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timoteo 19th September 2010 05:12 PM

esperar : 'hope' and 'expect'
Suppose you're invited to a party and you want to say 'I hope that I can go' implying you're not sure. Then you could say:

Espero que pueda ir

Now suppose that you're pretty sure you can go and want to say 'I expect that I can go'. Would this be:

Espero que podría ir

I can't find an example of this. 'espero que' always seems to take the subjunctive. But in that case how do you signal the change in meaning of esperar from 'to hope' to 'to expect'?

Espero que puedas ayudarme :)

Beckett 19th September 2010 05:41 PM

Check out this thread for an explanation of esperar and why the use of the subjunctive with this verb is not always correct.

Regarding your question about how to indicate that you're expecting to do something rather than just hoping to, I'm not sure what to tell you since the verb esperar can have both meanings. Usually the context of the conversation, the interaction between speakers and the tone of voice, gives the subtle clues as to how strong the intention is and what the meaning is.

It's the same in English. Two different people can say the same exact words in the exact same phrase but convey completely different meanings depending on their intonation and body language.

If you want to give a neutral response to the invitation, just stick with "Espero ir a la fiesta."

If you want to give an unequivocal response indicating that you're 100% committed to attending the party, you could use the verb PENSAR + IR. (Pienso ir a la fiesta = I intend to go to the party. I plan to go to the party.)

If you can't go to the party and want a polite way of expressing that, "ojalá pudiera ir a la fiesta" = If only I could go to the party! (I wish I could go to the party...but I can't.)

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