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‘expect’ ‘hope’ or ‘wait’?

ESL learners often use expect and hope interchangeably. But the words expect, hope, and wait are all different in meaning.

Expecting is mental rather than emotional. The dictionary defines ‘expect’ as ‘to consider probable or certain.’ If I expect something to happen, I have good reasons to think it will in fact happen.

But hoping is more emotional. If I hope for something to happen, I would like it to happen, but I do not know whether it will.


I’m expecting a call from the HR Manager. I hope he has got some good news.

Rita is expecting a baby. She is hoping it will be a girl.

You use wait when somebody or something is late, or when you want time to pass so that something will happen.


I am expecting her to arrive at 9. I hope she is not late. I hate waiting for late comers.

You have to wait until school reopens to talk to the principal about this.




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