Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Wait or wait for?

from English Grammar Today

Wait means ‘stay in the same place or not do something until something else happens’. We can use it with or without for:

Put a tea bag into the cup, then add water and wait (for) a minute or two before taking it out.

I phoned the head office but I had to wait (for) five minutes before I spoke to anyone.

We waited (for) hours to get the tickets.

Warning:

When we use a direct object after wait, we have to use wait for:

Wait for us outside the cinema. We’ll be there at seven o’clock.

Not: Wait us

I waited for the postman every day last week hoping that your present would arrive.

Not: I waited the postman

Wait with the to-infinitive

Wait can be followed by the to-infinitive:

All right, I’ll wait to hear from you, Adam, then I’ll ring Simon.

By 9 pm there were about 20 people still waiting to vote.

Can’t wait

When we are very excited about something that is going to happen, we use the phrase can’t wait for + noun phrase or can’t wait + to-infinitive:

I can’t wait for tonight. I’m having a party! (I’m really looking forward to tonight.)

We can’t wait to go to Barcelona in June. (We’re really looking forward to going.)

(“Wait or wait for ?” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

shampoo

a liquid used for washing hair, or for washing particular objects or materials

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More