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    #1

    difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    I read the following telephone message in a website:

    Hello Mike. This is Peter at Airspeed. I was looking for an update on the campaign. Can you get back to me in a day?

    Is there a difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..." in the above context

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    No, although I much prefer "am" there.

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    #3

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    No, although I much prefer "am" there.
    Thanks Bhai

    Does it mean that it is more polite if we use past continuous tense?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    No, it doesn't mean that. It sounds over-apologetic to me.

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    #5

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    In BrE at least, we seem to use the simple past in that context quite frequently. I say (and I hear) things like "Hi, I was just wondering if you ..." when, grammatically, "I am just wondering ..." would be correct.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In BrE at least, we seem to use the simple past in that context quite frequently. I say (and I hear) things like "Hi, I was just wondering if you ..." when, grammatically, "I am just wondering ..." would be correct.
    Thanks ems

    What do we use "I was just wondering if you " instead of "I am just wondering ..." ?

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    #7

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Thanks ems

    What do we use "I was just wondering if you " instead of "I am just wondering ..." ?
    Do you mean "When do we use ..."?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Do you mean "When do we use ..."?
    Sorry, ems.


    Typo. I mean why do we use "I was just wondering if you " instead of "I am just wondering ..." ?

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    #9

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    I think it has a distancing function, which could be used for various reasons. It puts less pressure on the person you say it too, and it leaves you at less risk.

    Boy: I was wondering if you wanted to come to the movies tomorrow.
    Girl: No, I'm washing my hair.
    Boy: Oh. Well I was just wondering ... before. I mean, I'm not wondering now. I can't even remember when I thought about it last. Haha, I can't even think why I told you.

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    #10

    Re: difference between "I was looking for ." and "I am looking for..."

    quoted "I was wondering if/whether:

    a)(spoken) used to politely ask someone to help you"


    Do native speaking teachers think the above is correct?

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