In the film "Basse Normandie" of Simon Regiani and Patricia Mazuy, I saw this subtitle, is it possible

I have been working while I wait for you

I think it should be:

while I was waiting or while I waited

Because when the character said that sentence the wait was over but the character was still working.

  • I watch a lot of European "arthouse" movies and I think that translation of film subtitles is often done by native speakers of the original language. I often see minor errors like that, maybe more often in lower budget films. Even in Scandi Noir TV dramas on big UK networks. Oct 18, 2018 at 17:25
  • It would not be natural in written English, but it sounds fine to me in conversational English, in which things are often stated ungrammatically. Oct 20, 2018 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


It's impossible to tell exactly without seeing it.

That said, if someone knocks on my door as I'm answering this question, I would say to that person:

"I've been working while waiting for you". I don't know why subtitlers so often forget to use contractions.

That said: "I've been working while I was waiting for you." is OK, too.

I would not use: "while I wait for you" in this case, as that would be used for a general idea: While I wait for you every Thursday, you are always late.

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