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Here is a sentence quoted from a news report online:

New trade deal is the best we could hope for.

I'd like to know the meaning of "could hope for". Does it mean that the speaker once actually hoped for that deal?

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    It means it is not possible (for us) to hope for anything better. – michael.hor257k Jan 29 '19 at 22:18
  • You can look up the terms. – Lambie Oct 27 '19 at 1:37
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Within the context, that is the best that could be expected. It actually means that the writer wanted more or expected more from the trade deal or thinks that the reader may have expected more from the trade deal. After some disappointment and thought, the writer came to the conclusion or wants to convince his audience that in reality this the best trade that could be expected considering all the circumstances involved.

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