In my mother language, when someone buys something from a supermarket or..., a religious sales person habitually and as a way of appreciation would say:

  • May God / Lord bestow his blessings on you.

I would be thankful if you let me know if this translation of mine would work in modern English these days and then tell me whether it makes any sense to you or it is something odd. Finally, I would appreciate it if you do me a favor and let me know if there is an equivalent for what I mentioned in modern American English.

  • 1
    It would not be heard in secular contexts in modern English-speaking democracies. We say "God bless you" when someone sneezes but in normal social exchanges, at supermarkets and retail stores, such as you describe, it would be extremely rare and quite odd for God to be mentioned. People are free to worship or not to worship as they please. But God and retail don't normally mix.
    – TimR
    Aug 30, 2016 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


The corresponding ordinary expression in English may be analyzed as a subjunctive or as a third-person imperative—it doesn't really matter, because it's essentially a fixed construction:

God bless you!

Any entity may be so blessed:

God bless us, every one! —Tim Cratchit, at the end of Dickens' A Christmas Carol
God Bless the Child —song, Billie Holliday
God Bless America —song, Irving Berlin, and God Bless the USA —song, Lee Greenwood

And the Deity may be omitted and left to inference:

And the straw-boss said "Well, bless my soul" —song, Sixteen Tons

As TRomano tells you, it's not something you're likely to hear at a supermarket; but salespeople in less single-mindedly capitalist establishments may say "Bless you" as they hand you your change.


Your saying, from Numbers 6:24, is used as a benediction at the end of many Protestant church services.

Your sentence should read

May God / The Lord bestow his blessing upon you.

Similar blessings can be used in every day life depending on social norms and context.

God bless you.
Bless you.

is often used when somebody sneezes to ward off evil spirits, but also can get used when showing gratitude in general situations

Thank you, God bless you.
Thank you, bless you.

People may also say

(You) have a blessed day!

which is used in the same situations as

Have a nice day!

Equivalent phrases might be

God be with you.
May God shower his blessings upon you.

Use of these phrases vary geographically within the US but are more frequently used in the Midwest and South, an area known as The Bible Belt.

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