Which choices below do not sound natural when you want to say someone "be hopeful" using a hopegiving sentence:

  1. Don't lose your hope.
  2. Don't be hopeless.

Why Ngram doesn't show any particualr result for them?


Ngram doesn't like these because neither is particularly idiomatic. The common expression is

Don't lose/give up hope.

This remains the same even with specific subjects, or general observations

Don't lose hope that your mother will recover from her illness.

Don't lose hope in the future.

In general, we don't say "your hope", possibly because it's not a good thing to lose, no matter who the hope belongs to. However you can use a possessive to distinguish someone's personal feelings from those of other people. Ngram has this most frequently in a religious context

Don't give up your hope in God

You can express this same feeling in the negative (with "hopeless") but it's better to soften the expression, as "don't be X" is often perceived as criticism, not encouragement.

You shouldn't feel hopeless.

There is no need to be hopeless. There is always hope.

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  • 1
    @A-friend there's nothing wrong with "be hopeful". "Have hope" is another option. – Andrew Jun 15 '19 at 13:16
  • I have my answer now @Andrew. Thank you very much. Just one more point that I missed within my original question. May I ask you whether I can say: "Don't be discouraged/disappointed" in this sense? :) – A-friend Jun 15 '19 at 13:20
  • 1
    @A-friend Yes. There are many possible ways to express this sentiment. However, "discouraged" is not the same as "disappointed". – Andrew Jun 15 '19 at 13:28

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