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Hello Teachers

To my ears that are accustomed to the Japanese language, "I have hoped that ..." sounds as if it were a grammatical construct. But it is likely native speakers rarely use such a construct.

Look at the results of my Google search, where I restricted the search domain only into "EDU".
I had hoped that .... 5,730 hits
I hoped that .... 8,940 hits
I hope that .... 437,000 hits
I am hoping that .... 15,000 hits
I have hoped/I've hoped that ....127 hits

If "I have hoped that" sounds odd to you, why does it so?

paco
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And 'I was hoping that' ... 10,600 hits.

But what I tried first, Paco, was 'I've/I have been hoping'-- this was a dismal failure (only 121 hits). I had thought that that would be more productive, because the durative expresses greater emotional attachment to the statement-- and it seems very natural to me. Your 'I am hoping that' rates second in your list.

'I have hoped' does not sound particularly strange to me; perhaps it is just that we most frequently 'hope' constantly in the simple timeless, or not at all.
Thank you for the quick reply.

"Hope" seems a very simple verb, but frankly I'm really far from confident about how to use the phrase "I hope that...." and its kin phrases. My grammar book (Egawa's "A New Guide to English Grammar) says we can use "hope" in the present perfect tense. Actually, however, "I have hoped that..." seems to be rarely used, as you know. So I am suspecting whether what the book is saying would be true.

Let me make a direct translation of a Japanese sentence that comes to my mind. That is,
"Since my school days, I have always hoped that I can(could?) speak English."
The original Japanese sentence sounds quite natural to me. But how about this translation? Is it natural as an English sentence? If it sounds unnatural to your ears, something might be wrong in my understanding the sense of the English verb "hope".

You seem to use "I had hoped that..." a lot, compared with "I have hoped that...". This may be because that construct has a special implication. Let me show you an example.
"I had hoped that I could speak in English fluently until I visited the States for the first time."
I think the past perfect construct "I had hoped that .,." here used implies the hope got fainted at the time of the first visit to the States. Is this interpretation right?

paco
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"Since my school days, I have always hoped that I could speak English." -- this sounds fine to me too, Paco.

It doesn't seem to be wrong, just rare. Overall, it is a mystery to me, but I have a feeling that the concept of 'hoping' is often connected with-- obviously-- 'a hope', that is, a discrete event rather than an ongoing desire inside.

The past perfect, 'had hoped', can easily represent a discrete event (prior to another past activity, of course), so we would say 'I had hoped that I would become a doctor, but I discovered that I couldn't stand the sight of blood.' This could easily apply to a single 'hope' that is retained, rather than a continuing feeling. In fact, if we want to express the continuing feeling, we are usually pressed into using the p.p. continuous: 'I had been hoping to meet Dr. Seuss for many years, when suddenly he walked in the door'-- thus showing that the hope was active and omnipresent to the speaker.

These contrasting uses are not so effective in present tenses, because the present perfect has other more common uses than to separate discrete events from ongoing ones. 'I have hoped' seems primarily to suggest the 'continuing from indefinite past to now' interpretation, and 'I have been hoping' seems more to suggest the 'heightened interest/politeness' factor. These interpretations are common in the present tenses, but not so in the past tenses-- I guess because the past is completed fact, and not so affected by courtesy.

Re your hope getting faint-- yes, and I think that is an example of the usual use of the past perfect, eh? The structure says that the hope happened first, then the U.S. visit occurred. It too seems suggestive of the idea that 'a hope' is often subconsciously considered a single event remembered rather than a continuing desire.

Does that get us anywhere?
Hello Mr. Micawber

Thank you for your detailed explanation.
The past perfect, 'had hoped', can easily represent a discrete event (prior to another past activity, of course), so we would say 'I had hoped that I would become a doctor, but I discovered that I couldn't stand the sight of blood.' This could easily apply to a single 'hope' that is retained, rather than a continuing feeling. In fact, if we want to express the continuing feeling, we are usually pressed into using the p.p. continuous: 'I had been hoping to meet Dr. Seuss for many years, when suddenly he walked in the door'-- thus showing that the hope was active and omnipresent to the speaker.

To me, this analysis of yours is very new and very interesting. I think I have taken "hope" for the present event and "hope" for the past event as the same thing. I was taught that "hope" is stative verb and therefore its progressive forms are used in polite requests by emphasizing the temporariness of the state of "hoping". But now I understand it is a story only about "hope" for the present event. When you use "hope" in talking about a past event, you use rather the progressive form rather than the simple form to emphasize its durativeness. This kind of distinctive usages depending on tenses (or times) look complicated and a bit irrational for learners like me, but it should be true. I should learn it. Anyway thank you for giving me this new knowledge.

paco
Interestingly, "I have always hoped" googles 7500, vs 11000 for "I had always hoped".

MrP
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Hello everybody,

I'm going to revive this topic unjustly buried for a long time Emotion: smile. I have a question about the verb "think" in the situation as described in previous posts for the verb "hope" .Surely that people, whatever language they speak, often face situations in which their beliefs has just proved to be wrong  i.e situations " I have thought it is ..but it has just proved otherwise" . I would expect that in the english language its the present perfect that I should use to describe the situation " from indefinite point in the past up to now " but I have rarely if ever met any example of "have thought" for this situation and many examples of  "thought" in its place (Searching Google and BNC has returned many examples of "have thought" in combination with modals like "would" , "should" , "might" etc but very small number of "have thought" alone). For example , if I posted this question a year ago and you didn't answer to it, what would I say now, after a year of waiting, given that I've never lost hope of getting the answer in the meantime :

I have thought you would respond ?

or

I thought you would respond ?

Thanks for your answers
Velimirunjustly buried for a long time
That's a matter of opinion! Emotion: smile
Velimir" I have thought it is ..but it has just proved otherwise"
Right. It seems that with many mental stative verbs the present perfect is not used as expected.
Velimirwhat would I say now, after a year of waiting, given that I've never lost hope of getting the answer in the meantime
I thought you would respond.
I thought you would have responded (by now).

The present perfect typically goes with always, and not with the would have construction.

I've always thought you would respond. [Unlike the examples above, this suggests 'ever-present thought' -- never stopped thinking ...]

The same patterns are used for the verbs believe, hope, fear, be afraid.

CJ
Thanks a lot for the answer CalifJim,

Is the adverb "always" necessary in the sentence:

"I've always thought you would respond"

or we can imply its meaning without including it in the sentence?

Best regards
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