Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    subhajit123 is offline Banned
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    669

    Red face 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    'Has been waiting' or 'was waiting': Which one should I use in the following context?

    Suppose, my sister promised me she would message me this morning after reaching her home but didn't call me at that time. She called me a few hours later. After getting her message, Can I reply 'I have been/was waiting for your message, are you at home now?'

    I admit I have asked this type question before but the rule is very confusing. please help me.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,386

    Re: 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    Quote Originally Posted by subhajit123 View Post
    'Has been waiting' or 'was waiting': Which one should I use in the following context?

    Suppose (no comma here) my sister promised me she would message me this morning after reaching her home but didn't call me at that time. Was she going to message (text/email/Whatsapp etc) you or call you?

    She called me a few hours later. After getting her message When I answer the call, can I reply say 'I have been/was waiting for your message call. Are you at home now?' You can use either one in that context.

    I admit I have asked this type question before but the rule is very confusing. Please help me.
    See my corrections and comments above.

    You need to decide whether she was going to call you or message you. If you don't want to be specific at the start, you could say "My sister promised to let me know when she got home this morning". After that, be consistent. If she called you, then it's a telephone conversation. If she messaged you, then it's a text/SMS, Whatsapp, email, Facebook Messenger message or similar.
    If she phoned you but it went through to voicemail, you'll have to be specific about that with something like "She called a few hours later and left me a voicemail". Then you'd have to say that you replied to her voicemail with a text (or similar), or that you called her back.

    Don't use a capital letter after a comma unless the next word is a proper noun or the word "I".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    "I have been waiting" (or "I've been waiting") implies you were waiting right up to the time your sister contacted you.
    "I was waiting" implies you stopped waiting sometime before she contacted you.

  4. #4
    subhajit123 is offline Banned
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    669

    Re: 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    "I have been waiting" (or "I've been waiting") implies you were waiting right up to the time your sister contacted you.
    "I was waiting" implies you stopped waiting sometime before she contacted you.
    Can you please tell me which one would you prefer?

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,270

    Re: 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    "I have been waiting" (or "I've been waiting") implies you were waiting right up to the time your sister contacted you.
    "I was waiting" implies you stopped waiting sometime before she contacted you.
    Quote Originally Posted by subhajit123 View Post
    Can you please tell me which one you would you prefer?
    Either tense is possible. The speaker would use the tense that was most suitable to the situation.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,855

    Re: 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    What teechar said is correct, so the best choice depends on your personal circumstance. But my own preference is "have been" because I cannot easily imagine why I would stop waiting. Perhaps a domestic accident forced me to go to the hospital for urgent care, but such contingencies seem far-fetched.

  7. #7
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: 'has been waiting' or 'was waiting'

    Or even lost interest, got distracted or fell asleep!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •