Talk:wait for

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Wiktionary:Requests for verification - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of May 2008. 20:00, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Deletion debate[edit]

Green check.svg

The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


I can see nothing but a sum of parts, wait and for Goldenrowley 03:53, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

We don't have that sense of for, and I'm not sure how it would be written. Waiting for someone does not necessarily mean to wait on that person's behalf; you might even be waiting for someone on someone else's behalf ("my boss asked me to wait for his daughter.") -- Visviva 06:10, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand the comment, two of the definitions of "for" apply after "wait":

  1. for =Supporting (opposite of against).
    I wait for you to love me
  2. for = Because of.
    I wait for love

Goldenrowley 19:09, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Abstain. I believe that the relevant sense of for is one that we don't yet have — something like this:

  1. Used to construe various verbs.
    Don't wait for an answer.
    What did he ask you for?
    He was convicted for murder. (We currently have this as an example for the “Because of.” sense, but that can't be right, as “He was wrongly convicted for a murder that never happened” is perfectly standard.)
    I'm looking for my friend.

— but that's no reason to keep wait for. On the other hand, in my experience we're pretty arbitrary about which verbs we take as phrasal and define on their own, and which ones we define at the main verb entry; if we expect our readers to be able to predict this, we might as well give up now on ever having readers. —RuakhTALK 19:58, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

An experienced Wiktionary user will try multiple approaches, knowing by experience that we are often inconsistent. A new user is more likely to type in "wait for" (or "wait") than "for", IMO. I am not yet certain that we have fully and accurately defined the senses of "wait for". DCDuring TALK 20:24, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

[edit conflict]

IMO those are not the right senses of "for".
  1. In the first example the emotional content has introduced the idea of support, but that is not common and not relevant to the meaning at hand. For example, in the sentence "I am waiting for the other shoe to drop." the "support" notion does not apply in any way.
  2. In ordinary language "cause" usually doesn't refer to a goal or an event in the future, but rather something from the past. "I am waiting for my hanging for my love." shows two sense of "for", the first is the sense that had been missing and the second is the cause sense.
"Wait for" is roughly synonymous with "await". MW3 shows 10 major senses and 18 subsenses of "for". There are obvious parallels among the senses, derived from a basic spatial metaphor applied in various ways, but they are distinguishable. DCDuring TALK 20:06, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree delete. This is just sum of parts, with for leading off a prepositional phrase in the examples above. --EncycloPetey 20:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I think keep, myself. How would you know how to translate it? wait for is a single transitive verb in many (most?) languages. Widsith 20:52, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I am afraid if we go down the route to say we cannot define "for", then we will have to make entries for things like "hold for", "stop for", etc. I think the word "for" is a word that links the word "wait" with the reason for waiting.. just as it links many other words to their reasons. Goldenrowley 22:29, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. To me, wait for sounds obviously more idiomatic than "stop for". The point is that, despite having a transitive verb await, the natural way to express the idea in English is to use an intransitive verb (wait) with a preposition. This is quite unlike the situation in other languages. It is not a matter of "not being able" to define for, but rather that it is more appropriate and helpful to consider this to be a compound verb. Widsith 08:53, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
For me that's not the issue. We ought to have both the appropriate senses for "for" and whatever phrasal verbs or idiomatic expressions use "for". In gray-area cases I favor being nice to naive users by including more likely-to-be-searched terms both as headwords and elsewhere, in alternative forms, usage examples, and usage notes. DCDuring TALK 23:36, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Weak delete, and wait on too. If we delete, we need a usage note s.v. wait.—msh210 17:46, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Delete, and improve the definition of for. My rule of thumb on deciding whether something is a phrasal verb or just a verb followed by a preposition is whether it can be felicitously passivized. In this way, wait for is very different from, say wait on, which is definitely a phrasal verb. "Yesterday I was waited on by a very good-looking waiter" is perfectly grammatical, but ???"Yesterday I was waited for by a very good-looking customer" sounds quite odd. (It's still better than *"The store was gone to", though, so maybe it's slightly more phrasal than go to, which is definitely SOP.) Angr 17:57, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • wait for cannot be translated by looking up wait and for, because the two words are translated by a single word in most other languages. Using two words is idiomatic English, not to mentiona a common set phrase. Why not have it? Widsith 20:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't know if I agree with your premise. The correct way to translate wait for is to look up wait, find its translation, and see what preposition the translation is construed with. For example, the Hebrew translation of wait is חיכה (khiká), so you'd look that up, and find that in the relevant sense, it's construed with ל־ (l'-, to, for). Problem solved. Unless you're saying that most languages use different words for wait for as for bare wait; but I don't think you are, and if you were, then it seems like we'd need the translation of wait for at wait in order to prevent confusion. —RuakhTALK 22:49, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Er...I'm not sure, until that Hebrew page is created, how clear that will be. From what you are saying, though, I think that case is less confusing than translations which do not take any preposition at all. The French word attendre for instance — to me the defs wait (intransitive) and wait for (transitive) would ideally be on separate lines and link to separate English entries. The English word wait can be used with different prepositions – for, until, about, around, on, up — all of which effectively create very different "indirect" verbs, some transitive and others in-. Now while this can be dealt with through good preposition information at wait (the current entry is nowhere near, btw), I don't see why it's not more helpful to make common collocations such as wait for pages in their own right. As well, if not instead. Widsith 17:16, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • While I appreciate Widsith's valient efforts to find a perfect translation of words from other languages into English, the primary purpose of English Wikipedia is to define English words and phrases, not to fit what other languages have (that we do not) or to force the translations into English. For example we load English idioms here, we do not load English translations of French idioms (just because they can be translated). That having been said, "wait" implies we are waiting "for" something, in most cases. I never hear anyone "wait from" anything. Goldenrowley 03:57, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
    I don't see how anything I've suggested interferes with this "primary purpose" you are talking about. But whatever, I'm done. Widsith 06:29, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Delete with explanation at wait, and possibly splitting translations (if we still do that). DAVilla 06:44, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I was about to delete this, but is there anything salvageable (movable) among the translations?—msh210 19:28, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

