Thursday, 10 November 2011

Tell Me When You Hope...

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


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

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

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:
© Copyright 2011 by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved
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