That sounds a little odd but should work, nothing wrong with it.
The first one that came to my mind when I saw was "hope" and I got a spooky image of some poorly treated prisoner who hasn't eaten in days. But today, he hopes he will!
rmcqwn, Yes, "espera que...." would translate to "hope that....." "espero que pueda ir conmigo." I hope that you can go with me." Also note that there are two idiomatic expressions that using esperar que..... "espero que si" which means "i hope so." and "espero que no" which means "I hope not."
He hopes to eat today was accepted. Is that wrong? Should there have been a "que" in there for it to be translated that way....? (Looking at comment by droma) El espera que comer hoy?
junevilleco - in this case "que" is not required. We could change the sentence around to show the use of "que" in this manner: "Espero QUE pueda comer hoy." This sentence translates in English to "I hope THAT i can eat today."
I had to really dig in my dictionaries to find espera defined as expect. Wait seemed to be preferred. It was esperanza for hope.
They are kind of similar though. You only "wait" for a person if you "expect" them to show up.
I would classify this as an example of negative thinking instead. In many situations people wait for an appointment hoping, not expecting that the person may show up.
rmcgwn - the verb "esperar" can be translated to mean "to hope for/to wait/to expect." The sentence context will determine which one applies. This verb can be a bit complicated so i found a website that explains it in detail. Go to "about.com" and in the about.com search box enter "using the verb esperar." It goes into great detail on the usage of this verb. I hope this helps some.