ENGLISHMiscellaneous English

Usage of ‘WAIT’ & ‘AWAIT’

Wait & Await

1. AWAIT

AWAIT = to wait for something that you expect to happen

AWAIT is a transitive verb, so it must have an object; e.g.

i) I am awaiting your reply.
ii) She is awaiting a letter from her mother.
iii) They are awaiting the birth of their first baby.
iv) The bill is awaiting the approval of the government.

INCORRECT: We AWAIT FOR your reply and apologize for any inconvenience.
CORRECT: We AWAIT your reply and apologize for any inconvenience.

NOTE: The object of AWAIT is always a thing, not a person; e.g.

INCORRECT: I am awaiting you.
CORRECT: I am awaiting your response.

2. WAIT

WAIT = to stay in one place because you expect that something will happen

Verb WAIT does not require an object. If it’s a person or thing after the verb WAIT we use WAIT FOR; e.g.

i) We are all waiting for you. (not We are waiting you.)
ii) I have been waiting for a bus for two hours.
iii) We are waiting for his call. OR We are awaiting his call.

NOTE-I:  With WAIT + TIME we can use it with or without FOR; e.g.

i) Put a tea bag into the cup, then add water and wait a minute or two before taking it out.
= Put a tea bag into the cup, then add water and wait for a minute or two before taking it out.

ii) I phoned the head office but I had to wait five minutes before I spoke to anyone.
= I phoned the head office but I had to wait for five minutes before I spoke to anyone.

iii) We waited hours to get the tickets.
= We waited for hours to get the tickets.

iv) Can you wait five minutes?
= Can you wait for five minutes?

v) We’ve been waiting ages.
= We’ve been waiting for ages.

NOTE-II:  WAIT can also be followed by an infinitive; e.g.

i) The passengers were waiting to catch the bus.
ii) I am waiting to hear from him.

NOTE-III: We can use WAIT on its own, but can’t use AWAIT like this; e.g.

INCORRECT: I’ll await until he arrives.
CORRECT: I’ll wait until he arrives.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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