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Since "hope" and "expect" both translate as esperar, how would you say something like "It was better than I expected, but not as good as I had hoped" in Spanish?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's true that both hope and expect can be translated as esperar, but they can have also other translations...

In most sentences you will only want to use one of the meanings, and it'll be quite clear which one you're meaning...

In this case, as you want to use both meanings, you'd better use synonyms, something like:

Fue mejor de lo que pensaba / suponía / preveía / figuraba / imaginaba, pero no tan bien como deseaba / quería / me gustaría / me hubiera gustado.

Note that hope, as you say, means a wishful expectation, so you can most of the times translate it by desear (=wish).

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I would nominalize either "expect" or "hope"; the former goes to expectativa, the latter to esperanza (context dependent). So:

Rebasó mis expectativas, pero no mis esperanzas.

Or with some freedom:

Rebasó mis expectativas, pero fue menos de lo que deseaba.


Fue más de lo que esperaba, pero me decepcionó.

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I think when you say rebazó you should use rebasó -with an s-, or is it that rebazó is used somewhere else? – MikO Sep 1 '13 at 21:16
Edited post to correct spelling. – Danita Sep 16 '13 at 18:09

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