There are plenty of examples, which explain the difference between wait and await as verbs in the middle of a sentence. However, what about at the end of a sentence?

In most of the examples, the verb await must have an expressed object.

  • I am awaiting your specific reply for this question.

  • They are awaiting the birth of their first baby.

On the other hand, wait in most of the examples does not require an object.

  • I have been waiting for hours.

Yet, I could not find good examples explaining which of these are proper in cases where wait and await are not used us verbs. Here is my question: Is it acceptable to write, in a formal essay,

A) "Even though the future is not certain, the experts might know what is awaiting”. Or is it always

B) "Even though the future is not certain, the experts might know what is waiting”.

  • 1
    Is "waite" a typo? Maybe you meant wait without the e at the end?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:40
  • 1
    Where is this typo and if there is yes it is a typo :)
    – GHayl
    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:40
  • Aren't awaiting and waiting (in the last two examples) actually verbs too? I think what is the object of the clause: Is awaiting what. Therefore, awaiting is most grammatical, because Is waiting what doesn't make sense.
    – Bread
    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:30
  • Can you please share your insight as an answer (If it is a comment it is not attractively visible to rest. And your answer is very different from the one answer we have here. Thank you in advance Bread.
    – GHayl
    Apr 12, 2018 at 15:43

1 Answer 1

  1. The word await is never used as a noun. That is not to say it never will be.

  2. So far, the verb await is always used transitively and so can not be the last word in a sentence ... unless the object is a relative pronoun, and so can precede the verb. For example:

I cannot give you my decision until I receive the information which I am awaiting.

Even in this case, it feels to me more natural to say

... which I am waiting for.

or even

... for which I am waiting.

  1. My sense is that the word await is slowly becoming a little stilted or old fashioned, though it is not yet falling out of use.

  2. wait is regularly used as a noun.

There is a long wait till the next train.

  1. The verb wait is intransitive and can be placed at the end of a sentence.

I don’t care how anxious you are to open your present, you will just have to wait.


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