Please compare the following two sentences. 1.I hope your father will get well. 2.I hope your father gets well.

 I came to know that some/many native English speakers prefer Sentence 2 to Sentence 1.

 I understand that you should use the auxiliary verb "will" when talking about the future. What is the logic of choosing Sentence 2? Are there any native English speakers who prefer Sentence 1?

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    If you "understand that you should use the auxiliary verb 'will' when talking about the future", then your understanding is incorrect, I'm afraid. The auxiliary verb will may be used to refer to the future; but it is not the only way to do so. There are many others, and the simple present tense is one of the most common, especially in a subordinate clause. It is not "the future tense"; there is no future tense in English. No matter what the textbook says. Sorry about that. Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


The verb hope is quite flexible. It's typical to use the present tense with hope to give a future meaning.

  • "I hope that you have a good time," for example.

This is just like if in the first conditional -

  • "I'll call you if anything happens."

But it's also possible to use will in certain contexts.

  • "I hope that you will be able to finish on time."

In almost all cases, the will could be replaced by the present tense with little or no difference in meaning, but it doesn't always work the other way round.

  • "I hope that he has his passport with him." -

cannot always be changed to:

  • "I hope that he will have his passport with him."

as the first one has both present and future meaning, but the second one can only have future meaning.

So hope + the present tense is rather more flexible than hope + will, but sometimes they mean the same thing.

Some more examples...

  • "They hope that you will remember your promise"

is almost the same as:

  • "They hope that you remember your promise", but -

  • "I hope that you agree to the proposal" -

might mean that you've already seen or heard the proposal, but if someone says:

  • "I hope that you will agree to the proposal" -

it is less likely that you've seen it already and perhaps the proposal may not have been made yet.

The present continuous can also be used with hope and here the difference between present and future is even stronger. If someone says:

  • "I hope that you're thinking of me"...

it clearly means that they hope the person is thinking of them right now, but -

  • "I hope that you will be thinking of me"

obviously refers to some time in the future.

So to sum up, it's probably better to use hope + present tense, as this is more flexible, and only ever use hope + will if you are very clear that your meaning is in the future.

Source: BBC Learning English


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