Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Vocabulary & Idiom Questions
I will be waiting for your call.
May I know what is the difference between theM? Thanks.
The second describes what you will be (in the process of) doing. This invites the listener to think of each moment in the waiting period as it happens. In this version the person waiting seems more concerned about the call. We can even imagine him pacing up and down as he waits, if we wish.
According to what you said, may I understand the second this way: I am sitting beside the phone waiting for your call; I expect you will call me as soon as possible.
OseeHi CalifJim,I don't think it's that extreme.
CalifJim's explanation reads a little abstract to me; would you like to give me an alternative one?
PhilipOseeI don't think it's that extreme.
TanitCJ's explanation is great.Thanks, Tanit! I think I hit the high points, even though my explanation is not as extensive as the one from the BBC, which elaborates on the difference a bit more, and emphasizes the constantness or continuity conveyed by the progressive form.
I guess the main point is that the progressive form is much more descriptive in nature, more "inviting to the imagination". With certain verbs it draws the listener into the interior emotional life of the speaker in a way that cannot be matched by the non-progressive form. And with other verbs -- those that express action, it invites the listener to experience (or at least imagine) the physicality of the continuous action. If "i'll dig in the garden", you imagine the result of my digging. The soil is turned over, perhaps, and ready for planting. But if "I'll be digging in the garden", you imagine the continuous expenditure of energy as I dig and dig and dig. You can almost see the sweat dripping from my face as I work!
What that graphic enough, Osee?
PS. The contrast is the same for other tenses: The contrast between "I dug in the garden" and "I was digging in the garden" can be characterized in the same way.
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