1

I try to speak about an expectation of some future event. For instance I am waiting for someone and I have a schedule and I believe that there is a high chance of that someone to be late.

I feel ok to say something like:

  1. I expect you to be late.

or

  1. I expect that you will be late.

Is there any particular difference? Does the tense i.e. present simple vs future simple have a meaning here?

What about the same pair in the same tense:

  1. I expect you to be late.

vs

  1. I expect that you are late.

Does it become much more different in the meaning from one another?

What about these:

  1. I expect that the weather will be calm tomorrow.

or

  1. I expect the weather will be calm tomorrow.

Are these ok? Is there any difference in the meaning?

  • I think that after "that" you are not supposed to use simple future, but maybe I'm wrong. So, although I would probably use it (maybe wrongly) in the everyday speech, I think that the second sentence is not grammatically correct. So, in that line of thought, the first one would be correct. The fourth sounds wrong as well. And for the last two, the omission of "that" is ok (in this case). – BioGeo Nov 24 '16 at 16:47
5

If you say

I expect you to be late.

you will be understood to mean that you want the listener to be late. I doubt this is what you mean.

If you say

I expect that you will be late.

you will be understood to mean that you have doubts that the person in question will be on time. This is probably what you mean.

If you say

I expect that you are late.

you will be understood not to have a very good grasp of English unless you are not at the event in question (late yourself, perhaps) and are talking on the phone with the listener expressing your doubt that that person, too, did not arrive on time. In other words, I doubt this construction gets used much at all, and you should avoid it if you mean "I expect you will be late."

As far as the last two, you're wondering whether it's OK to delete the conjunction that in a sentence. The answer is yes. Native speakers commonly do that all the time with no loss in comprehension.

I expect you will be late.

I expect the weather will be calm tomorrow

Both are fine, and are what you should commonly expect to hear in conversations between native speakers.

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  • Are you sure about the first sentence i.e. I expect you to be late? You are shifting my imagination. I hope for a confirmation on that particular statement from the community. Thanks for the detailed answer anyway. +1 – Zverev Evgeniy Nov 24 '16 at 17:34
  • As you point out, it takes a bit of contrivance to come up with a context where I expect you're late would be 100% natural. But although I'd probably always prefer If I invite him to dinner I expect he will arrive late, I don't have any real problem with If I invite him to dinner I expect him to arrive late, and it would probably never occur to me to think someone might interpret that as meaning I actually want him to be late. Do you see the "logical" interpretation in that context as seriously conflicting with the syntax? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Nov 24 '16 at 18:10
  • @ZverevEugene - Absolutely that's correct. "I expect you to X" means I am giving you instructions to do X. This is heard rather often: I expect you to be on time – that means, "Be on time or you're in big trouble!" I wouldn't expect to see "I expect you to be late," except in unusual circumstances. Maybe someone is setting up an inside job for a heist, and they tell the guard: "I know your shift starts at seven o'clock, but I expect you to be late. If you're there before 7:15, our plan won't work." – J.R. Nov 24 '16 at 20:22
0

I expect you to be late -> Ok. I expect that you will be late -> Ok

I expect that you are late -> I expect that you will be late.

Just my two cents ...

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  • What about the other variants? – Zverev Evgeniy Nov 24 '16 at 16:57

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