9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hohp-fuh-lee] /ˈhoʊp fə li/
in a hopeful manner:
We worked hopefully and energetically, thinking we might finish first.
it is hoped; if all goes well:
Hopefully, we will get to the show on time.
Origin of hopefully
1630-40; hopeful + -ly
Usage note
Although some strongly object to its use as a sentence modifier, hopefully meaning “it is hoped (that)” has been in use since the 1930s and is fully standard in all varieties of speech and writing: Hopefully, tensions between the two nations will ease. This use of hopefully is parallel to that of certainly, curiously, frankly, regrettably, and other sentence modifiers. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hopefully
  • Let's engage in a spirited defense of the word hopefully.
  • Most likely, other people are having the same problems you are, so hopefully somebody found a remedy.
  • It's the only way they'll be able to bring their economy back up and hopefully keep it there.
  • hopefully such a parsimonious theory can be found in this case.
  • hopefully the range of communities we've exhibited has managed to elide some of those distinctions.
  • We have screened bottom boards, so that the mites hopefully fall through to the ground and don't crawl back into the hives.
  • It will hopefully answer some burning questions that keep geologists up at night.
  • During the past week leaders of business and financial thought discussed the return to normal conditions hopefully.
  • Sorry for the length, hopefully this fits the topic of research questions.
  • Since then, events have unfolded more hopefully than anyone could have predicted.
British Dictionary definitions for hopefully


in a hopeful manner
(informal) it is hoped: hopefully they will be here soon
Usage note
The use of hopefully to mean it is hoped used to be considered incorrect by some people but has now become acceptable in informal contexts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hopefully

1630s, "in a hopeful manner," from hopeful + -ly (2). As a replacement for the admittedly awkward it is to be hoped that attested from 1932 but avoided by careful writers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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