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Hope / Expect / Want / Would Like

Download this free English grammar lesson and learn how to use hope, expect, want and would like.

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Learn how to use Hope, Expect, Want & Would Like

We use hope to show a desire/wish that the speaker believes is or was possible.  We can use hope to talk about the Future or Past.  For Past, the outcome has usually already been determined.

Use hope to show future desire

I hope you (can) visit Key West next week when you’re visiting Florida.

I hope to have visited Key West by the time I go back to Italy.   

Use hope to show past desire

I hoped you would/could come to my party yesterday.

I was hoping you would/could visit Key West last week.

I had hoped you would/could let me borrow your computer last week.

I had hoped to visit Key West last month, but I didn’t have time for a vacation.   

We can also use expect, want, and would like to show a desire or wish.

Expect is used to show something that is desired and is considered probable or certain.

I expect to do my homework before dinner.  I expect you to do your homework.

I *expected you to do your homework.   (Your homework was not done.)

*NOTE: Expect cannot be used to speak about yourself in the past.

Want is used in common speech.

I want to do my homework.    I want you to do your homework.

I wanted to do my homework.  I wanted you to do your homework.  (Your homework was not done.)

Would like is used in polite and formal speech.

Present / Future: I would like to do my homework. I would like you to do your homework.

Past:  I would have liked to do my homework. I would have liked you to do your homework. (Your homework was not done.)

After want and would like, we do not normally use that.

Don’t say:  “I would like that you help me.”   “I want that you help me.”

Do say: “I would like you to help me.  I want you to help me.”

After want / would like, we use a (noun/pronoun) + to + verb.

When we speak we usually contract all forms of would, unless we are emphasizing or stressing the point.  However, we do not use this with would not.  We can say “I wouldn’t”, but not “I’d not.”

I’d, he’d, she’d, you’d, it’d, we’d, they’d.   

We can even contract when the noun ends in a consonant sound.  We do this by adding a little schwa sound.  The schwa sound is generally written like this in phonetic symbols; ə. The schwa sounds like “uh”, as the vowel sound in “the.”

Example: America’d, Hunter’d, Scott’d. (Please note: This is not used in formal writing.)

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