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Short answers: I hope so - I hope not
Today, we're going to study a construction which is quite similar to a French one. They're very common, and therefore useful... especially in conversation. The listener is reacting to a part of what the speaker said, very briefly and expressing a personal opinion, such as: "I hope so!", "I suppose not!", "I'm afraid so! These are "tags", very short and snappy answers, expressing spontaneous opinions.
After verbs expressing: an opinion : to think, to believe, to doubt, to hope, to say, to tell
a supposition : to suppose, to expect, to assume, to guess
and the expression : I'm afraid = I'm sorry to tell you (= a polite way to introduire a negative information.)
This construction is IMPOSSIBLE after the verbs: to know/ to see, to remember.
Is your friend going to stay here a whole week?
The expected complete answer would be: Yes, I suppose he's going to stay for a whole week. / No, I hope he's not going to stay for a whole week , which is much too long, and is never heard... 😀
In fact, it's possible to shorten the answer - which then becomes more natural - in:
Is your friend going to stay here a whole week? Yes, I suppose he is. / No, I hope he isn't. and more reduced still (and more idiomatic) with:
Yes, I suppose so / No, I hope not.
These are the constructions which are expected in this lesson:
In the negative form, you must always use:
- I hope not // I'm afraid not // and: I don't think so. You can say: I suppose not or I don't suppose so
- Do you think it's going to rain? I hope not (and not: * I don't hope so)
In the negative form, two constructions are possible with to think, to believe, to suppose, to expect:
- I don't think so, I don't suppose so (everyday English)= I think not, I suppose not ( more formal language and stronger negation).
To tell et to say are more often used with the first construction. To hope and the expression I'm afraid can only be built with the second construction, with "not".
- Are they coming? I hope not (= I hope they aren't.)
There you are! Ready for the test! For this exercise, you'll have to type the answers on your keyboards... I give you the FORCE!
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