The function of an optative sentence is to express
wish, prayer or preference. They are on of the easiest narrations like
imperatives. In order to convert any optative sentence into indirect
speech just follow the directions below.
The verb of reporting speech
The verb of reporting speech (say) is changed in accordance with the nature of the reported speech which shall be as follows;
Nature of reported speech
Converted verb of reporting speech
|Reported speech expressing desire
||wish or desire|
|If reported speech is a prayer||pray|
Use of conjunction
While converting a sentence into indirect speech when commas are removed the conjunction [that] or preposition [to] is used.
Use of sign of exclamation
Expressing wish or prayer is largely conventional and least backed by strong sense of emotions. In that case there is full stop at the end of the reported speech (in direct narrations). On other way round if wish or prayer is meant to have the strong feelings then it is necessary that it must end on sign of exclamation (!) than full stop or period.
Mother said to her son, “I wish you every success
Mother prayed her son to have every success in his life.
He said to me, “May you succeed in your mission.”
He wished that I might succeed in my mission.
Use of sign of exclamation (!) augments feelings therefore sometimes it makes a big change in the verb of reporting speech in indirect narrations so that it also show the strength of feelings.
He said, “Let’s go for a party!”
He strongly desired to go for a party.
Note: here the phrase (strongly desired) is used because of sign of exclamation (!) in reported speech of direct narration; because it augments the desire so does the phrase (strongly desired).
The words used in reported speech for desire or prayer
Desire and prayer have different expressions and they are used in reported speech of direct narrations, like;
Words to express desire: let’s and if only
Words to express prayer: may
(See the examples of prayer of wish below)
Use of modal operator
Prayers start with modal operator (may) and if reporting speech is in past tense the past form of modal operator (might) shall be used while converting a sentence into indirect speech.
Examples of prayer
She said to me, “May God bless you.”
She prayed that God might bless me.
His grandmother said to him, “May you live long.”
His grandmother prayed that he might live long.
She said, “May God reward you.”
She prayed that God might reward him.
He said, “May you get through your exam with
He prayed / wished that he might get through his exam with good marks.
Examples of wish
He said, “If only I were rich I could have lived
what I desire.”
He wished to be rich so that he could have lived what he desired.
She said, “Let’s go to the market.”
She wished to go to the market.
That can also be converted like,
She asked to go to the market.
But that doesn’t show desire.