I look forward / I'm looking forward

Nijan

Senior Member
Italian, Italy - Salerno
Hello,
could anybody explain me the difference (if there's any) between the two forms? In formal letters it's usually used:
I look forward to hearing from you

but I've also found:
I'm looking forward to seeing her.

Thank you
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Grammatically there's a difference, of course, one is the plain present and the other is the continuous, but if there's a difference in meaning it's hard to detect. The difference in usage is that the continuous (looking forward) is less formal and sounds friendlier.
     

    Nijan

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy - Salerno
    So there's no real grammatical difference in usage (apart from the tense labels), I mean, it's only a matter of language register, isn't it?
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    It's to all intents and purposes a matter of formality, yes. "I look forward" is formal, and usually written, often in business letters. It would seem distancing to use it when speaking to someone with whom you are on friendly terms. It can also be made less formal by inserting "will" ("I'll"): "I'll look forward to it!"
     
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