Thursday, 10 November 2011

Tell Me When You Hope...

SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Your brother is mentioned in the conversation. The other person knows your brother is coming, but does not know when. He/ she wants to say to you: "tell me when you expect your brother to arrive". 

He/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime cuando esperas que llegue tu hermano


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
Dígame cuando espera (usted) que llegue su hermano
  


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 the timing of your brother's arrival. There are a variety of ways to reply. Maybe you want to say that you:
  • Hope that he arrives without delay/ on time
  • Hope that he arrives on a given date
  • Hope he arrives before or after a given time

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Espero que llegue sin retraso (I hope he arrives on time)*
  • Espero que llegue el martes (I hope he arrives on Tuesday)*
  • Espero que llegue antes de las 10:00 (I hope he arrives before 10:00 o'clock)*

Now you should practise replying to:
Dime cuando esperas que llegue tu hermano

*Please see grammar below


Grammar-Subjunctive
Please note the use of subjunctive mood in expressions of a hope, such as:
  • "I hope {something happens}"
  • "I hope {you do something}"
  • "I hope {he/ she does something}"
  • "I hope {they do something}"

In order to express this in Spanish, you could use:
  • "espero que <subjuntivo>..." 

An example of this is the reply above: "espero que (mi hermano) llegue el martes".

Some other examples of expressions of this type in Spanish are:
  • Espero que haga sol (I hope it is sunny)
  • Espero que descanses (I hope you rest)
  • Espero que Pedro me llame (I hope Pedro calls me)
  • Espero que sigamos juntos (I hope we stay together)
  • Espero que me digáis algo (I hope you say something to me)
  • Espero que Pedro y María estén bien (I hope Pedro and María are well)

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



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