1

Well, I am an Asian who study English as a second language. My question arose because I wanted to translate from my own language. Suppose that I am pondering while walking on the street that I want to see someone, and suddenly I run into that someone. I think I might say something that translate to "Oh! I am wanting to see you. Such a nice timing!"

May I ask a few questions as follows:

  1. Among English speakers, is it usual to say it like this?
  2. Are there other alternatives which are more common.
  3. I guess "I've wanted to see you?" is OK too? I guess from the meaning of other usage I've found on this ELU question.
  • 2
    "Oh, I was hoping to see you." – Davo Nov 14 '17 at 15:11
1

Once you've run into the person, you can shift your desire to the past. So, instead of saying:

Oh! I have wanted to see you!

you could say:

Oh! I was wanting to see you.

Or you can use the version suggested by Davo:

Oh, I was hoping to see you.

I don't think your original version is ungrammatical, but it doesn't sound as natural to my native ear.


As for the second half, timing does not take an indefinite article. So, it wouldn't be:

Such a nice timing!

but, rather:

Such nice timing!

As for alternate possibilities, one way you could reword that timing part would be:

Oh, I was hoping I'd run into you. What a coincidence!

  • For reasons which aren't immediately clear to me, native Anglophones (IE speakers excepted) rarely use the continuous past form with was wanting today - but there's no such constraint with similar verbs such as was expecting, was hoping, etc., as implied by this NGram. – FumbleFingers Nov 14 '17 at 16:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.