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General differences between hope and wish

Discussion in 'English Only' started by xanana, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. xanana

    xanana Senior Member

    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaisie (English)
    Hi, Could someone please tell me the difference between a hope and a wish ?

    Thanks.

    X
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Often they are almost the same: I hope it stops raining soon; I wish it would stop raining.
    I think the difference is to do with the probability of the thing happening.
    Hope is about something that has some chance of happening;
    wish would be OK then too, but can also be about something impossible.
    I hope we have lots of sunshine this summer. (some chance)
    I wish our summers were like yours. (no chance)
    You just might guess that I have just woken up to yet another grey cloudy morning.....;)
     
  3. xanana

    xanana Senior Member

    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaisie (English)
    Thank you panjandrum.

    I guess that's why wish is used in wishful thinking.

    By the way, it's sunny and 30° Celcius at my location. I wish I could send some of this sunshine to you.
     
  4. Magg Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain / Spanish
    Hello all,

    I´d like to join this post, since I´m not sure of using "hope" properly.

    Would you please tell me how the meaning changes depending on the verbal tense following "hope"?
    And what verbal tenses are suitable after "hope"?

    For instance:
    At the end of the school time, the teacher to the children:
    -I hope you have a nice holiday.
    -I hope you´ll have a nice holiday.


    Or in your examples:
    -I hope it stops raining soon.
    -I hope it´ll stop raining soon.


    Also, can I use a past simple tense after "hope"?

    As for the "wish" stuff it´s ok.

    Cheers,
    Magg
     
  5. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Yes, you can use the simple past after "hope." Here are the various possibilities:

    I hope you have a good time.
    I hope you had a good time.
    I hope you've had a good time.


    NOT I hope you'll have a good time.
     
  6. Magg Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain / Spanish
    Then, "will" cannot be used under any circumstances, can´t it?
    I think I´ve seen it somewhere. Well, maybe that was a misuse of mine.
     
  7. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Not that I know of. At the very least it sounds incredibly awkward.

    See, the usage of the present implies the future. Just like in Spanish.

    Espero que seas feliz.

    You wouldn't say "Espero que vayas a ser feliz," would you? You could say "Espero que fueres feliz," but the future subjunctive is archaic in Spanish. :)
     
  8. Magg Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain / Spanish
    Now that I think of it, it does make sense.
    Yes, the sentence requires a subjunctive form, which is carried out by the present tense.

    Thanks, Elroy, as helpful as always.

    Magg
     
  9. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    You're welcome. I hope it's all clear now. ;)
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Thanks for your good wishes.
    I hope the weather will improve soon.
    I agree that I hope the weather gets better soon would be normal, but I'm pretty sure that will after hope is used regularly and without notice.
     
  11. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I don't know about that. To me, it sounds rather contradictory and unnecessary, as "will" implies certainty and the present already implies the future possibility.
     
  12. charlie2 Senior Member

    Hi,
    If I have answered a question here and end the post by saying : I hope I have helped you, is that incorrect then? Should I say : I hope my post helps?
    Thank you.
     
  13. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    No, that's correct. :tick:

    We're discussing whether you can say "I hope I will..."
     
  14. charlie2 Senior Member

    Thank you. :)
     
  15. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    i don't know where you got that from.

    "i hope they will be nicer to you than they were to me."

    to my ears there is no implication of a certain outcome neither does it sound awkward.
     
  16. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Elroy: "I don't know about that. To me, it sounds rather contradictory and unnecessary, as "will" implies certainty and the present already implies the future possibility." I agree that it may not be "good" english, but it is not unusual, and - at least where I am - would pass without comment.

    Charlie2: "If I have answered a question here and end the post by saying : I hope I have helped you, is that incorrect then? Should I say : I hope my post helps?" Either would be OK.

    Benjy: "i hope they will be nicer to you than they were to me." Would it not be better to say "I hope they are nicer to you than they were to me."? But see above comment on Elroy's comment.
     
  17. Magg Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain / Spanish
    Then, I wasn´t so wrong, was I?
    So I can use "will" as well, right?
     
  18. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    i don't know if i would say better.. perhaps. i actually have no idea. i just wanted point out that the future is used quite often (i think most often in conjunction with the weather)
     
  19. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Yeah - those of us who live on the British Isles have more sophisticated use of language in relation to the weather, of course:)
    And "better" kind of slipped out by accident, I really meant "more normal for me". It's just that I have difficulty in distinguishing that from "better":D
     
  20. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I told you where I got that from - but I'll say it again. One, "will" indicates that something WILL happen for sure. I WILL go to school tomorrow. The sun WILL shine tomorrow. Etc. etc. etc. That's why it sounds slightly weird to me to say "I hope you WILL..." since "I hope" implies that you're not sure. And the second reason was that when you say "I hope you come..." that already implies "I hope you WILL come" so there's no need for the "will."

