Hoping or Hopping?

Hoping or Hopping

Hello English learners! In this post, I am going to focus on the difference between hoping versus hopping. I think the biggest confusion with these two words is the pronunciation. Don’t worry, I am also going to go over the grammatical differences as well!

Let’s start with the pronunciation.


The word hoping has the pronunciation of [hohp-ing] if you understand that phonetic alphabet. If you don’t understand the phonetic alphabet, it is not a problem.

To say, hoping you start like you are saying Ho (like what Santa Claus would say). He says, Ho, Ho Ho, Merry Christmas! The H-O is the same pronunciation for the word HOTEL. The end of the pronunciation for hoping is PING.

This is the same pronunciation for the semi-famous search engine from Microsoft called BING. Just substitute the B sound for a P sound. (If you don’t know what Bing is, just Google it.)

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So what does hoping mean?

Hoping is a type of wish or desire or a feeling where you want the best result.

Here are some examples:

  • I was hoping that my friend would bring me back a present from her vacation.
  • The children were hoping for many presents for Christmas.
  • She is hoping that she won’t miss her train.

It is important to note that the word hoping must have a helper verb. This helper verb must ALWAYS be the verb to be. It can be in the present, past or future, but it must be the verb to be.

Now, let’s move on to the other word hopping.

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Again, I would like to start with the pronunciation.

The word hopping has the pronunciation of [hop-ing]. If you don’t understand the phonetic alphabet, join the club. (I struggle with this too.) To say, hopping you start like you are laughing, Ha.

The H sound is a little difficult. You need to breathe out, like you are trying to blow out birthday candles. However, you do NOT make an O shape with your lips.

Do you know how you check to see if your breath smells okay? You put your hand up to your mouth and you give a little puff of air?

That is how you pronounce the H sound in English. Both words hoping and hopping have this breath sound. The end of the pronunciation for hopping is PING. Exactly like the other word that was giving us trouble.

So, what does this word that we just learned how to pronounce mean?

It means to make a short jump, like a rabbit. It is a verb.

For example

  • After he hurt his toe, he was hopping on one leg to move across the room.

I can also mean to go from one place to another. When this happens, the word becomes an adjective.

For example

  • He never stays in one bar. He usually visits 5 in one night. He loves going bar hopping.

And that is it!

Now you know the difference and more importantly, how to say these two words!

Here’s hoping that you learned something.

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