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Hi guys,
is there any difference between using "let" and "may" in sentences that express wish or hope. For example:
May you a have a long happy life! (can I change "may" to "let" here?)
Let there be light!

My opinion is that one has to say "let" when talking about existence or state (as in light example or as in " Let him be near") and "may" when talking about action (as in the first example), but I'm very very unsure.
Could you please explain me the difference and give some other examples.
Any help will be appreciated.
Comments  
Can let be used for wish/hope? I think that let is used in the sense allow / suggest. But I may be wrong.
To me, "may" expresses a wish, whereas "let" implies some power from the person(s) who is/are talking...
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Knowledge HunterHi guys, is there any difference between using "let" and "may" in sentences that express wish or hope. For example: May you a have a long happy life! (can I change "may" to "let" here?) Let there be light! My opinion is that one has to say "let" when talking about existence or state (as in light example or as in " Let him be near") and "may" when talking about action (as in the first example), but I'm very very unsure. Could you please explain me the difference and give some other examples. Any help will be appreciated.
Hi Hunter,

You cannot change May you have a long happy life to '' Let you have a long happy life''.

Let can be used in other contexts other than states of existance too. For example:

Let us have dinner! (That's an action that is going to happen anytime soon.) And you cannot say may us have dinner.

May is mostly used in wishful thinking. For example:

May there always be peace on Earth.

May we all rejoice.
Hi everybody,
I really appreciate your help. Let me now make a conclusion so I can finally take my mind off this problem.
So, as pieanne's already pointed out, we use "let" when we can do smth to change the situation ( "Let there be light", said Jack screwing in a new light bulb) and "may' when we can only wish smth to happen (not to happen) but we are not able to really change the situation.
Am I right?
Best wishes,
Me.
Hi Hunter,

I disagree in your last sentence: "may' when we can only wish smth to happen (not to happen) but we are not able to really change the situation.

We can be a part to change the situation. May we all live in peace also denotes that we are a part of that peace-making process.
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Yes, I'd say "may" has a "crossing our fingers" value.
ok, its clear now. Thank you all very much.
may i say: let her rest in peace
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