Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Friday December 13, 2013

esperar, verb:
to hope

When it means to hope, esperar is one of the classic cases of a Spanish verb which requires the subjunctive in the following clause.

Espero que le guste* el regalito.
I hope he likes the present.

Esperamos que no sea* nada grave.
We hope it’s nothing serious.

When the person doing the hoping and carrying out the action are the same, you don’t need to use the subjunctive. Instead, you use the infinitive:

Espera no llegar muy tarde.
He hopes he won’t arrive very late.

Note that if the first two examples above were phrased with the indicative, the meaning would be expect rather than hope.

Espero que le gustará el regalito.
I expect he’ll like the present.

Esperamos que no será nada grave.
We expect it won’t be anything serious.

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