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'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'?


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'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'? #1 (permalink) Mon Mar 17, 2008 14:11 pm   'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'?
 

Good evening all,

I often see people say 'hope this helps' at the end of a communication, especially when they are trying to answer other people's queries about computer problems.
It seems most people have already get accustomed to it, but it doesn't mean that they are correct:
My english teacher pointed out that both "hope this helps' and 'hope this help' are grammatically incorrect after she saw a classmate of mine writting the three words in his assignment, but she didn't explain in detail why they are wrong.

So, could you help explain why both "hope this helps' and 'hope this help'
are grammatically incorrect please?

Thanks!

Kitty
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hope this help or hope this helps? #2 (permalink) Mon Mar 17, 2008 19:38 pm   hope this help or hope this helps?
 

"Hope this help" is incorrect as 'this' is singular. The correct form in the plural (as far as I know) would be "Hope these help".

I am unsure as to why "hope this helps" would be incorrect as I, myself, often use this phrase. Perhaps it is simply incorrect because it should be "I hope this helps"

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hope this help or hope this helps? #3 (permalink) Mon Mar 17, 2008 19:43 pm   hope this help or hope this helps?
 

Hi Kitty,

'Hope this helps' is a contraction of: 'I Hope that this (what I have just done/said) is going to help you' and is perfectly acceptable. It is an expression I have used over the last 5 years on this site when I have given an answer to a contributor's question.

Alan
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hope this help or hope this helps? #4 (permalink) Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:23 am   hope this help or hope this helps?
 

Many thanks, Alan, and Theeny!
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But in this expression the verb is subjunctive! #5 (permalink) Wed Jan 21, 2009 22:31 pm   But in this expression the verb is subjunctive!
 

Hello all,

I am also used to write "Hope this helps". However, after some reasoning I find that it may be incorrect. The problem is that the verb "help" should be in the subjunctive form. Thus, the expression should be:

"Hope this help" or "I hope this help"

The subjunctive is justified since the fact that the help will be useful or not is unknown. I cannot prove that the help provided will really help the recipient. Thus, the subjunctive form is used instead of the present indicative.

Nevertheless, most people use the present indicative form instead of the subjunctive form. If you search through Google the expression "Hope this helps" it will draw about 9 million matches. While the expression "Hope this help" will draw about 600 thousand matches. Roughly, this shows how people prefer the present indicative form.

Best regards,

Luis R. Villegas H.
Mexico.
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Plural-subjunctive form. #6 (permalink) Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:27 am   Plural-subjunctive form.
 

One more thing,

If you decide to use the plural-subjunctive form of the expression, it will be the same as the plural-present indicative form.

Summarizing:

Singular-subjunctive form: "Hope this help" or "I hope this help"

Plural-subjunctive form: "Hope these help", or "I hope these help"

Best regards,

Luis R. Villegas H.
Mexico.
LuisVillegas
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hope this help or hope this helps? #7 (permalink) Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:55 am   hope this help or hope this helps?
 

Hi Luis,

It's probably also fine to say I hope this will help.

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You are right. #8 (permalink) Tue Jan 27, 2009 21:41 pm   You are right.
 

You are right, Torsten.

Google draws 1.5 million matches for "hope this will help" and 640 thousand matches for "I hope this will help". So, it seems people are also using those expressions. We can fairly expect them to be valid too.

Best regards,

Luis R. Villegas H.
Mexico.
LuisVillegas
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'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'? #9 (permalink) Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:09 am   'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'?
 

.
Quote:
The subjunctive is justified since the fact that the help will be useful or not is unknown. I cannot prove that the help provided will really help the recipient. Thus, the subjunctive form is used instead of the present indicative.

Your understanding of the subjunctive is faulty, Luis. 'Hope' is not a verb that takes the subjunctive in any situation, and the subjunctive is no longer a mood that we can 'justify'; it merely remains in use in a few specific structures. Please review the mood in your grammar book or HERE.
.
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Not "hope" but "help". #10 (permalink) Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:46 am   Not "hope" but "help".
 

Hello, Mister Micawber.

When I said that the "verb" should take the subjunctive form, I was referring to the verb "help" not "hope". If you say, "Hope this helps", you are assuring that the help provided is helpful. Do we know it beforehand? No! That depends of a future condition / situation. Thus, we need to use the subjunctive form on the verb "help". The right expression should be, then, "Hope this help", "I hope this help", "Hope these help", or "I hope these help".

