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General Writing and Grammar Help/Expect someone - wait for someone

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to expect someone (not in the sense of being pregnant) and "to await/wait for someone"

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to expect someone (not in the sense of being
pregnant) and "to await/wait for someone"

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** Paolo, this is a difficult question to answer.  At first, I thought "Of course, there is a difference."  Then I tried to think of different answers or examples, and I discovered that the words are so closely related, they can almost always be substituted for each other.

Here's the only "difference" that comes to my mind:  If you are expecting a package to be delivered by the postman, you are not certain WHEN the package will be delivered.  So, you do not wait at the door for the postman to arrive with the package.  "Expecting something" suggests that you believe IT will arrive, but you are going to be doing other things in the hours or days before the package gets to your door.

My interpretation of "waiting" for someone is that you and the other person have agreed on a particular time.  

Friend:  Paolo, I will see you tomorrow.
Paolo:  What time tomorrow?
Friend:  Probably in the morning.
Paolo:  Can you be more specific?  I need to plan a schedule for my time tomorrow.
Friend:  I will see you at 10:00 a.m.
Paolo:  Perfect!  I will be WAITING for you at that time.

*** Of course, Paolo, you will also be "expecting" your friend to arrive at 10:00 a.m.
However, the time commitment you both made is at 10:00.  Consequently, you will go out shopping and doing other chores between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.  Your waiting is not affected for that time period, because you do not EXPECT your friend to arrive before 10:00 a.m.

Two examples:

I am expecting a visit from my American friend some time this month.

On the day he is supposed to arrive, I will be waiting for him at the airport.  He sent me his arrival time, and I hope his flight is not delayed.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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