How to Talk about Hopes in English
I hope you’re ready to learn a good way to talk about your plans and dreams for the future, because that’s what we’ll talk about today!
This post is actually a two-in-one post, since it has an explanation about grammar and a Song of the Week. I chose this week’s Song of the Week because we used it in class. We’re talking about hopes and wishes and how to express them.
Even though the lyrics of this song are a little difficult to understand, the song has some good examples of hope phrases. We’ll review them in a moment, but first let’s have our Song of the Week, “Hope You Never” by Tom Petty. Watch the video and check out the lyrics:
Now, you probably know what the word “hope” means. It’s like a desire, a wish, or a dream–in other words, something you want to happen. When we use the word “hope,” we’re usually talking about the future.
One easy way to talk about hopes is to just use the word “to” and a verb. For example, you can say:
I hope to lose weight.
Sharon hopes to meet her favorite singer.
Those are OK, but there’s another really common structure that you may not be familiar with. It’s a little more complicated, though. Look at the song lyrics again and see if you can notice it. Did you see these?
I hope you treasure your independence.
I hope you never fall in love with someone like you.
I hope you never give a damn.
In these examples, Tom Petty is using the present simple tense, but he’s talking about the future. Because hopes talk about the future, we generally use a form of the 1st conditional, which is for talking about realistic conditions and results in the future.
In this case, we’ll have two subjects and two verbs. The first subject does the hoping, and the second subject is the topic of the hope. Basically, this is the structure:
(Subject 1 – person with hope) (hope(s)) (that – optional) (Subject 2 – subject of hope) (verb – also present simple)
That may sound confusing, but here are the same examples using that structure:
I hope I lose weight.
Sharon hopes she meets her favorite singer.
You can probably notice the difference. It may seem strange, but it’s actually a really common way to talk about hopes, especially if we have hopes for other people. For example:
My mom hopes I lose weight.
Sharon hopes her favorite singer comes to her town soon.
Here the difference is clearer, and it’s also understandable why we have two subjects. The first one has the hope, and that hope is about the second person. Remember that we’re generally talking about the future, even though we’re using the present tense.
Also note that we also have to add “-s” or “-es” if either subject is he, she, it, or a name.
Let’s see a few more examples:
My students hope I don’t give them an exam tomorrow.
The President hopes the economy improves.
My dog hopes someone feeds him soon.
I hope you understand these examples.
Now it’s your turn: what are your hopes for the future? What do other people hope for you? Feel free to leave a comment and share.
Thanks for reading!
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