Expecting is a kind of thinking: it is not an emotion. If I expect something, I have good reason to think that it will happen.
- We expect to leave here in three years.
I’m expecting a phone call from John today.
Hoping is more emotional. If I hope for something, I want it to happen, but I am not sure that it will happen, and I can do nothing about it.
- I hope she writes to me soon.
I hope they find that poor woman’s child.
I hope we don’t have a war.
Looking forward is an emotion about something that is certain to happen. If I look forward to something, I know it will happen, I feel happy about it, and I would like the time to pass quickly so that it will happen soon.
- He’s looking forward to his birthday.
I’m really looking forward to going to Morocco in June.
I look forward to hearing from you.(common formula at the end of a letter)
Waiting happens when something is late, or when you are early for something. I wait for something that will probably happen soon; I am conscious of the time passing (perhaps not quickly enough); I may be angry or impatient.
- I hate waiting for buses.
It’s difficult to wait for things when you’re three years old.
‘What’s for supper?’ Wait and see. ‘
Wanting is emotional, like hoping. But if I want something to happen, I may be able to do something about it.
- What do you want to do when you leave school?
I’m going to start saving money. I want a better car.
Wishing is wanting something that is impossible, or that doesn’t seem probable — being sorry that things are not different.
- I wish I could fly.
I wish I had more money.
I wish she would stop singing.
Wish + infinitive can also be used like want (but wish is more formal).
I wish to see the manager.
- I’m expecting a phone call from Mary.
I’ve been waiting all day for Mary to phone — what does she think she’s doing?
I expect it will stop raining soon. ( = I think it will stop.)
I hope it stops raining soon. ( = it may stop or it may not; I would like it to stop.)
I wish it would stop raining. ( = it doesn’t look as if it’s going to stop;
I feel sorry about that.)
I hope you have a good time in Ireland.(I can’t do anything about it.)
I want you to have a good time while you’re staying with us. (I’ll do what I can to make things nice for you.)
I expected her at ten, but she was late.
I waited for her until eleven, and then I went home.
- [expect + object expect (+ object) + infinitive expect + that- clause expect so]
I’m expecting a phone call.
I expect to see her on Sunday.
I’m expecting him to arrive soon.
I expect (that) he’ll be here soon.
‘Is Lucy coming?’ ‘I expect so.’
[hope for + object hope + infinitive hope + that- clause hope so]
I’m hoping fora letter from Eric.
I hope to go to America next month.
I hope that they get here soon.
‘Are the shops open tomorrow?’ I hope so.’
[look forward to + object look forward to… -ing]
I’m looking forward to the holidays.
I look forward to hearing from you.
wait and.. .
wait for + object
wait + infinitive
wait for + object + infinitive]
‘Can I go now?’ ‘Wait.’
‘What’s for supper?’ ‘Wait and see. ‘
I’m waiting for a phone call.
I’m waiting to hear from John.
I’m waiting for John to phone.
[ want + object want(+ object) + infinitive]
I want a new car.
I want to go home.
I want him to go home.
[wish(+ object) + infinitive wish + clause]
I wish to see the manager. (formal)
I wish him to look at this, (formal)
I wish I had more money.