A formal way to wish someone well in English is to say "may [good things happen to you]", filling in whatever specific blessing you intend to give. For instance, "May you always be happy."

I know that this might be done using the imperative, such as "Vi ĉiam gaju," but there's no explicit "wishing" here. It might be translated as a command: "You! Always be happy." Do I need to say "Mi esperas ke, vi ĉiam gajas," or is there a more succinct, formal method?

And what about when you want to wish yourself well?

Here's some examples of what I'd like to translate:

  • May your days be merry and bright
  • May he live forever
  • May the stars guide me


2 Answers 2


One way to express this could be with the word deziri. The Reta Vortaro has this as one of its definitions:

Esprimi al iu bonvolan esperon, ke li ĝuu ian feliĉaĵon

If you search for “deziras al vi”, there are many examples of this in the Tekstaro:

Mi deziras al vi multajn jarojn de ekzistado

Mi deziras al vi bonan tagon, sinjoro!

Mi deziras al vi, ke vi finu la aferon en la plej agrabla maniero

Using the same formula, maybe you could translate your example phrases as follows:

Mi deziras al vi ĝojajn kaj brilajn tagojn

Mi deziras al li ke li vivu ĉiame

I think your last example seems a little different and is more like a prayer rather than a polite blessing. I would be more inclined to translate that with a simple imperative:

La steloj gvidu min


Neil's answer is fine. I would like to add that when using the Esperanto -u (fartu bone, pasigu gajan vesperon, ĝuu la vivon) you are not giving a command. It is not impolite or rude to tell somebody "longe vivu kaj prosperu" or "fartu bone". That's why it is not called imperativo in Esperanto but rather volitivo or simply u-modo.

The Plena Ilustrita Vortaro says: "-u. verba finaĵo esprimanta deziron aŭ volon" (an ending denoting dezire or wish). It can be used in commands, even impolitely (foriru!, silentu!), but it's not the u that makes them sound not so friendly.

Your examples might well be translated

  • Estu la tagoj al vi gajaj kaj brilaj
  • Li vivu eterne
  • La steloj gvidu min

Even with the -u they would remain socially correct and suitable in formal contexts, too.

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