Hopefully the bruise will go down.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by rafanadal, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. rafanadal Senior Member

    Asti, Piemonte
    ITALIANO
    Hi.
    Is it exactly the same to say:
    "Hopefully the bruise on my head will go down shortly"
    "I hope the bruise on my head will go down shortly"
    :confused:
    Ciao
     
  2. katie_here Senior Member

    England
    England/English
    I think there is a slight difference in what you are saying (to me, anyway)

    "Hopefully, the bruise on my head will go down shortly" (I'm fully expecting it to go soon rather than later)

    "I hope the bruise on my head will go down shortly" (the bruise may not go for a long time, if at all, so I hope it does go soon.)

    I'm not totally sure about the word "hopefully" but to me it means something that will soon happen, or at least has an added air of confidence attached to it.

    "I hope" on the other hand, indicates something you wish to happen, but you're also prepared for it not to happen.

    "I hope I win the lottery" (but I probably won't)
     
  3. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
  4. rafanadal Senior Member

    Asti, Piemonte
    ITALIANO
    Thank you very much Katie. :)
     
  5. rafanadal Senior Member

    Asti, Piemonte
    ITALIANO

    Very kind of you se16teddy to link the website.
    Had a look at it. It's quite long though.
    I'll check it over tonight when I have more time.
    Thanks a lot
    :)
     
  6. katie_here Senior Member

    England
    England/English
    Thanks, Teddy for that link. I think it explains why I'm not sure about the word "hopefully" at the beginning of a sentence. Basically hopefully should really be "I hope" and the second sentence should really say..

    The bruise on my head will hopefully go down shortly. because it's an adverb and needs to go with the verb.

    I now understand better why "to boldly go where no man has gone before is wrong, and why it should be to go boldly"!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  7. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    The site I quoted asserts that this sentence means: The bruise on my head will go down shortly with hope in its heart.
     
  8. katie_here Senior Member

    England
    England/English
    Good!!! :)

    Can you "quote" it please, because all I get is about 20 browser pages opening up one after the other.

    Thankyou.
     
  9. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    I don't know what you mean by 'quote' - the link works for me!
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The point made on the linked site is, no doubt, that the adverb hopefully modifies the verb will go down. As the bruise is the subject of the verb, it is the bruise that the writer wishes to be full of hope.

    Unfortunately, there are still many people around who are likely to object to the use of sentence adverbs. Fortunately, they tend not to notice some of them, but for some reason hopefully has been singled out for particular ire.

    There are a few threads that discuss this specific issue, found by looking at the list of threads at the bottom of the WR dictionary entry hopefully.
    In one of them I quoted/paraphrased from Fowler. As I was just about to create this paragraph all over again, I think I'll quote it instead :)
     
  11. mplsray Senior Member

    As I understand the traditional objection to hopefully in a sentence such as "Hopefully, the bruise on my head will go down shortly," the adverb is objectionable because it supposedly means "filled with hope" or "in a hopeful manner," and such a meaning makes no sense in the example sentence.

    However, the use of the word hopefully in "The bruise on my head will hopefully go down shortly" is just as objectionable, under this way of reasoning, because the meaning is not "in a hopeful manner" in that sentence either. See the entry "hopefully" in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

    The objection to hopefully in the sense of "it is to be hoped" strikes me as just plain silly.
     

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