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Is 'I hope you enjoyed.' grammatically correct? I have heard it used many times by non native speakers. However it sounds odd to me if there is nothing after 'enjoyed'. Such as I hope you enjoyed it/the party.

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Apart from the rather trite imperative "Enjoy!" spoken by a waiter/serving person as they deliver your meal, enjoy is normally a transitive verb (many waiters say "Enjoy your meal").

Native speakers today never use it intransitively in contexts like "That was fun! I really enjoyed!", which needs to be reflexive (re-using the subject as object) to be valid: "I really enjoyed myself!".

  • In other words: "enjoy", being transitive, needs a direct object, you have to "enjoy" something - such as "it" or "your meal". The Oxford Learner's Dictionary only lists one case of using "enjoy" intransitively: the (informal) "Enjoy!" exclaimation. [oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/enjoy] – zeel Apr 3 '15 at 18:07
  • @zeel: Indeed. But you have reminded me to edit in the reflexive usage (which effectively only occurs because we require this verb to be transitive). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 3 '15 at 18:16
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This is a sentence fragment in that it does not express a complete thought. The verb enjoyed needs a noun that serves as its direct object to complete the thought, eg "the party."

Ironically, elimination of "you enjoyed" would make a complete sentence, expressing the thought "I hope."

  • Would respectfully ask for the reason behind the downvote. – David W Apr 3 '15 at 17:17
  • It's my downvote. Because to all intents and purposes, without an actual or contextually strongly implied object, I hope is just as unnatural as I enjoy. I also don't see that calling OP's error a "sentence fragment" is a particularly useful way of looking at things. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 3 '15 at 18:20
  • Thank you for taking the time to explain the vote. I will defend the "fragment" comment as being on-point with regard to the OP's specific initial question - is the sentence grammatically correct - which it is not. That is specifically because it is a sentence fragment, which is the legitimate grammatical term. I'm not sure how to better characterize it. As for the other observation, we will have to agree to disagree on the contextual ambiguity of "I hope" vs "I enjoy." It is legitimate to hold a non-specific hope, as in to convey general optimism. Enjoy, on the other hand, begs a recipient. – David W Apr 3 '15 at 20:35
  • As a matter of fact, OED's first definition 1a for enjoy is intr. To be in joy, or in a joyous state; to manifest joy, exult, rejoice. But in ordinary speech today, if there's negligible context to imply some specific "object" (target of the verb) it really has to be explicitly stated for both verbs. Suppose you call someone up out of the blue and ask "What are you doing right now?". Neither "I'm enjoying" nor "I'm hoping" sound like credible responses to me. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 3 '15 at 20:51
  • As I noted previously, we will have to agree to disagree. Neither of us will persuade the other differently. I stand behind my answer. – David W Apr 3 '15 at 21:38

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