hopefully / thankfully

You can say hopefully about something you want to happen (but you do not know if it will happen or not). Say thankfully about an established fact.

Both “hopefully” and “thankfully” can be used in the past, present, or future – but thankfully is about confirmed facts and hopefully is about unconfirmed facts:

Future:

  • Hopefully, this project will be finished by the end of the month. or ( I’m not sure if it will be finished by the end of the month or not, but I want it to)
  • Thankfully, this project will be finished by the end of the month. or ( The project will definitely be finished by that time)

    Present:

  • Hopefully, there isn’t a long line at the bank. or ( I am not yet at the bank, so I don’t know if the line is long or not)
  • Thankfully, there isn’t a long line at the bank. or ( I am at the bank now, and I can see that the line is not long)

    Past:

  • Hopefully, George got home safely last night. or ( I don’t know if he got home safely or not)
  • Thankfully, George got home safely last night. or ( I know for a fact that George is OK – perhaps he called me and confirmed it)