admin's picture
Mar 23, 2015
Reputation: 10

I was hoping and I hoped What's the difference?


(I hoped) vs (I was hoping). What's the difference?

I can't remember to hear "I hoped..." in any movie I've watched. I always hear "I was hoping..." when people talk. Nevertheless I know both forms are correct in terms of grammar. So when "I hoped" is more proper then "I was hoping" and vice versa?

1 answers

admin's picture
Mar 23, 2015
Reputation: 10

In typical narratives about past events the past simple is the default tense. However, if the speaker wishes to convey the ongoing nature of the past action or state, then the past continuous can be used. For example:
In the days before the wedding I was hoping that the weather would be good.

You might also have encountered the past continuous more often because it is commonly used as a stock phrase to formulate a polite request.

I was hoping you could lend me some money

is more tentative than:
Can you lend me some money?

That is why I often hear "I was hoping" in typical movies, because characters just talk during the film and narratives are not so frequent as in books. I hope my thinking is correct and I'm pretty sure your thinking is correct. You could confirm your hypothesis by noting the context next time you hear the expression in a film or real life.

We have already answers to
28 questions
Popular users
hema's picture
CharlesMap's picture
palegoryFadly's picture
EdwardIdelt's picture
AnthonyJoup's picture
zvusalme3mlzzqw's picture
AaronCH's picture
Kevinbague's picture
Douglasgype's picture
fuldug's picture
Juliusbor's picture
ceeeellebb's picture
VahClarawl's picture
ElwoodMok's picture
Incipiohdh's picture
Ckupcdgic's picture