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Hopefully is used both as an ordinary adverb (modifying the verb) or as a sentence adverb (modifying an entire sentence or clause, rather than the actual verb).
- Simple adverb: They waited hopefully for the rain to stop.
- Sentence adverb: Hopefully, we will be able to reach home by evening.
- Sentence adverb: Hopefully, the ceasefire will last.
As a sentence adverb, hopefully has been widely criticized. Although most authorities now accept it as correct, in formal writing it would be wise to replace it with an expression such as “I hope that” or “it is to be hoped that.”
- I hope that we will be able to reach home by evening.
- It is to be hoped (or we can only hope) that the ceasefire will last.
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