>So I have a little problem

>I have always struggled with the Spanish verb “esperar.” It has way too many meanings in English. It means “to hope,” “to wait,” “to expect,” and “to look forward to.”

Right now I’m struggling with differentiating between “to hope” and “to expect.” While these two words in English are somewhat related, they have very different connotations. With expectation, you are pretty sure something is going to happen, whether you want it to or not. With hope, there is the desire for a preferred outcome.

Okay, so my story is that I want to express hope. I want to tell someone that I’m hoping that something will happen, but I don’t want them to misinterpret and think that I am expecting it to happen. Because I’m not necessarily expecting anything, just hoping.

How the blazes to I do that in Spanish? Is it assumed if I say “Espero que pase tal cosa” it means hope? I don’t think so. I think it could be mis-understood as meaning that I expect that pase tal cosa. ARGH! I really don’t want to say “quiero que pase tal cosa” because using “want” is too strong. I also don’t want to say “deseo” because I hate that word (except in very specific circumstances).

I just wish that “esperar” had only three meanings. If we could just nix the “expect” part that would be great, because I think it’s easy enough to distinguish between the “waiting” “looking forward to” and “hoping”.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m sure most of you reading this blog have better Spanish than I do. Especially given the fact that I’ve been away from total immesion for almost a year, and have been away from class participation in Spanish literature classes for six months.

I could just cop out and say it in English, but I am really making a concious effort not to do that. In fact, I’m really proud because last night when talking to F. the only thing I said in English was “I’m sorry.” Go me!


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