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Await and wait mean the same thing, that is, they both mean to “stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens” (The New Oxford-American Dictionary).

Where lies the difference? 

Wait does not need an object (the receiver of the action). We can just say, “Corazon waited.” If we want to say for whom or for what Corazon waited, we can say, “Corazon waited for the conference to start.” Or “Corazon waited for the manager to finish his assessment of her performance.”

Await, however, needs an object. Sometimes await sounds more formal.

Examples:

  • The prisoners awaiting trial remain protected by law.
  • I await your prompt reply.
  • Our destiny awaits us.

Notice that wait uses the preposition for, while await does not need a preposition.

Photo credit: Upside Down Christianity

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2 thoughts on “Wait vs. await

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