In English there are so many words that mean almost the same thing, at times it can be hard to determine which one is grammatically correct.
When expecting a reply from someone, the correct term to use is “waiting for your reply”. This is different than “awaiting your reply” for a few key reasons including the type of speech, direct object, and preposition usage.
While “waiting” and “awaiting” may have similar meanings, they are used differently. Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between these terms and their grammatically correct uses.
Waiting: Definition and Use
Definition and Grammatical Use
“Waiting” is the action of delaying further action until a prior requirement is fulfilled. It is a gerund in the English language, meaning it’s the noun form of an action. Gerunds can be used to replace the noun in complex sentences where it would otherwise need to be repeated.
To be used correctly, gerunds must be preceded by one of a few verbs. The most common is a form of the verb “to be”. These include am, are, is, and been. “Waiting” in particular does not need to be followed by anything specific. However, if more information is needed in the sentence then it must be followed by a preposition such as “for” or “to”.
Here are some examples of the correct way to use “waiting”:
- I am waiting.
- You are waiting for the bus.
- She is waiting to be picked up.
- I am waiting for your reply.
Notice that the word “waiting” is always followed by a preposition if it is not the end of the sentence. This is what makes it the correct option for “waiting for your reply“.
Awaiting: Definition and Use
Definition and Grammatical Usage
“Awaiting” is a present participle that means to be in the moment of waiting. “Awaiting” must be used with a direct object in the sentence. It cannot grammatically stand alone like “waiting”. The term “awaiting” is not followed by a preposition, but rather the object you are presently waiting for.
Similar to “waiting”, the term “awaiting” is required to be preceded by a verb, most commonly a form of “to be”. If you change it to “await” then this requirement is no longer necessary.
Here are some examples of how to correctly use “awaiting”.
- I am awaiting your response.
- You are awaiting his call.
- She is awaiting an answer.
Each of these sentences has “awaiting” followed by an object whether it’s a call, answer, or response. Also notice there is no preposition between the term “await” and the following object. Unlike “waiting” the use of “for” or “to” would not be grammatically correct in these sentences. That is why to say “Awaiting for your response” is wrong.
Awaiting vs. Waiting for Your Reply
The correct response is “waiting for your reply” because of the inserted preposition. If you would like to use the phrase “I await your response” or “awaiting your response” those are both fine as well. They mean the same thing but take out the extra preposition that “waiting” requires.
However, both “awaiting” and “waiting” are gerunds and therefore need to be preceded by a verb. Most commonly this verb is a form of “to be” because of their double-category as present participles. Both of the gerunds happen in the present moment.
It’s important to be as professional as possible when asking for a response from someone. “Waiting” or “awaiting” both work when asking for a reply, but make sure that grammatically the sentence remains correct based on the used preposition.