Today is the alternate date for the Tanabata (七夕) Festival, so I thought I’d talk briefly about the grammatical pattern you see hanging from bamboo around this time – 〜ますように. It’s an interesting phrase to me, partially because, perhaps as an English speaker, it seems like an incomplete sentence. It means “(I hope / I wish) that X happens / comes true.” For example,
(I hope) I can get good grades.
(I hope) that my Japanese gets better.
I put the “I hope” in parenthesis because it is only implied in the Japanese. The actual phrase is only a dependent clause. They had a small Tanabata presentation at one of my elementary schools a month ago, and a bunch of kids had to stand up and tell everyone their wishes. Some of the kids were so uncomfortable with the ending of this sentence grammatically that they stuttered a little です onto the end of their phrase. (サッカーが上手にできますように．．．です。)
Hope everyone’s wishes come true.