grammatical expression: to not get one’s hopes up


Today I’d like to write about another expression that we often use in daily conversation: to “not get one’s hopes up”. We use this when we want to talk about a situation in which a person wants something to happen. However, there is a strong possibility it won’t happen, so someone else encourages them to expect that it won’t happen. Here are some example sentences:

A: I hope they don’t cancel my favorite show.
B: I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. The ratings for that show are really bad.

I was disappointed by Bob when he told me he’d take me out this weekend. I shouldn’t let him get my hopes up like that.

A: Valerie said she’d help me move.
B: Don’t get your hopes up. She always agrees to help people, but then she doesn’t.

Don’t tell Sue you can take her to Disneyland if you’re not sure. I don’t want you to get her hopes up.

My last sentence is an example of to “not get someone’s hopes up”. In this case, one person is telling another person directly not to make promises to someone else if there is a chance they will not be able to do the thing.

We can also use this expression to talk about ourselves when we let ourselves think something will happen that probably won’t happen. In this case, we say something like, “I let him get my hopes up.” This means that the person was disappointed even though they knew it might not happen. My second sentence is another example of this.

As you can see, this expression is usually used in the negative because it’s always describing a negative situation in which the good event probably won’t happen or didn’t happen.

We commonly use this expression with “don’t” or “I wouldn’t…if I were you”. In these cases, another person is giving a warning to the person to be prepared for a negative situation.


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