Regarding the mood that the subjunctive form represents, we can read in the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:

"Subjunctive = of, relating to, or constituting a verb form or set of verb forms that represents a denoted act or state not as fact but as contingent or possible..."

So, the application of the subjunctive form in the expression at hand is correct.

Best regards,

Luis R. Villegas H.
Mexico.
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Correction. #11 (permalink) Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:01 am   Correction.
 

I cannot edit my post of January 27 titled "Plural-subjunctive form.". In it I wrote:

Present-subjunctive form: "Hope this help" or "I hope this help"

I am sorry; I meant to say:

Singular-subjunctive form: "Hope this help" or "I hope this help"

Best regards,

Luis R. Villegas H.
Mexico.
LuisVillegas
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Posts: 10

'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'? #12 (permalink) Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:21 am   'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'?
 

.
You did not read the material I suggested, did you, Luis? A dictionary definition is wholly inadequate for understanding the subjunctive mood.

Future conditions do not determine the use of the subjunctive. It appears in certain set structures: in conditional sentences (Conditional 2), in clauses dependent on certain verbs (but 'hope' is not one of them-- which was my point vis a vis 'hope'), and in certain other fixed or fossilized expressions (God save the Queen).

In short, it cannot be used in most sentences that suggest an unknown future-- since the future always remains unknown! You do not understand the use of the subjunctive, and I repeat: please read a bit about it from an on-line source such as the one I suggested HERE or HERE before you discuss this any further, either here on our forum or with others.
.
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I insist... #13 (permalink) Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:58 am   I insist...
 

Hello, Mister Micawber.

I read the reference you suggested (http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/061.html) and I still insist that the use of subjunctive mood in the expression "Hope this help" is correct...

1. First, in deed, the reference does not mention that a structure with "hope" can use the subjunctive mood. However, it does not exclude this possibility.

2. Second, the reference mentions the following: "the subjunctive mood, which is used chiefly to express the speaker’s attitude about the likelihood or factuality of a given situation." Then it gives some examples to compare the usage of an indicative mood against the subjunctive mood. The indicative mood is used to express mainly certainty (an ongoing situation) as opposed to the subjunctive mood which expresses uncertainty. This is in line with the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary definition given before.

3. Third, the reference mentions that "(the subjunctive) also occurs in 'that' clauses used to state commands or to express intentions or necessity:" Remember that the expression "Hope this help" is a short for "I hope that this help". We have a "that" clause! Thus, the use of subjunctive mood is applicable in the expression at hand.

4. Finally, the expression "Hope this helps" or "I hope that this helps" can be divided in two parts: "I hope" and "that this helps" (or simply "this helps"). If you analyze the latter part, you will find it is meaning that "this" is providing "help", as a consequence of using the present-indicative form. But, if you say, "that this help" (using subjunctive mood) you will mean that "this" may provide "help". The whole expression "I hope that this help" is mainly expressing a "wish" (also mentioned by the reference), not a fact! Thus, the use of the subjunctive mood is again justified.

Mister Micawber, I really do not want to take this discussion farther and I understand your point of view. The reality is that both expressions, "Hope this help" and “Hope this helps”, are used by people on the Web, being the second the most used.

Best regards,

Luis R. Villegas H.
Mexico.
LuisVillegas
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'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'? #14 (permalink) Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:43 am   'Hope this help' or 'Hope this helps'?
 

.
You have spent a lot of time defending a position that has no basis in the English language, Luis. It is not a 'point of view' I am promulgating; it is correct English, which yours (and that of the 270,000 clumsy typists, EFLs and illiterates on the internet-- compared to the 8.7 million who got it right) is not. You are coming from a language that preserves a full paradigm of subjunctive verb forms (including 'to hope'-- 'Espero que no llegues tarde'), but you are commiting the fallacy of applying those guidelines to English, which maintains only a fragmentary residue of the subjunctive mood and which is used in very limited applications.

I will leave you with a quote from Alexander Pope: "A little learning is a dangerous thing."
.
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Thank you. #15 (permalink) Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:59 am   Thank you.
 

Thank you.
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