When do we use the word HOPE in the present continuous form? As we all know that certain verbs cannot be used in the present continous form. For instance; want, prefer, love, like, remember, understand, hope and so on. How come the below sentence is correct? I was hoping to meet you at 4 a.m., but my parents talked me out of it.
Another fantastic question! According to Michael Swan's Practical English Usage, 3rd ed., page 226, the only context in which hope is used in continuous form is specifically in past continuous form, and its function is to introduce a polite request. For example:
I was hoping you could lend me some money.
I was hoping you might be able to help me with my essay.
However, I hear and use hope in present continuous form all the time. To my ear, there is not much difference between I am hoping he comes to the party and I hope he comes to the party. Using the present continuous here makes the statement sound less formal, and to my ear it also focuses more intently on my present hopefulness, and suggests it is a temporary state, whereas the simple present version focuses more on the future event. But these are but nuances.
The larger issue behind your question is whether or not hope is an action or a stative verb, because only action verbs are supposed to be used in continuous form. I have not found any authoritative sources to back me up here, but it does seem that, when hope is used in continuous form, the focus is on present, ongoing and probably temporary mental activity, which could qualify hope in such contexts as an action verb. In other words, using hope in continuous form makes the statement all-about-me, whereas using it in simple present form makes the statement all-about-what-I-want-to-happen.
Perhaps other Grammarlyians will weigh in; if you want to be 100% safe, continue to use hope in simple present form only. But hope in present continuous form is becoming more and more common.
Here is a link to how common each expression is on Google: http://www.googlebattle.com/?domain=%22I+hope%22&domain2=%22I%27m+hoping%22&submit=Go%21. As you can see, I hope is much more commonly used than I am hoping.
I hope this helps. Or, should I say, "I am hoping this helps"? No, my first sentence sounds much more natural, because I am focused on the future helpfulness....
|link||edited Feb 21 at 12:18 Shawn Mooney Expert|
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