"I was waiting for the real moment." vs. "I've been waiting for the real moment."


"I was waiting for the real moment." vs. "I've been waiting for the real moment." - which sentence is grammatically correct?


Thank you.

edited Oct 08 '12 at 19:54 iG New member

2 answers


"I was waiting for the real moment." --> This sentence fragment uses the past progressive tense (was/were + present participle). Because the past progressive tense describes a past action that was happening when another action occurred, this sentence is technically incomplete. It does not  describe the second action. "I was waiting for the real moment when ..." Such a fragment can be successfully used when the second action is clearly understood by the context. This is called an implied or elliptical reference.


"I've been waiting for the real moment." --> This sentence uses the present perfect progressive tense (has/have been + present participle). The tense describes an action that began in the past, continues in the present, and may continue into the future. 


If we consider the first sentence to have an elliptical reference to a second action, both sentences are correct.


I hope this helps.

link comment edited Oct 08 '12 at 20:31 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

First of all, you probably need the word right instead of the word real.


If you are referring to something you have just said or done, or something you are just about to say or do, then I've been waiting for the right moment would be correct.

link answered Oct 08 '12 at 20:25 Peter Guess Expert

Peter, go back to the "proud of" discussion for a second. How do yoou indicate that you are currentlyly proud of a past event? Changing the "to be" verb tense changes the basic meaning. With the tense change, you are saying that you once were proud, but now you are not.

Jeff PribylOct 08 '12 at 20:45

I think you may have missed the follow-up question asked by HsKyH7: ". . . and then 'I was proud that I had worked . . .' can be rewritten to 'I was proud of having worked...', you think?" I corrected it to "I was proud to have worked . . .", using the same tense. http://answers.grammarly.com/questions/8077-i-am-proud-that-i-had-worked-for-him-for-10-years/

Peter GuessOct 08 '12 at 21:39

This aside, I sort of like the idea of waiting for a moment that is "real." Very existential.

mysticeteOct 09 '12 at 10:43

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