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Which one of the following is Correct:

  1. I am looking forward to seeing you or

  2. I look forward to see you

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    "I am looking forward to seeing you" is colloquial. "I look forward to meeting you" is more formal.
    – Mick
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 18:58

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There are two separate things here.

One is whether the main verb ("look forward") is in the continuous or not. The answer is that either is possible. The continuous "I'm looking forward to ... " is more common; "I look forward to ... " is possible with present meaning, as this is a verb of mental state; but it has a formal feel, such as you might get in a business letter.

The second is whether to use "see" or "seeing". This has absolutely nothing to do with continuous vs simple present. It is not a finite verb ("see/be seeing") but a non-finite form - either the infinitive ("see") or what some people call the gerund ("seeing").

The answer is that "look forward to" overwhelmingly takes the "-ing" form. The GloWbE corpus has 2939 instances of "look forward to seeing" against 125 of "look forward to see" - that's 96%. However, I notice that in examples from India, Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia, the figure is only about 80%; so "look forward to see" would appear to be more common in those countries (and I suspect Pakistan too, but there are few instances from there in the corpus).

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  • As far as I know, we Malaysian consider "look foward to see" is wrong, it should take gerund. Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 2:00
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    I believe you, @user178049. I'm just saying that in the GloWbE corpus, Malaysia gives the largest proportion of instances of "Looking forward to see" of anywhere - 10 out 58. But it is not a very large sample, and it's entirely possible that all those 10 were written by people who do not have English as their first language.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 10:00

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