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    #1

    Wait up - the proper tense in the sentence

    I WAITED ABOUT for an hour, but they didn't come - is it correct?

    isn't better to use: "I had been WAITING ABOUT for an hour, but they didn't come." ?


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    #2

    Re: Wait up - the proper tense in the sentence

    Make it "for about an hour." They're both OK that way.

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    #3

    Re: Wait up - the proper tense in the sentence

    You can say "I waited for an hour."

    You can say "I waited for about an hour" to say that it was close to an hour - maybe 55 minutes, maybe an hour and five minutes.

    "Wait about" is a phrasal verb, but it doesn't really have a lot more meaning than just "wait." I [waiting not doing must, just loitering and hanging around] for the period of an hour.

    ***

    Anyway, you asked about tense.

    If you want to use a perfect version (had waited, had been waiting), you need to have an action that comes after it, and that other action also needs to be in the past.

    I had waited for an hour, but they still hadn't come, so I decided to leave without them.

    I had been waiting for an hour when they finally came.


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    #4

    Re: Wait up - the proper tense in the sentence

    I waited about for an hour, but they didn't come.

    There is either 'I waited for about an hour", or I waited around for an hour", the latter being colloquial Brit. Eng. and means the person waited around in the general area of the meeting point, rather than rigidily at the exact spot.

    There is no justification for the use of the Past Perfect, compare:
    I had waited for about an hour, and was just ready to give up when a white stretch limousine pulls up, and who gets out but...

    Past Perfect, to Past, to Historical Present.

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    #5

    Re: Wait up - the proper tense in the sentence

    But Wait about - English Phrasal Verb - UsingEnglish.com shows that the sentence is correct


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    #6

    Re: Wait up - the proper tense in the sentence

    Barb_D. said:"Wait about" is a phrasal verb, but it doesn't really have a lot more meaning than just "wait." I [waiting not doing much, just loitering and hanging around for the period of an hour.

    That agrees with the definition given with your site reference.

    You quoted the sentence they use as an example: I WAITED ABOUT for an hour, but they didn't come.
    and asked:
    isn't better to use: "I had been WAITING ABOUT for an hour, but they didn't come." ?

    Your sentence is in the Past Perfect, and I gave my opinion: There is no justification for the use of the Past Perfect in that context; and then gave you a sentence as an example.
    Last edited by David L.; 18-Apr-2009 at 17:47.

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