense (present / past / future) and will remain being in same tense after changing into indirect speech. such as:

Direct: I said to him, “May you get well soon.” (Reporting verb = Said, Tense = Past Indefinite)

Indirect: I prayed him to get well soon. (Reporting verb = Prayed, Tense = Past Indefinite)

There was no change made in tense of Reporting verb.

  • There are two pronouns (sometimes only one) in Reporting speech. Both remain same after converting to indirect speech such as:

Direct: Commander said to me, “Go to border.”

Indirect: Commander ordered me to go to border. (Commander and me are reporting nouns/pronouns)

  • Reporting verb “Says/Said/Will Say” will be changed to another verb (2nd form) as per context accordingly. Such as: May can be changed to pray or ask, would can be changed to wish, command, giving permission, asking for permission and other verbs will be used keeping context of speaker and nature of sentence in mind.

Direct: Student said, “Good Morning sir.!”

Indirect: Student wished good morning to teacher.

Rule 3 – Changes in Reported Speech

Converting an optative sentence into indirect speech is bit tricky (not difficult). Changes in reporting speech were normally same as all sentences. In second part of direct speech (i.e. Reported Speech) sentence structure is always as per previous sentence. and prepositions and verbs are changed accordingly.  Here are few common rules.

  • Exclamation mark (!) is completely omitted in indirect speech and it is replaced by full stop if necessary.
  • Words showing exclamation such as (May, would, if etc) are completely omitted while converting because context of exclamation is expressed in reporting speech of indirect narration.
  • “THAT” is not used to connect reported speech and reporting speech. In place of word THAT, other words can be used such as to, for etc.
  • Sentence structure of reported speech is completely changed keeping in view of context in reporting speech such as, Prayed for my good marks, wished for my health, wished to have money, ordered to go etc.
  • Sentence form in indirect speech is always assertive instead of optative.

Indirect speech of optative sentences

Conversion of “Said” in optative sentence

Optative words'Said' is replaced with
Would thatWished
May/ May GodPrayed
Would thatWished
O that/O forWished
Good morningWished
Good nightBade

Examples of Optative Sentences.

Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
She said, "May God bless you!"He said to me, "May you get success in exam!"
Father said, "May God bless you, my son!"Father prayed that God might bless me.
He said, "May God protect you always"He prayed that God might protect me always.
She said, "would that my son were a doctor"She wished that her son were a doctor.
My father said to me, "May you top in exam"My father prayed that I might top in exam.
Alex said to Mark, "Would that you were at hospital!"Alex wished that I were at hospital.
He said to me, "May you be respected everywhere!"He prayed that I might be respected everywhere.
Teacher said, "May my students get top positions!"Teacher wished that his students might get top positions.
Sister said,"May God protect you, my brother!"Sister prayed that God might protect his brother.
My wife said,"Would that we were blessed with more sons!"My wife wished that we were blessed with more sons.
The beggar said,"May God reward you more!"The beggar prayed that God might reward me more.
The watchman said, "Would that I were not asleep!"The watchman wished that he were not asleep.
Old lady said,"May God help you in difficult times!"Old lady prayed that God might help me difficult times.
Old man said,"Would that my son were alive!"Old man wished that his son were alive.
Little kid said, "Would that my mother were healthy today!"Little kid wished that his mother were healthy that day.
Student said, "Good morning sir!"Student wished respectfully good morning to teacher.
Old lady said,"O for the sight of my son"Old lady wished for the sight of his son.

indirect speech examples optative sentences


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