Difference Between Waiting and Awaiting

Main Difference – Waiting vs Awaiting

The two verbs, waiting and awaiting have the same meaning. Both mean not to do something until something else happens or to stay in a place until some condition is met or to expect or hope for something. However, there are some differences between them based on grammar and usage. The main difference between waiting and awaiting is that waiting is not directly followed by an object whereas awaiting is directly followed by an object.

Waiting – Meaning and Usage

Waiting is the present participle or the gerund form of the verb wait. Wait can have several meanings. It basically means to stay in one place or delay action until a particular time or action. It also means to stay in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon. The following examples will help you to understand the meaning of this verb more clearly.

He was waiting for the instructions.

Everyone was waiting for me to fail.

She hated waiting in line.

He apologized for keeping me waiting.

We have been waiting for you for two whole hours!

You can observe in the above examples that waiting is not directly followed by any object. It often follows the preposition for.

In addition, this verb is more commonly used in speech and text than awaiting. This can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

Difference Between Waiting and Awaiting

The girls are waiting for the train.

Awaiting – Meaning and Usage

Awaiting is the present participle or the gerund of await. Await has the same meaning as wait. But there are some grammatical and practical differences between awaiting and waiting. One such difference in usage is that awaiting is more formal than waiting; it is often used in formal and written contexts. We rarely hear this verb in day to day conversations.

The main difference between awaiting and waiting, however, is that await is always directly followed by an object. Unlike wait, await cannot exist without an object.

I’m still awaiting their response.

We are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The police is awaiting the court’s authorization.

The thief is now in prison awaiting trial.

Jessica and Fabian are awaiting the birth of their first child.

Main Difference - Waiting vs Awaiting

People are awaiting the arrival of the train.

Difference Between Waiting and Awaiting


Waiting is the present participle of wait.

Awaiting is the present participle of await.


Waiting is often followed by a preposition.

Awaiting is always followed by an object.


Waiting can exist without an object.

Awaiting cannot exist without an object.


Waiting can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

Awaiting is mainly used in formal contexts.

Difference Between Waiting and Awaiting - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Image 1″ by Jim Pickerell, 1936-, Photographer (NARA record: 4588217) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, (Public Domain) via  

“Image 2″ by Siyuwj – Own work, via

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