While solving a question I encountered a situation when there was a subtle difference between the two:

After meeting together near Mediolanurn in 313, Roman Emperors Constantine Augustus and Licinius Augustus issued The Edict of Milan in the hope of/with the hope of ending years of internal religious strife and the persecution of minorities.

I think with sounds more appropriate. But I am not sure about the usage of in.

Could anyone explain the correct usage in this sentence? Also give some instances where we can use the latter one.

  • 1
    Mediolanurn appears to be a common typo (21000 hits) for Mediolanum (3.3 million hits) – James Waldby - jwpat7 Jan 13 '13 at 19:37
  • If you found this material elsewhere, and it's under copyright, please cite your source. – simchona Jan 13 '13 at 21:54

A quick comparison in COCA shows that in the hope is more commonly used.

Even ODO has this expression used in its example sentence to demonstrate the usage of hope.


feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen:

he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information

Though in the hope of and with the hope of are pretty much interchangeable.

Please take note that in hopes of can have a different meaning, as suggested by the New Oxford American Dictionary. (I don't find it in other dictionaries though.)

in hopes of

with the aim of: I lay on a towel in the park in hopes of getting a tan.

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  • Please give the reference. – Sudhir Jan 13 '13 at 17:53
  • @Sudhir Sure. And I'm sorry for failing to notice that your question is about in the hope of instead of in hopes of just now. – user19341 Jan 13 '13 at 18:13
  • Is there any difference between in hopes of and in hope of ? – Sudhir Jan 13 '13 at 18:14
  • @Sudhir Yes. When we use in hopes of , we have the tendency to mean with the aim of. Though sometimes it can just mean in the hope of, it depends on the context. – user19341 Jan 13 '13 at 18:16

Both are grammatical. There seems to be little difference in meaning, but a detailed corpus search might show that they were used in different contexts. What corpus evidence does show is that in the hope is more popular than with the hope. It occurs nearly four times as much in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, and nearly eighteen times as much in the British National Corpus.

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All variants of hope in this context are somewhat informal, and therefore don't really match the tone of OP's sentence. So I'd suggest using "with the aim/intention of".

In less formal contexts, I think the most common phrasing overall is actually "in hopes of", but of OP's two alternatives, I would slightly favour "in the hope of" (if only because it echoes what I see as the "natural" version).

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  • Is there any difference between in hopes of and in hope of ? – Sudhir Jan 13 '13 at 18:06
  • @Sudhir: So far as I'm concerned, the only difference is that with 19,800,000 hits in Google Books, in hopes of is about three times more common than the singular version. I'd say they always mean exactly the same thing. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '13 at 18:24

The source of this sentence is PlatinumGMAT. The essence of answering this question is not in finding out flaw in the usage of in the hope or with the hope - both are used interchangeably (in the hope is more common), but in the usage of correct idiom - issued X with Y.

For reference of usage of issued please refer to http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/take+issue+with

Hope this helps! :)

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  • This answer essentially argues that the choice between "in the hope of" and "with the hope of" is the wrong question to ask. It isn't clear to me that this assertion is correct—but if it is, your answer would be much more useful to the poster (and to other readers) if you explained why it is correct. Please consider amending your answer to include the missing explanation. – Sven Yargs Aug 20 '15 at 7:39
  • @SvenYargs - I have updated my answer. :) – Swanidhi Aug 20 '15 at 8:10

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