I’ll go and have a drink in the café while <I'm waiting, I wait> for you.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by renetta, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. renetta

    renetta Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    In a text I found this sentence: "I’ll go and have a drink in the café while I wait for you".

    Is it a colloquialism, or is it just incorrect? I would have said "while I'm waiting for you"

  2. M56 Banned

    Britain. English.
    The actions of "wait" and "drink" could have taken the same time in each case, but it is the speaker who chooses to perceive one action as longer than another or as one happening inside another. Both forms are correct.

    It was raining when the President arrived.
    The bomb exploded while the President was arriving.

    Both arrivals took the same amount of time, but the speaker needs the "(be) + ...ing for what she perceives as the longer action.
  3. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    I'll wait for you in the cafe. I'll go and have a drink in the cafe while you shop (or whatever).
  4. KittyCatty

    KittyCatty Senior Member

    English UK
    You also find a lot of phrases such as offering services 'while you wait', so this is perfectly normal, although it implies a quicker action. while you're waiting gives the impression of taking longer, so services such as fixing things 'while you are waiting' would not sound as good. There is also the infamous song 'Why are we waiting?' because the implication is that the singers have been waiting a long time. I hope this is clear! I sound like I'm babbling!

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