Wait or wait for ? - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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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.)
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