I’m hoping to become a vet: talking about our future lives

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by Liz Walter

It is common to ask young people about their hopes and plans for the future. This post looks at some words and phrases you can use to respond to such questions.

We often use the general phrases I’m hoping/planning to … or I’d like to … :

I’m hoping to become a vet.

I’d like to live abroad for a few years.

To talk about things you think you would like, you could say that you are attracted by something: I’m attracted by the idea of working for an international company.

You could also say that something appeals to you (or of course that it doesn’t appeal to you): Having children doesn’t really appeal to me.

When we imagine our future lives, we often say that we (don’t) see ourselves or we (can’t) imagine ourselves doing something or being in a particular situation:

I don’t see myself as a teacher / working in an office.

I imagine myself living in the countryside.

To talk about specific jobs or career areas, we often use the verb go into or work in:

I’m planning to go into nursing.

I’d like to work in IT.

More formally, we say we want to pursue a career in something: I hope to pursue a career in journalism.

To express less specific plans, we could say something to do with, something connected with or (slightly more formally) something in the field of: I think I’d enjoy something to do with animals. I’m hoping to do something in the field of medicine.

We might talk about the general characteristics we want from a job, such as the flexibility to allow you to change the amount you work or the times you work, or the stability of a job you are unlikely to lose for any reason.

We could say that a job gives us scope for something we want, meaning that it makes it possible: I’d like a job with scope for creativity/learning new skills.

The words short-term, medium-term and long-term are useful for talking about the future. We can use them as adjectives or in the phrase in the short/medium etc term: One of my short-term goals is to learn to drive. In the long term, I’d like to set up my own business.

And finally, if you don’t know what you want for the future, a useful phrase is keep your options open, which means to wait before you make a choice: I’m not sure if I want to be a lawyer, so I’m keeping my options open at the moment.

17 thoughts on “I’m hoping to become a vet: talking about our future lives

  1. Thank you, Liz, for the useful article. I printed it out and try to use the phrases in my daily life.
    I like flexible jobs, and can’t help notice that you use ‘change the amount you work or the times you work.”

    Do ‘the time you work’ and ‘the time(s) you work’ carry different meanings?

    1. Liz Walter

      Good question: the difference is quite subtle. By ‘the times you work’, I meant e.g. that sometime you might want to work 9.30-3.30 and sometimes 8-2. ‘The time you work’ could also be used in this way, but it is more likely to mean the number of hours per week.

    1. Liz Walter

      Thank you very much – do click on my name or any of the other names on the right hand side of this page for lots more similar posts.

  2. Mihai Daniel Frumuselu

    Can one say „I am hoping” although the verb „hope” expresses a mental state and therefore a static verb, and static verbs are normally used in the non-continuous aspect? („I think”, „I suppose”, etc.)

  3. Maryem Salama

    Having read this blog a few days earlier before my first part of ITELS exam is a great chance to introduce myself perfectly. By the way, the first complete sentence I have learned in English was I want to be …and because the teacher taught us two jobs a teacher and a doctor, I said, “I want to be a king”. My teacher immediately corrected me not a queen for a king, but he said that this job wouldn’t be available now or in the next hundred years in Aljamahirrya. Later I understood what he meant. Thank you, dear Liz

  4. Hello Liz Walter,

    I have a question, What is the difference between ” I want to be …” and ” I would like to be” ? for example:

    I’m taking singing lessons because I want to be a singer

    or

    I’m taking singing lessons because I would like to be a singer

    I always get confiuse when a try to use them

    Thank you for you help
    Regards.

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