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) Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 19:37
  • If you found this material elsewhere, and it's under copyright, please cite your source.
    – user10893
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 21:54

8 Answers 8


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.

  • Please give the reference.
    – Sudhir
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 18:13
  • Is there any difference between in hopes of and in hope of ?
    – Sudhir
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 18:16
  • I'd say that 'he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information' also shows an aim. Commented Apr 2, 2022 at 10:51

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.


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 would slightly favour "in the hope of". But it really is just a stylistic choice between several alternatives, all of which would normally be semantically identical...


  • Is there any difference between in hopes of and in hope of ?
    – Sudhir
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 18:06
  • 1
    @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. Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 18:24
  • What is your source for “in hopes of” being more common? Google Ngram shows the opposite (and same with “in the hope that” vs “in hopes that”) since the early 1800s, with “in hopes of” gaining popularity in the US recently. Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 20:21
  • @Gilles'SO-stopbeingevil': Sudhir asked about the difference between in hopes of and in hope of (singular or plural). You compared the more common version of those two (plural in hopes of) with the article + singular version in the hope of. Note that there's also the article + plural permutation in the hopes of, but that's the least common of the lot. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 11:12
  • @FumbleFingers Ah, it took me a while to understand your reply: the hazards of communication… I was following up on your answer, not on the comment. Your answer states ‘ I think the most common phrasing overall is actually "in hopes of"‘. You don't explicitly state what ‘overall’ covers, but presumably it includes at least the alternatives mentioned in the question: ‘in the hope of’ and ‘with the hope of’. So your answer claims that ‘in hopes of’ is more common than ‘in the hope of’, but that doesn't match my experience or the Ngram result. So I was wondering if it's regional or something. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 13:06

I'd say in the hope of + doing (gerund) or with the hope + that + clause (S-V-O) More people are moving to cities in the hope of finding jobs. More people are moving to cities with the hope that they will find jobs. Your thoughts?

  • Hello, Tran. This asks about a separate question, adding a third (again grammatical) paraphrase. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 12:54

For the actual answer to the GMAT question, this question is now online as a practice GMAT question. The OP seems to have remembered the choices incorrectly. The correct choices are:

A) in the hopes to ending
B) in the hope to ending
C) with the hope to ending
D) with the hope of ending
E) in the hope to end

The key to answering this question is not in versus with, but the preposition after hope. Note that all but one of the answers have the wording in/with the hope(s) to end(ing). We don't use the hope to end(ing), but the hope of ending. Both in and with would be correct in this sentence.


Longman dictionary says: in the hope of doing something (=because you hope that you will do something) Shoppers flocked to the sales in the hope of finding a bargain.

Webster dictionary says: : wanting something to be true : hoping that something will happen She went back to the restaurant with hopes of finding her purse there

Oxford dictionary says: in ~ of, in the ~ that I am writing to you in the hope that you can help me obtain some information.

  • So how do these definitions apply to the question? Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 18:47

I've just changed 'in hopes of' to 'in the hope of' in a book I'm copy-editing. They mean the same, but 'in hopes of' seems to me to be inappropriately informal/colloquial for an academic book. I'm British and the book is a British publication.

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 9:22
  • Hello, Glynis. Please look at the research accompanying the upvoted answers. Also note that OP specifically asks about in the hope of/with the hope of. Your comment about 'in hopes of' seeming a less formal variant doesn't address the question proper but may well be a valuable addition to the thread, but it needs better endorsement than 'it seems to me' in an answer suitable for ELU. Commented Apr 2, 2022 at 10:56

In the hope of is quite singular indicating one hope however, in the hopes of is plural and indicates there is more than one hope.

  • The question was comparing "In the hope of" against "with the hope of", both of which are singular. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 14:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.