Is it correct to use future tense in the "that" clause of "hope"?

For example would you say I hope he gets better, but you not I hope he will get better?

Are there situations in which the verb following "hope" can be in the future tense, and other situations in which it cannot be, even if the hope actually relates to the future?

Basically is there a grammar rule for this stuff, or is it just a convention that is accepted by the native speakers?

  • Using an construction with explicit future time reference is not incorrect in a content clause complementing hope. Feb 5, 2018 at 19:05
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is founded upon a supposed "rule" which is in fact quite wrong. Feb 5, 2018 at 19:06
  • I think you might be confusing this with the rule that you don't use the future tense in the second clause of a future-tense sentence, e.g. "I will see him when he arrives" but not "I will see him when he will arrive".
    – stangdon
    Feb 5, 2018 at 19:41
  • 1
    @StoneyB Why don't you explain this thought in an answer, instead of closing?
    – Chaim
    Feb 5, 2018 at 19:54
  • 1
    @Chaim Because the question is based on a faulty premise. Feb 5, 2018 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


Strictly speaking, the subjunctive should be used in this case. I hope he get better. / I hope that he get better. It's more obvious in this form: That he get better is what I hope. That being said, in a conversation, I would say gets instead of get.

To answer your question, I hope that he will get better. is not incorrect. It's just longer.

  • 1
    What?! Hope doesn't take the 'subjunctive', which except in archaicizing literary use has been largely restricted to mandatives and irrealis conditionals for close to three centuries. Feb 5, 2018 at 21:19
  • @StoneyB: "In BrE the subjunctive mood is most likely to be found in formal writing or speech (apart from some of the formulaic uses listed in 3(c) above), and particularly (the so-called mandative subjunctive) after verbs such as demand, insist, pray, recommend, suggest, and wish; [...] But it is seldom obligatory, and indeed is commonly (?usually) invisible because the notionally subjunctive and the indicative forms are identical." - Burchfield, Robert (1998). The New Fowler's Modern English Usage. Oxford University Press. p. 748. Nov 29, 2018 at 4:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .