miércoles, 22 de octubre de 2014

ISE: Is the expression "I hope your answer" in a letter or email correct?

Usually, in your emails and letters you use a lot the expression “I hope your answer”. I told you that this expression is not correct in English but some of you said that other teachers told you it was correct.

Well, I’ve been investigating the topic and this is what I’ve found. I hope that it is useful for you:

"I hope your answer" is definitely bad English. "Hope" as a verb usually takes the preposition "for" when it's followed by a noun (as, for example, answer). (The farmers are hoping FOR rain. Jack is hoping FOR a pay increase. etc).
I hope FOR you answer is thus better -- although still not optimal. I might suggest here a better fit might be "I await your answer." or "I'm waiting for your answer" or "I'm looking forward to getting your answer" or, simply, "I want your answer" or even "I need your answer."

The reason is: when we use hope + for + something, it's usually implied that the "something" is desirable. But an "answer" could bring bad news, as well as good -- in other words, you might not get the answer you want! So, if you're going to use "hope for" + "answer" you logically would (likely) say something like "I'm hoping for an affirmative answer" or "I'm hoping for the answer I've always wanted." (or something similar; in another words, "answer" in such a case would probably be modified to explain WHY it's hoped for).


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