1/6/18 The Meaning of Expect

We use expect to say that we believe that something will happen. We use expect in the following main patterns:

  • expect + object → She’s expecting a second baby.
  • expect + to-infinitive → We expect to move into our new flat next week.
  • expect + that-clause → We expected that the guest house would have much better rooms.
  • expect + object + to-infinitive → The company expects her to be early.

Expect also means ‘think’ or ‘suppose’. When expect has this meaning, we do not commonly use it in the continuous form:
A: Will he have bought the necklace by now?
B: I expect so.
Not: I’m expecting so.

expect that he’ll be wearing that bright blue shirt.
Not: I am expecting …

  • When we expect that something will not happen or is not true, expect is most commonly used in a negative form:

don’t expect she will pass the exam. (preferred to I expect she won’t pass …)

  • We don’t use wait or wait for to say that we believe that something will happen. We use expect:

People usually expect holidays to revive their spirits and renew their souls and they often succeed in achieving that target.

Not: People usually wait for holidays to …

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