Hoping vs. Hopping: What’s The Difference?

Learning a new language is arguably the best way to broaden your horizons if you are looking at any kind of job dealing with public service or global politics.  Interpersonal relationships between countries and governments are greatly improved when people are able to communicate clearly, and if you learn a language that is rarely spoken or known, you make yourself invaluable to your employer.  It’s also necessary to properly format research papers in either MLA or APA format. However, learning a language can be difficult because it can be hard to keep track of all the rules that different languages follow in their grammar.

English is considered one of the most notorious languages for keeping track of which rules are common and which rules are broken often.  People who learn English as a second or even third language struggle to remember spellings, verb tenses, singular and plural subject/verb agreements, and several other common grammar mistakes.  

English has so many complex and convoluted grammatical concepts and structures that make it very difficult to understand.  Something that even veteran English speakers struggle with is words that sound unbelievably similar but have completely different meanings.  In this article, let’s explore the difference between the words hopping and hoping, the meanings of these words, the correct spellings, how to use them properly, and the history and etymology of the words.

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Definition of the Words Hoping and Hopping

The first step to learning any word for the first time before you try to incorporate it into your vocabulary without using spellcheck is to actually understand what the word means.  Learning the definitions of certain words is an excellent way to begin to use them yourself.  According to official English dictionaries, the word hopping can be defined as, “intensely active”, or “a going from one place to another of the same kind, usually used in combination”.  A more slang or colloquial term would be using the word hopping in place of the word jumping.  On the other hand, the word hoping is defined as, “cherishing a desire with anticipation, wanting something to happen or be true.”  A secondary definition is “desiring with the anticipation of obtainment or fulfillment.” Synonyms of hoping include dreaming, believing, and cherishing. Synonyms of hopping include bouncing, leaping, and springing. 

As you can definitely see, these two words are completely unrelated in their meanings, and even the ways that they are used conversationally or in writing are different.  

Interestingly enough — there is another use of “hopping” as it relates to the production of beer. After hop picking, it involves the addition of hops , electrons, and flavouring agents to create a great beer. 

Is It Just a Spelling Error?

So any time you see a word that is not listed in the dictionary, your first thought may be to write it off as a spelling error. However, in this case, that might not be your best bet.  Since both words are actually listed in the dictionary and spelled correctly with definitions, it is unnecessary to label either of these words as purely a spelling error.  They common searches are both classified as parts of speech, have fully accepted and recognized definitions, and are used commonly throughout the English language.

However, a word not being in the dictionary does not completely invalidate that word altogether,  and that is due to the fact that language is entirely driven by culture.  Any word that becomes popular enough sees widespread use, and has an acceptable and widespread spelling will eventually become “acceptable” and worthy of being included in the dictionary.  Take the word selfie, for example, one hundred years ago, the word selfie would have never even crossed anyone’s mind, but now it is in dictionaries all over the globe. That being said, the present-participle form of hope definitely isn’t “hopeing” as you have to drop the final silent e in the suffix of the word according to spelling rules. At the same time, you have to add an extra consonant “p” to “hop” to get to the correct verb end or present participle of “hopping.”

What Part of Speech Are Hoping and Hopping?

Another good step to take when trying to learn a new word is to figure out what part of speech it is.  Ask yourself where the word would fit into a sentence.  In English, the primary parts of speech are nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and prepositions.  Learning these well opens lots of doors in terms of what you can actually handle when it comes to learning new words.

While the word hoping (and its root word, hope) is qualified as a verb in most dictionaries, the word hopping can be a verb, a noun, an adverb, or an adjective.  Here is an example of each:

  • Noun: They were bar-hopping all night long and never settled down.
  • Adjective: The customers kept us hopping all day and never stopped coming in.
  • Adverb: He was hopping mad when his dog ate his curtains.
  • Verb: The rabbits were hopping down the road.  

History and Etymology Behind the Two Words

Learning a word’s history can be like opening a window into the past.  The etymology of most words in English actually reveals why things are so complicated in this language, and that is because most of English has actually been derived from a plethora of other languages.  The majority of words in modern English have gotten their roots in Western European languages by way of more ancient languages such as Latin and Greek.  

However, both of these words actually steer clear of the ancient languages and stick solidly in the middle of Western Europe.  According to EtymOnline.com, both hopping and hoping come from roots in the Old English, derived from the Proto-Germanic and Old High Germanic languages as well.  For example, the word hopping (or hop) comes from the Proto-Germanic word “hupnojan” and was first introduced in the Old English language as the word “hoppian”, meaning to spring, leap, dance, or limp. 

Examples of Hoping in Context

While there are already examples of the word hopping listed above, learning examples of a word in context can be invaluable when trying to learn it for yourself.  Here are some brief examples of the word hoping used correctly in context.

  • They were hoping for sunshine this over the holiday period.
  • The countryside was hoping for a good turnout of Londoners for the county fair this fall.  
  • I’m hoping that there’s nothing negative in the comments section. 
  • I am hoping that the big rivals do not display any bad behavior so that there are only positive outcomes.
  • The rabbits are hopping and frisking about the field to celebrate spring. 
  • The hopping process at the Hop Gardens of Kent is divine.

In Summary

At the end of the day, reading your audience and communicating clearly with them is the best way to learn new words.  There is little reason to worry about what hope’ means or even about your degree of confidence when it comes to English grammar. Good luck!


  1. https://thewordcounter.com/blog-common-grammar-mistakes/ 
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hopping 
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoping 
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/hop#etymonline_v_14443 
  5. https://thewordcounter.com/midnight-and-noon/ 
  6. https://thewordcounter.com/is-vs-are/