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I watch the Friends show and there Rachel says the following phrase: 'I was kinda hoping that wouldn't be an issue.' She says it right after Monica says that Rachel didn't invite her to the wedding. I have several questions about this phrase:

  1. In the sentence hoping is a verb, isn't it? So it's the past continues tense, right? If yes is it normal way to use 'kind of' with verbs?
  2. If the first is true, so does it mean that Rachel before the wedding thought about Monica and decided not to invite her to the wedding, because it's not a big problem?
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I was kind of hoping

often pronounced

I was kinda hoping

and

I was sort of hoping

often pronounced

I was sorta hoping

are using an idiom in informal U.S. English that, in this case, means

I was mildly hoping without strongly expecting

This idiomatic use of "kind of" and "sort of" combined with a present participle of a verb indicate that the activity indicated by the verb is not pursued with vigor. The sense behind it is that the speaker is not even sure that the verb is the correct one. It is frequently used when there is no exact verb to distinguish the proper level of gradation.

Yes, I did like her, kind of loved her even

means that

I definitely liked her, and perhaps that liking shaded into a rather tepid love.

It is very common in American speech, but not in formal writing.

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  • I see. Thank you! – E. Shcherbo Oct 24 '19 at 17:50
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    We tend to say "I was hoping [something]" when we have just learned that [something] is not going to happen. – Michael Harvey Oct 25 '19 at 6:51

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