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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to expect someone to do something" and "to expect someone that he/she will do something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

For instance, should I say/write, "I expect you to resign by the end of the week" or "I expect that you will resign by the end of the week"?

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to expect someone to do something" and "to expect someone that he/she will do something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

For instance, should I say/write, "I expect you to resign by the end of the week" or "I expect that you will resign by the end of the week"?

*** The two versions have the same meaning, but your second one is not that good.  You should not use it, because it is unnecessarily "wordy."  

In the first version, you have used an infinitive phrase as your "expectation."  In the second version, you have used a noun clause.  The infinitive phrase and the noun clause say the same thing, but the infinitive is "right to the point" and does not use the extra words.

EXAMPLES:

I expect my son to have cleaned his bedroom by the time I get home.

We expected John to resign his position when he was arrested for robbery; however, John failed our expectations and refused to leave our group.

*** The use of the infinitive after the verb "expect" is quite common and natural.  I recommend it, rather than using a noun clause.  The noun clause is not WRONG; it just uses more words to say the same thing.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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