hopefully

elinor

Senior Member
Mandarin
1. You are hopefully able to enter the college.
2. Hopefully, you are able to enter the college.

Q1. Is there any difference between the two sentences?
Q2. Does the word "hopefully" in #1 modify the adjective "able"?
Q3. Does "hopefully" in #2 modify the whole sentence?




Thanks.
 
  • Woofer

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    1. You are hopefully able to enter the college.
    2. Hopefully, you are able to enter the college.

    Q1. Is there any difference between the two sentences?
    Q2. Does the word "hopefully" in #1 modify the adjective "able"?
    Q3. Does "hopefully" in #2 modify the whole sentence?
    Q1. I find the two sentences to have identical meanings.
    Q2. I think most native speakers sense an implied comma there, even if it isn't spoken. You are hopefully able is parsed as You are, hopefully, able...
    Q3. I think yes, but honestly I can't decide. Hopefully doesn't function in the way typical adverbs do.

    Hopefully in this sense is one of those things that certain grammarians have railed against for years. Some people consider it to be bad grammar. Personally, I find #1 completely acceptable even in formal writing, although I think #2 requires the comma in writing (even though it is often spoken without a pause/comma).
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    The placement of the word hopefully does not in any way change the meaning of either phrase - both are exactly the same. However, I would say that it seems a bit strange to have a present tense there. I would naturally put a future tense in this type of phrase:
    Hopefully, you will be able to enter the college
    You will hopefully be able to enter the college
     

    Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    Hopefully in this sense is one of those things that certain grammarians have railed against for years. Some people consider it to be bad grammar.
    I used to be one of those people, largely because of the great influence of a person whose opinions I admired. However, I've come to the other side, putting "hopefully" with other words like "(un)fortunately", "happily", etc. The French even have a term for them: large modifiers.
     
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