So you have come? I have been anxiously waiting for you.

"Waiting" in this sentence will be a noun or a verb?

I believe it is a verb because it the person is doing something here i.e. waiting for the other person to come. Additionally, “anxiously” has come before it which is an adverb so I think waiting will also be a verb.

However, sentences like "years of waiting" are listed as a noun as per Google. This has confused me a little bit since in this sentence also, the person must be waiting for some time like maybe hours or this could even be days or months and so on.... So, could anyone specify why exactly it is not a noun here and is a verb here?

Also, please tell that what is "for" in terms of parts of speech here? Will it be considered a preposition or a conjunction here? It will be a preposition, right?


2 Answers 2


"Have been waiting" is a verb in the present perfect progressive tense, also called the present perfect continuous tense. This tense is formed by combining "has been" or "have been" with the present participle of a verb. In this case, "waiting" is the present participle of "to wait."

The present perfect progressive/continuous tense is used to indicate that an action began in the past but is continuing in the present. In some cases, it can also be used when the action has just ended – for example, when your friend finally shows up, you can still say "I have been waiting for you for hours," even though her arrival means that technically you aren't waiting anymore.

In "years of waiting," "waiting" is a gerund. It looks just like the present participle, but functions like a noun.

"For" is a preposition. Some authorities consider "to wait for" a phrasal verb, but many others do not.

  • wait for you is not a phrasal verb.wait for you, verb + prepositional phrase.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 22:15

Waiting, in "years of waiting" is a gerund (a noun).

Waiting, in "I have been anxiously waiting for you" is a verb.

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