The meaning of « pourvu que »: While this subject has already been exhausted, none of the discussions seems to touch on the nuances between the two. Some say « pourvu que » is "I hope", while for others it is more like "Let’s hope".

In English, you can make the phrase "I hope" less personal and subjective (even if ever so slightly) by saying "Here’s hoping". I wonder if the same goes for « j'espère » vs « pourvu que ».

Does « pourvu que » make it sound like more than one person collectively hopes for the same thing, suggesting that I am not the only one who hopes for it?

2 Answers 2


For me it means the same thing as "espérons que", it often includes other people. This is something you say to other person who likely thinks the same thing, like a parent saying to the other parent: "Pourvu que [leur fils] réussisse ses examens...".

When you say "J'espère", you don't necessarily include other people, but that doesn't mean they are likely to think otherwise. "J'espère qu'il va réussir" "Oui, moi aussi".

However, "pourvu que" is not used much in daily conversation (neither is "espérons"), so I'd use "j'espère" almost all the time.


I'm not sure I feel a strong difference, and I am a native French speaker. "Pourvu que" might be a teeny bit less formal, something that my French teacher in high-school might have frowned upon, but that would be under "style" (the "que" sound in "pourvu que" might be harsh to some ears), IMHO. But I am not feeling the collective vs. personal nuance, personally.

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