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ojalá versus esperar

Robert-C7

Robert-C7

Whenever I want to say "I hope" I tend to use ojalá rather than esperar. This is something I learned in high school Spanish. So, to say "I hope you are not tired", one can say either "ojalá que no estás cansado" or "espero que no estás cansado". What is the difference between these two expressions? Also, what type of word is "ojalá". It (ojalá) doesn't seem to be a verb.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Robert, Ojalá is an interjection which is from Arabic originally meaning : "God willing"and now means I hope. It is followed by a verb in a subjunctive tense. It can be used with or without the que following. Espero que requires the subjunctive as well. So, both mean "I hope". Saludos, Ricardo
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

Thank you for the explanation. I gather Alá=Allah so it makes sense that ojalá originally meant "God willing".
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

Can we revisit this post? I saw ojala and espero. I don't see any subjunctive here. I am guessing that maybe ojala is like the verb tener subjunctive of tenga, tengas, tenga. Where is the subjunctive after espero? Boy, this is getting more than the beginner level. But it has to be learned I guess.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

If I understand Ricardo's very interesting and enlightening post, ojalá is not a verb, but is followed by a verb that would be in the subjunctive. Am I correct in assuming that the Arabic word ojalá came into the Spanish language during the time when the Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula? In thinking about esperar in the context of hoping for something, the examples my dictionary provides are: espero que nos veamos pronto I hope to see you soon esperando recibir noticias tuyas looking forward to hearing from you espero que sí I hope so The subjunctive form does not seem to be used in these examples. My instinct is that since to hope for something is subjunctive by its very nature, the subjunctive tense is not used. But I have not yet studied the subjunctive, so my instinct may be way off base.
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

My original examples where incorrect because I did not use the subjunctive. My understanding now is that one uses the present indicative to make simple, straightforward statements about the present. One uses the subjunctive to make speculative statements or statements that might (or might not) happen. Indicative: no estás cansado (you're not tired) Subjunctive: espero que no estés cansado (I hope you're not tired) Subjunctive: ojalá no estés cansado (I hope you're not tired) Now, in Dan's examples, the first sentence "espero que nos veamos pronto" is using a present subjunctive conjugation of the verb 'ver". The second sentence uses an infinitive after esperando so no subjunctive is needed. Now if you look at the first sentence carefully, you will notice two independent clauses bound together with 'que', specifically "I hope" and "we see you soon". In English we tie these two clauses together with the word 'that' to get "I hope that we see each other soon". The first independent clause "I hope" causes the second independent clause "we see each other soon" to require the subjunctive. The last two sentences do not join two clauses but are simply a single clause. Now I fear I have really gotten into the weeds here. The more I study Spanish, the more I end up learning English grammar. I also believe that ojalá became part of the Spanish language when the Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Good explanations, Robert. I have likewise suspected that "ojalá" entered the Spanish Language with the Moor occupation. In a similar way, I suspect that the "jota" pronunciation was likewise introduced as I don't think that exists in the other Latin based languages (but is omnipresent in Arabic).
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Robert: thanks for the explanation. Dan
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

Copied from another forum: Similar to what you guys have been discussing. ecantado44 Ojalá has its meaning in various phrases. Translated one way, it nearly literally means "God willing". Most commonly, it is used to express hopefulness and wishing. In a sentence it is (as far as I know) almost always followed by "que", and then the following verb is conjugated in the subjunctive. Simple examples: Ojalá que tengas exito. (I hope you have success.) Ojalá que Susana le cuente la verdad al juez. (Hopefully Susana tells the truth to the judge). And the famous song lyrics "Ojalá que llueva café en el campo" (May it rain coffee in the country) However, note that coloquially, many Spanish speakers drop the "Ojalá" part of the construction and just use "que" followed by a verb in the subjunctive. The meaning is understood through context (Que tengas un buen día, o Que te vayas bien). That's about as much as I know! I don't use the word often, but it definitely has its place... Apr 13, 2011 | Edited by ecantado44 Apr 13, 2011
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

The "Que" + the subjunctive has the effect of "May" (as in your example above) but keep in mind that it can be dropped in some contexts: - ¡Viva el rey! - Long live the king! [Implied wish: May the king live long!] - Vive le roi!

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