I'm currently teaching Side by Side 4 and I'm quite confused which is the right answer for the activity. Page 68 teaches two phrases "I hope it rains tomorrow" and "I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow". Here are the given sample dialogues:

Will our team win the game tomorrow? I hope so.
A. I hope our team wins the game tomorrow.
B. I hope so, too.

Will the teacher give a quiz today? I hope not.
A. I hope teacher doesn't give a quiz today.
B. I hope not, too.

The positive answers are quite easy to solve but negatives are ones confusing.

For the activity's #1, "Will I get the job? I hope so." The answer definitely, "I hope I get the job."

Here's my problem... Which is the correct answer for #2?

(2). Will the cake be burnt? I hope not.
- I hope the cake won't burn.
- I hope the cake isn't burnt.
- I hope the cake doesn't burn.

And what about for these?

(4). "Will our dinner guests be late? I hope not"
(7). "Will Dad be laid off again? I hope not"

I'm really confused which is the correct answer. I hope you could help and explain it. Thank you so much!

  • 4
    The tag hope phrase is a repetition of the preceding sentence, with most of the material removed and replaced with so. In strict transformational terms -- which appears to be what this exercise contemplates -- the only "correct" answer would be the one that's identical with the original one. I.e, Will the cake be burnt? I hope the cake won't be burnt. But of course, as you point out, they're all perfectly good responses and they all mean the same thing. So I'd teach them that on a test you choose the identical one, but in real life you choose the one you please. Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 18:24
  • 1
    School English seems as bad as legal English. Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 19:40
  • For #2, I hope the intended answer is "I hope the cake isn't burnt". If the cake were still being baked, two acceptable answers would be "I hope the cake won't burn" or "I hope the cake doesn't burn". But both the original form "I hope the cake won't be burnt" and "I hope the cake isn't burnt" don't make that assumption. Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


Question: "Will the cake be burnt?"

Positive answer, short form: "I hope so."

Positive answer, longer form: "I hope it will be burnt."

Negative answer, short form: "I hope not."

Positive answer, longer form: "I hope it will not be burnt."

The longer form can also use the contraction of "will not", "I hope it won't be burnt."

The longer form of the negative answer "I hope the cake isn't burnt." would be appropriate had the question been "Is the cake burnt?".

This is how I think:

"Is" in the questions => "Isn't" in the negative answer.

"Will ... be" in the questions => "Won't be" in negative the answer.

  • Please provide more information to help the asker understand why a certain choice is the best one.
    – phenry
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 20:59

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