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    #1

    Question I do hope....

    How do I analyze the following two sentence:

    1. I donít suppose you've found it?
    2. I do hope it has been found.

    I got this far:
    Question to ask if something has been found. The first is polite, but friendly and informal. The second is very polite and formal

    Of course, I do know the verb tenses and all that; what I am looking for how I can know which level of formality this is. And in which situation to use. I have four sets of this.

    So more specific:
    * when do we use "I do hope..."?
    * "I don't suppose" sounds also quite polite to me. However, me is told that it is informal. I do understand that the contraction is informal. But what about "I do not suppose..."
    * I am consulting Swan "Practical English Usage" (and tried Murphy "English Grammar in Use", but that didn't talk about formality). I did not really find this construction (entry 436).
    * Where can I find politeness/formality on the internet. Grammar, verb tenses are available everywhere; but politeness very little. (so basic etiquette is, like: please, could you..., would you mind..., thank you; the real common things)

    Thank you!

    S

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I do hope....

    These are very difficult questions to answer precisely, because there are no firm guidelines. Conventions change as you move between groups with common social class, education, work, age, gender, status within the group, etc.

    Depnding on who I am addressing, I might use any of the following, and I might, in different contexts of situation, use any of the following to the same person. I have arranged them in a very rough personal ascending order of formality:

    Yes? .....Any luck?.....Find it?
    Find it? ......Found it? HaveHave you found it? ......Did you find it?
    I hope you (have) found it. ...... I do hope you (have) found it
    .

    Sometimes the choice depends on whether they have, or have not, found something that belongs to them or to me.

    I don't suppose you (have) found it?
    does not feature on this scale of formality. That strikes me as what I might say to someone who might have lost something that was important to me. I am expressing a rather forlorn hope that it has been found.

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    #3

    Question Re: I do hope....

    Thank you!

    So, do you think that 'I don't suppose you've found it' is not really formal? Or you do think it is formal?

    I know that those things depends very much on context. Let's say we are talking here about writing a letter to a hotel to see if they found my expensive camera after I left my room.

    Anybody any ideas on Internet resources on polite/formal language?

    Thanks again.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I do hope....

    Quote Originally Posted by mvdberg112 View Post
    So, do you think that 'I don't suppose you've found it' is not really formal? Or you do think it is formal?
    I think that it is outside the scale of formality, as I said.

    I know that those things depends very much on context. Let's say we are talking here about writing a letter to a hotel to see if they found my expensive camera after I left my room.
    If I were telephoning them, I might well ask: 'I don't suppose you've found it?'
    If I were writing a letter, I'd be more likely to write, " I am writing to enquire whether you found the XXZg123 camera that I reported lost during my stay at your hotel, 15-19 September, 2010."
    5

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    #5

    Re: I do hope....

    Quote Originally Posted by mvdberg112 View Post
    Thank you!

    So, do you think that 'I don't suppose you've found it' is not really formal? Or you do think it is formal?

    I know that those things depends very much on context. Let's say we are talking here about writing a letter to a hotel to see if they found my expensive camera after I left my room.

    Anybody any ideas on Internet resources on polite/formal language?

    Thanks again.
    'I don't suppose you've found it' could sound sarcastic in the context you've given.
    Literally, it means that you are supposing they haven't found it (being the incompetents that they are).
    Personally, I'd never use this phrase in an official letter.

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    #6

    Re: I do hope....

    Thank you, 5.
    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I think that it is outside the scale of formality, as I said.
    Yes, you did say that. What do you exactly mean with 'outside the scale of formality'? Do you mean it is neutral?

    Raymott, also thanks. Your input is also really appreciated. Going back to the very first post: you would use in a formal letter: "I do hope you found it..." ?

    Thanks again!

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    #7

    Re: I do hope....

    Quote Originally Posted by mvdberg112 View Post
    Thank you, 5. Yes, you did say that. What do you exactly mean with 'outside the scale of formality'? Do you mean it is neutral?
    I doubt whether he means that. If it were neutral, it would be in the middle of the informal - formal spectum. 5jj is saying that it has nothing to do with such a spectrum.

    Raymott, also thanks. Your input is also really appreciated. Going back to the very first post: you would use in a formal letter: "I do hope you found it..." ?
    Write: "I am writing to ask whether you have found my ..."
    You don't have to tell them about your suppositions or hopes. Just ask the question politely.

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    #8

    Re: I do hope....

    Thank you! So it has nothing to do with the spectrum. I see. Well, then thanks everyone.

    Perhaps feed for a new thread 'When do we use "I do hope..." in English?'

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