    Nevertheless, after reading your sentence, I guess it doesn't sound so terrible if the "will" is contracted: "I hope they'll be nicer to you." It still sounds slightly awkward to me, and I'd rather say "I hope they're nicer to you."

    So I don't know if it's technically wrong or just something you get used to.
     
  21. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I never said it was entirely wrong; it just sounded very awkward to me. Also, I wouldn't have used it in your examples. I'm gonna try to do some more research on it to find out if it's totally wrong or just a matter of personal preference.
     
  22. JohninVirginia Senior Member

    USA/ English
    Regarding the certainty of "will" I'm not sure if it's quite what you are getting at, but...

    There is a difference between "shall" and "will" that is rarely used any more. I'm 46 years old and my generation mostly doesn't know the difference, but my mother's does.

    "I shall" is a simple statement of what is (probably) going to happen.
    "I will" means that I most certainly will see to it that this thing will happen.

    To keep life interesting, the terms are reversed in meaning in the second and third persons. ( ! )
    But nowadays, at least in the USA, people rarely use the word "shall" (or the negative "shan't)


    As far as the future tense "will ...", it doesn't really imply certainty any more than the present tense. So it makes just as much sense to say, "I think it is..." or, "I hope it is..." as it does to say, "I think it will..." or, "I hope it will..."

    John in Virginia
     
  23. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    John: Totally agree.
    My sources suggest that the distinction between shall and will is totally obvious, from birth, to anyone from the home counties of England. The rest of us needn't bother trying. So will cannot carry any real certainty, though I will be surprised if no-one contradicts me on this point.
     
  24. JohninVirginia Senior Member

    USA/ English
    I shan't.;)
     
  25. mzg Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain, Spanish
    Hello

    Now it is my turn!

    The verb hope is used followed by "present with future meaning", often when we use the I form

    I hope she comes or I hope she likes the flowers

    Compare to :

    Pepito hopes he'll get througth this
    Peptito hopes she'll win the lottery

    Are my examples OK?

    See you
     
  26. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    These sound fine to me. I might say, myself:
    Pepito hopes to get through this.
    Pepito hopes to win the lottery.
     
  27. JohninVirginia Senior Member

    USA/ English
    As I read your original post, it occurs to me that you asked the difference between a hope and a wish but the discussion turned to to hope and to wish.

    In usage, yuo will see that one can "make a wish" (express, perhaps silently, a desire for something), but not "make a hope".
    But one can "have a hope".

    A wish is an expression (a statement) of a desire or hope. So you make that expression; you make the wish. You do not make the hope or the desire.

    On the other hand, you actually have a hope or desire. You do not "have" the "expression" of the hope.

    At least I think this is the difference. What do the others say?

    John in Virginia
     
  28. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    As someone from the home counties I will confirm that I perceive a difference in nuance;) . "Will" is a statement of intent whereas "shall" is simply future fact. (nuances of meaning only, not set in concrete).

    Actually I heard that in traditional Scottish usage these nuances are reversed so that there was a Scottish man who fell into a river, and not being able to swim called out "I will drown! No one shall save me!" and an Englishman - perhaps from the home counties, who can say - assumed from his words that he was commiting suicide and carried on his way.

    I would certainly not deny that this difference is very much ignored nowadays, though.
     
  29. JohninVirginia Senior Member

    USA/ English
    I'm sorry I have generated a bit of a tangent here, and will make this my last post on this topic. I do think that in statutes and other legal commandments here in the US, the term "shall" is used to denote when a party is instructed to positively do something. So at least in that context, "one shall" has a stronger meaning than simply "one will". Otherwise we just don't use "shall", and its use is generally seen as an affectation of British snobbery.;)

    (Mr. moderator, do see my "on topic" (and I must say, very insightful) reply several posts earlier!!;):D

    John in Virginia
     
  30. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Ok, so maybe "will" doesn't always indicate certainty. It's just that I never use "shall" so to me "will" is the only verb I use in the future. If I wanted to indicate desire or intent, I would say "I would like to..."

    At any rate, I would still never use the future tense after "I hope...," regardless of whether it's technically acceptable.

    It's probably just me. :)
     
  31. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Don't feel too isolated! I wouldn't use it either.
     
  32. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    This is what millions of English learners are taught (Murphy's intermediate level English Grammar in Use, unit 22):

    After I hope, we generally use the present (will is also possible):
    I hope Kate passes the exam. (or I hope Kate will pass ...)
    I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.

    Jana
     
  33. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Thank you, Jana. This makes me feel a lot better.

    I guess "will" is possible, but in my eyes not advisable.
     
  34. pwmeek

    pwmeek Senior Member

    SE Michigan, USA
    English - American
    This seems wrong to me.

    "You are going to the beach tomorrow. I hope you'll (you will) have a good time." If this is an impossible construction, how would I express this?
     

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