Even if HOPE can take THAT clause like this, "I hope that you're okay", why can't it take any direct object?, but only used with FOR like this, "We are hoping for good weather on Sunday."

For what reason, can't hope take any direct object like this?, "We are hoping good weather on Sunday." In my opinion, it is acceptable because the aim of their hope is the good weather.

If you can explain it logically or semantically. Help me to understand it.

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    I don't know if it will be helpful, so I'll just post a comment, but the logic that works for me is that one can only hope a hope. That's the only simple noun hope can take as a direct object. "Good weather" is not a hope, and the verb isn't enough to turn it into one, all by itself. In my possibly wacky opinion, the implication is this, "We are hoping (a hope) for good weather on Sunday." – joiedevivre Dec 22 '17 at 1:21
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    @joiedevivre it is another interesting explanation. it is helpful for me. – Glittering river Dec 22 '17 at 1:28
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    I'm glad. Since it helped, the potential ellipsis also holds with that clauses and infinitives: I hope (a hope) that you're okay and I hope (a hope) to live a long life. It also works with thinking thoughts, dreaming dreams, and wishing wishes. :) – joiedevivre Dec 22 '17 at 1:58
  • @joiedevivre I got it, it makes clear. – Glittering river Dec 22 '17 at 2:13

Verbs can take arguments, such as objects and complements.  Verbs can also take adjuncts, such as adverbial modifiers. 

We are hoping for good weather. 

Here, "are hoping" is intransitive.  There is no object and no complement.  There is the subject "we", the verb "are hoping" and the prepositional phrase "for good weather".  This prepositional phrase acts like an adverbial modifier. 

They are hoping that it rains. 

Again, we can divide the clause into three obvious pieces.  There is the subject "they", the verb "are hoping" and the subordinate clause "that it rains".  This "are hoping" also has no object and no complement. 

We know that subordinate clauses like "that it rains" can be objects, but we also know that they can be modifiers.  Consider these two noun phrases: "our hope for good weather" and "their hope that it rains".  In these examples, the prepositional phrase and the subordinate clause each modify the noun "hope". 

If we consider them both to be modifiers when they appear in the noun phrases, why wouldn't we consider them both to be modifiers when they appear in the related full sentences? 

The verb "to hope" can't take any direct object.  That's it.  It can't take the noun phrase "good weather" as an object.  It can't take the prepositional phrase "for good weather" as an object.  It can't take the subordinate clause "that it rains" as an object.  When the verb "to hope" takes anything at all, it takes modifiers

In sentences like "I hope that you're okay" and "They are hoping that it rains", the subordinate clause is not some special kind of direct object.  It's not any kind of object.  It's an adjunct.  It's a modifier.  It's doing the same kind of job that an adverb typically does. 

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  • I got it what you address. Your approaching this problem is very logical. But why do all dictionaries define Hope as a transitive verb when used with to infinitive or that clause? In my opinion, there are two group, in which one group regards hope as a transitive verb, and the other group regards hope as a intransitive verb (like you) when used with to infititive or that clause. And would you please bring here the verbs kind of hope? – Glittering river Dec 21 '17 at 21:24
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    I agree. There are more than two competing theories. There's the one that makes sense to me, that "to hope" never takes an object but usually takes something like an adjunct of manner. There's the theory that "to hope" usually takes not exactly a direct object but rather some type of complement as its argument. Your guess as to what type of complement is as good as mine. There's the theory that "to hope" can take a direct object, but that it allows only certain kinds of constructions as direct objects, and simple noun phrases somehow don't qualify. Again, I can't guess how or why. – Gary Botnovcan Dec 22 '17 at 2:12

The meaning of hope is a wish or want that something will happen.

When you talk about something happening, some type of action is going to be part of that. So a verb is required.

Objects (nouns) don't do anything on their own in a sentence, they need a verb to express an activity.

So that's why any complement to hope will need to be a phrase with a verb and not just an object.

Interestingly you can use an infinitive as a complement or object to hope:

I hope to walk someday.

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In the example you give - “We are hoping for good weather on Sunday” - the hope isn't causing the weather, or having any impact on it. A direct object is generally, well, the recipient of some action. Similarly if you replace hope with think or wish.

To put it another way: what is the hope acting on?

There is some thing (a situation, or an event or action), and you could write that on its own, e.g. the weather will be good on Sunday. It may not actually exist yet; but you can describe it. Then, to say "I hope that ..." is like pointing to that thing and saying "I want that".

The "that" is like the verbal equivalent of pointing with your finger "over there".

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  • I have understood what you explain. Based on your thinking, then, how do you explain Hope can take a 'that clause' object ? – Glittering river Dec 20 '17 at 15:04
  • I am not French. – Glittering river Dec 20 '17 at 16:12
  • Yes, I deleted my comment when I realised that. I'm sorry. You are using a very Gallic name :) – Will Crawford Dec 20 '17 at 16:16
  • That is okay :) anyway, I am still so curious about that. Would you please explain how hope can take that clause or to infinitive, though hope cannot have any impact on it? – Glittering river Dec 20 '17 at 16:20
  • I'm trying to think of a good example! – Will Crawford Dec 20 '17 at 16:39

Hmm, I think the real answer to this question is simply, "Because that's not how the word is used." It's like asking, "Why can't I use the word 'llama' as a verb?" or "Why can't I use the word 'red' to mean a tall building?" One could research the origins and history of the word and how it has been used over time, but simply, some verbs take direct objects and some don't. In some cases this may sound reasonable to you, in other cases it won't. Unless you find yourself unable to express an idea that you want to express, or you are interested in studying the history of word usage and grammar, I don't see much point worrying about it.

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  • That is kinda what I was trying to get across ;o) – Will Crawford Dec 20 '17 at 19:24

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