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Learn English: Wait, waiting on or waiting for?

A lady sitting on a bench.
Waiting.

Unsplash CC: William Stitt

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In this lesson, we take a look at the verb 'wait' and learn the differences between 'waiting for' and 'waiting on'.

To ‘wait’ means to stay in the same place or not do something until something else happens.

'Wait' is a regular verb.

"They wait for their son to pick them up every Sunday."

Its past form is 'waited'. Its '-ing' form is 'waiting'.

"She waited for the song to be over before switching off the TV."

"He is waiting for the rain to stop."

To ‘wait on’ someone means to serve someone.

"The hotel staff waited on the couple at their wedding dinner."

To ‘wait for’ something or someone means we are expecting something to happen or we are waiting for someone.

"I had to wait for the water to boil before I could use it to make a cup of tea."

"We waited for our guests to arrive."

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