Hope is a concept that most students will be familiar, which will help them when they encounter the word in their readings. Hope may show up in texts in a variety of ways. For example, a character might hope to improve their situation or a hope to go on vacation.
Hope can be used as both a verb and a noun. When used as a verb, hope is the act of wanting something to happen and believing that it will. For example, perhaps a young boy hopes he will get ice cream for dessert. When used as a noun, hope can be used in two ways. First, hope can mean a feeling or sense that what is desired is possible. For example, a character might say, “It is my greatest hope that we achieve everlasting peace.” Second, hope can symbolize a person or thing around which expectations are centered or an inspirational figure. For example, in desperate need of rain, a farmer might think, “A big storm is our last hope if we are to have a harvest.”
The word hope originates from the Old English hoppian and the Middle English hopien and hopen. Although the word itself doesn’t have a Spanish cognate, several of its synonyms do. For example, to assume in Spanish is asumir and to desire is desear.
Hope covers a wide ranging emotion from a desperate desire to a passing goal. This is evident in the many common phrases and idioms for hope. For example, when someone hopes against hope they know it is unlikely that their wish will come true. Someone who is said to be full of hope, is someone who is full of potential in reaching their goals.