Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tell Me, When Do You Hope...?

SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about a trip you are about to make. The other person wants to know when you expect to arrive at your destination. At that point, he/ she decides to say to you: "tell me, when do you hope/ expect to arrive?". 

He/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿cuándo esperas llegar?


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿cuándo espera (usted) llegar?
  


OUR TIP

You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in what your relative/ friend/ colleague says to you. Whether the other person uses a more/ less formal register is irrelevant to your choice of reply.

Your answer depends only on what you want to say about your expected arrival. There are a variety of ways to reply. Maybe you want to say that you:
  • Hope to arrive before/ after a specific time
  • Hope to arrive at a specific time
  • Hope to arrive before/ after a specific date
  • Hope to arrive at a specific date
  • Hope to arrive before/ after a specific event
  • Want to be home before/ after something happens

Here are some of examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Espero llegar antes de las 11:00 (I hope to arrive before 11:00)
  • Espero llegar a las las 9:00 (I hope to arrive at 9:00)
  • Espero llegar antes del lunes (I hope to arrive before Monday)
  • Espero llegar el viernes (I hope to arrive on Friday)
  • Espero llegar antes del fin de semana (I hope to arrive home before the weekend)
  • Espero llegar antes de que acabe la semana (I hope to arrive before the week ends)*
  • Espero llegar antes de que Pedro salga (I hope to arrive before Pedro leaves)*

Now you should practice replying to:
Dime, ¿cuándo esperas llegar?

*Please see grammar below


Grammar-Subjunctive
Please note the use of subjunctive mood in expressions of hope/ expectation, such as:
  • "I hope/ expect to {do something} before {something happens}"
  • "I hope/ expect to {do something} after {something happens}"
  • "I hope/ expect to {do something} before {someone does something else}"
  • "I hope/ expect to {do something} after {someone does something else}"
In order to express this in Spanish, you could use:
  • "espero <infinitivo>... antes de que <subjuntivo>..." 
  • "espero <infinitivo>... después de que <subjuntivo>..."
An example of this is the reply above: "espero llegar antes de que Pedro salga".

Some other examples of expressions of this type in Spanish are:
  • Espero terminar antes de que acabe la semana (I hope/ expect to finish before the week ends).
  • Espero seguir con esto después de que acabe el año (I hope/ expect to continue with this after the year ends).
  • Espero descansar antes de que llegues (I hope/ expect to rest before you arrive)
  • Espero terminar antes de que Pedro me llame (I hope/ expect to finish before Pedro calls me).
  • Espero llegar después de que vosotros hayáis salido (I hope/ expect to arrive after you have left).
  • Espero desayunar antes de que Pedro y María se despierten (I hope/ expect to have breakfast before Pedro and María wake up).

Now you should practise this use of the subjunctive with some more sentences of your own



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