Both “awaiting approval” and “pending approval” are correct to say, but how you use them depends on the context of your sentence.
The big difference between the two mainly depends on if you are waiting for something to be approved or if you are waiting to see if something will be approved.
Using both “awaiting approval” and “pending approval is very common in the English language, especially in the corporate world. Keep reading if you would like to learn more about how to use these phrases properly.
What Does Awaiting Approval Mean?
“Awaiting approval” means you are waiting for someone to approve something for you. In this case, you are almost certain that you will get the approval, but it just has not come in yet.
- I turned in my budget report for the next year. Now we are just awaiting approval.
In this example, the budget report will most likely be approved, but they still have to wait for someone to approve it.
Another way to say “awaiting approval” is “waiting for approval from” or “waiting for the approval of.” In this case, you are still certain that you will get the approval, there is a specific person who needs to approve something for you.
- We have everything we need to search the suspect’s office, we are just waiting for the approval of the Attorney General.
In this example, they can only get permission to search the office from the Attorney General, so they must await their approval.
What Does Pending Approval Mean?
“Pending Approval” means you are waiting to see if something will be approved. When you say that something is pending approval, you are usually not certain that you will get the approval you are looking for.
- This year, we may have enough money to get new computers, pending approval from the budget committee.
Notice in the above example the tone that the speaker is given off. They are hoping that they will be able to get new computers, but it depends on whether they get approval from the budget committee and that is not certain.
Whether you are awaiting someone’s approval for something or if you are waiting to see if something will be approved, is a big determiner of which of these phrases you will use in a sentence. With that said, although the context matters, both phrases are correct.