I hope the wasp doesn't sting Daddy.

MrRise

Senior Member
Russian
Hello, I'm watching Peppa Pig and there was a wasp following Daddy Pig, and while it was following him, Peppa said: "I hope the wasp doesn't sting Daddy".

The question is: Why does she say it in Present tense? I thought if a wasp will sting somebody, it will do it once, no more. But does Peppa hopes that if the wasp sting Daddy Pig once, it will do second and maybe third time? Umm... I hope it won't do it even once!
 
  • ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    For me, "doesn't sting" (present) and "won't sting" (future) have/convey the same meaning: Peppa meant that she hoped the wasp wouldn't sting daddy even once. But I think you're confusing two insects: Bees can only sting once, but wasps can (and do! - it's happened to me) sting more than once.
     

    MrRise

    Senior Member
    Russian
    This could refer to just a single sting. Why do you think Peppa is thinking of the possibility of multiple stings?
    Because I think present tense refers to actions happening in the present regularly, for instance: I go to school, I do it pretty much every day, you know. Not once time, but here?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Because I think present tense refers to actions happening in the present regularly, for instance:
    No, not necessarily. Whether it refers to repeated or habitual actions or not is shown by the context. In this case, Peppa was hoping that, as ain'ttranslationfun said, the wasp wouldn't sting her father even once.
     

    MrRise

    Senior Member
    Russian
    For me, "doesn't sting" (present) and "won't sting" (future) have/convey the same meaning: Peppa meant that she hoped the wasp wouldn't sting daddy even once. But I think you're confusing two insects: Bees can only sting once, but wasps can (and do! - it's happened to me) sting more than once.
    You mean, if I say: I hope I will pass the exam and I hope I pass the exam - there's no difference between them?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "I hope I will pass the exam" means the same as "I hope I pass the exam" because the subject is first person.

    But "I hope the wasp won't sting Daddy" is more ambiguous. In general "I hope ... will ..." expresses something other than simple futurity. Hoping someone or something will do something is not generally the same as hoping they or it does do it.
     

    MrRise

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "I hope I will pass the exam" means the same as "I hope I pass the exam" because the subject is first person.

    But "I hope the wasp won't sting Daddy" is more ambiguous. In general "I hope ... will ..." expresses something other than simple futurity. Hoping someone or something will do something is not generally the same as hoping they or it does do it.
    So if there is I hope in the sentence it already has future meaning?
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So if there is I hope in the sentence it already has future meaning?
    No. The hoping is in the present, though the stinging might be in the future.

    In main clauses we often (certainly not always) feel the need to use special forms (modals, quasi-modals, maybe others) to trumpet that we are thinking of the future not the present. But in subsidiary clauses the rules are different: we often (I think we usually, except for indirect speech and thought) don't use a modal verb or other form to specially signal futurity.

    As the example of #1 shows, this is not the only main clause tense/aspect principle that evaporates in the subsidiary clause. In the subsidiary clause the simple present tense can refer to a single incident.

    English does not have a proper future tense. As a very general rule (probably too general to be much use for any practical purpose), the English present tense means "not past": it always excludes the past but does not necessarily exclude the future.

    Incidentally, I think it is a great idea to learn English from Peppa Pig. It cuts out fancy, often Latinate, literary or scientific grammatical and lexical forms and cuts the language down to the fundamentals that we learn at our mother's knee.
     
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    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    A grammar might state the official rule. But it seems to me that in general, in dependent clauses, future events are expressed with the present tense.

    When I go to the store, I will buy a new pair of shoes. We will go to the beach tomorrow, if it's not raining.
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    So if there is I hope in the sentence it already has future meaning?
    No:

    A: "I fell over that brick!"
    B: "I hope you didn't hurt yourself"

    In English, the present tense can be used to express the near future in cases of uncertainty or imagination (i.e. expresses a present in the future):"I hope I pass the exam" means the same as "I hope I will pass the exam" (see Forero above.)

    "If I pass the exam, I will become a doctor."

    "If I become rich as a result of my business, I'm buying you that car."
     

    MrRise

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No. The hoping is in the present, though the stinging might be in the future.

    In main clauses we often (certainly not always) feel the need to use special forms to trumpet that we are thinking of the future not the present. But in subsidiary clauses the rules are quite different: we often (maybe even usually) don't use a modal verb other form to specially signal futurity.
    So you talk when it's informal style:
    I hope I pass the exam. And I don't know other examples. But if it's formal, we need to use modal verb?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    So you talk when it's informal style:
    I hope I pass the exam. And I don't know other examples. But if it's formal, we need to use modal verb?
    No. In fact, I think modal verbs are more common in informal style.

    "I hope I will pass the exam", "I hope I pass the exam", and "I hope to pass the exam" have the same practical meaning because only one person is involved, but "I hope he will pass the exam" involves two people, and one's will may not match the other's hope. In other words, "will" is not needed to express futurity per se but can be used to express disposition.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So you talk when it's informal style:
    I hope I pass the exam. And I don't know other examples. But if it's formal, we need to use modal verb?
    I did not say anything about formal and informal style, and I don't think it is relevant to what I said. The train leaves at six tomorrow is not marked as formal or informal.
     

    MrRise

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Well, it's common to say verbs in present tense, but interlocutor already knows you're talking about future, by the context or using words such as tomorrow and certain date?

    I hope I pass exam tomorrow. Her train leaves at six tomorrow. I hope the wasp does not sting Daddy. There's no time indicated, but we see that Dadddy Pig's following by the wasp right now, so why not to use present tense to show future aftermaths?

    If my friend knows of my coming tomorrow, but I have some problems with, can I say him: "Oh, sorry, I come later (= I'll come later)?" Perhaps my examples are bad, but.. if it's right it explains me all.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm sorry but I'm getting there later now is fine. It means that new plans and arrangements are in place.

    We probably would not use the simple present tense here because it implies that I have no control over the arrangement.
     
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