Expect vs. Hope – Confusing English Vocabulary Lesson

Michael Confusing Words, Grammar, Vocabulary 8 Comments

It’s been really cold here in New York these days. I hope the rest of the winter is not so cold. The weatherman said they are expecting the cold weather to continue for a while. I never expected we would have such cold weather. I hope spring comes quickly!

Today, let’s have a look at expect and hope. Do you know the difference between them?

We use expect when we believe something will happen. There is a logical reason for expecting something, such as a schedule, trend, or habit:

  • I’m expecting to see Jack today. He always comes to visit on Sundays. (habit)
  • Her flight is expected to arrive at 2:00. (schedule)
  • All of his movies are great, so I expect this new one to be great too. (trend)
  • We are expecting a big snowstorm tomorrow. (trend)

On the other hand, we use hope when we would like something to happen. There is an emotional reason for hoping for something.

  • I hope to see Jack today. He’s always busy on Sundays, but if he can come to visit, it would be great!
  • I hope her flight is not late. I’m so excited to see her.
  • His last few movies were terrible. I hope this one is good.
  • I hope we don’t have a lot of snow tomorrow. I need to drive to Boston.

So expect comes from what we know (reality) and hope comes from what we would like:

  • I expect the boss to be angry about this month’s sales, but I hope he doesn’t fire anyone.
  • We are expecting a snowstorm tomorrow, but I hope it is not so strong.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!