'Hoping' vs 'Hopping': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 6, 2023

Are you ‘hoping’ or ‘hopping’ you’ll get a promotion? Which is the correct spelling? And what’s the difference between these two words? We’ll answer these questions in detail below, plus teach you how to use both in a sentence correctly.

The short answer is that both words are verbs, but ‘hoping’ means looking forward to something positive happening. ‘Hopping’ means bouncing, like a kangaroo.

‘Hoping’ vs. ‘Hopping’ – What’s the Difference?

Though they’re spelled very similarly, these words mean two totally different things.

As we just revealed, ‘hoping’ means looking forward to something positive happening. ‘Hopping’ means bouncing, similar to a kangaroo or a bunny.

The Difference Between ‘Hoping’ and ‘Hopping’ 

We’ve just learned that there’s a huge difference between these two verbs. Namely, that ‘hoping’ means looking forward to something good happening, and ‘hopping’ refers to bouncing.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Hoping’

The root word of ‘hoping’ is ‘hope.’ Therefore, we’ll define ‘hope.’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘hope’ is: “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true,” “archaic: trust,” “to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment,” and “to expect with confidence: trust.”

As a noun, it means: “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment,” “also: expectation or fulfillment of success,” “someone or something on which hopes are centered,” “something desired or hoped for,” and “archaic: trust, reliance.”

Some synonyms of the verb version of the word include:

  • Anticipate
  • Watch (for)
  • Await
  • Expect

Definition and Meaning of ‘Hopping’ 

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘hopping’ is: “extremely, violently > used in the phrase hopping mad," “intensely active: busy,” and “a going from one place to another of the same kind > usually used in combination.”

The root word ‘hop’ is defined as: “to move by a quick, springy leap or in a series of leaps,” “also: to move as if by hopping,” “to make a quick trip especially by air,” “to set about doing something > usually used in the phrase hop to it,” “to jump over,” “to ride on,” “also: to ride surreptitiously and without authorization,” “a short brisk leap especially on one leg,” “bound, rebound,” “dance,” “a flight in an aircraft,” “a short trip,” “hops plural: the ripe dried female cone-like flower clusters of a north-temperate zone twining plant of the hemp family used especially to impart a bitter flavor to beer,” and “plural hops: the perennial climbing bine from which hops are obtained that have 3-to-5-lobed leaves and inconspicuous flowers of which the pistillate ones are in scaly cone-like clusters.”

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Hoping'

To correctly pronounce the word 'hoping,' use the long 'o' sound, similar to words like:

  • Go
  • Home
  • Slow
  • Blow
  • Low
  • Dough

To pronounce the final syllable, make it sound exactly the way it looks. It rhymes with words like:

  • Ding
  • Sling
  • Wing
  • Sing
  • Bring

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Hopping'

Hopping uses the short 'o' sound in the first syllable. It rhymes with words like:

  • Stop
  • Not
  • Rot
  • Cop
  • Lot
  • Drop

And you pronounce the final syllable the same as the final syllable for 'hopping.' They end with the same final four letters, which usually means they're pronounced the same way.

It might sound like: HA-PING.

How to Use ‘Hoping’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what ‘hopping’ means, let’s look at how to use it correctly in a sentence.

  • My co-worker is hoping to get the same promotion I want.
  • I’m hoping we win the basketball tournament this afternoon. We’ve been practicing like crazy.
  • I’m hoping there’s no caramel in this vanilla swirl ice cream.
  • Harrison was hoping to have a nice day substitute teaching, but the kids were awful.
  • I didn’t realize you were hoping I’d ask you to the dance. Would you like to go with me?
  • I was hoping to be valedictorian of my graduating class, but my grades weren’t good enough.

How to Use ‘Hopping’ in a Sentence

Now let’s take a look at some examples of how to use ‘hopping’ in a sentence.

  • A couple of college kids went hopping butt naked through the quad on a dare.
  • I remember the one-legged race and hopping with our legs tied together. I never won.
  • I saw a bunny and her babies hopping across the road last week.
  • After she broke her ankle, she was hopping for the rest of the day. I felt bad for her.
  • No one would choose hopping over walking. It just takes too much energy.
  • Hopping back to my seat after tripping and losing my shoe was the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to me.

Final Thoughts on ‘Hoping’ vs. ‘Hopping’

To recap, we learned that ‘hoping’ and ‘hopping’ are two different words that mean two different things, despite being spelled similarly. They should never be used interchangeably because the former means ‘looking forward to something good happening’ and the latter means ‘bouncing.’

If you ever forget the meaning or usage of either word, don’t be afraid to come back for a quick refresher. We’ve also got a ton of other content on confusing words and phrases you might want to check out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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