A sign that something is merely SoP is if it translates literally and nicely into numerous other languages. I don’t know of another language that has this particular construction. English "wait for him" becomes in German "warten Sie auf ihn" (not "warten Sie für ihn"). In Spanish, I’d say "espéralo" (not "espera para él"). In Russian, "ожидайте его" (not "ждите для него"). It’s idiomatic. Keep. —Stephen 22:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
(Further to the above) Also, this phrase can be tricky, because it has different meanings (wait for him vs. wait for him to do something...German "warte auf ihn" vs. "warte, dass er etwas tut"), and the sense "wait for him" has at least two subsenses (await his imminent arrival vs. wait part of a lifetime until he returns from duty or is released from captivity, with an eye towards marriage). —Stephen 23:17, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
On the flip side, one can also say "he waited three hours for her", or "he waited three hours for her to finish", so even if we keep [[wait for]], won't we have to duplicate all its information at [[wait]]? —RuakhTALK 23:30, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
In the interest of keep the entry for wait of reasonable size, wouldn't it be desirable to have the wait for usage notes and examples separate from any such for wait? Something terse, but not hidden under show/hide, at wait that pointed to wait for would provide users the needed trail to follow. I know that size of entry is not a linguistic consideration, but it is a meaningful practical one for users if we want to give them OED-type depth of information. We haven't solved the problem of how to do that with single large entries. DCDuring TALK 23:53, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
As a staunch supporter of phrasal verbs, I have stayed away from this discussion because I am not convinced it is really phrasal. But following through the debate it is clear that 1. it is borderline phrasal for a number of reasons (although "he waited three hours for her" is a demonstration of non-phrasal status), and 2. trying to put all those usage notes everywhere would be anything but useful!!. So on the grounds of practical utility for the users, I think we should Keep this entry, with usage notes in the entry itself. -- ALGRIF talk 16:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep because:
    many other dictionaries include this separately under their entries for "wait";
    some phrasal verb lists have this; and
    our entry for wait is already too long to do this justice.
This vote is now almost even: 5 deletes: GoldenRowley, EP, MSH, Angr, and DAVilla; 1 abstain: Ruakh; 4 keeps: Widsith, Stephen, Algrif, DCDuring DCDuring TALK 19:03, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Weak Keep as a borderline phrasal verb synonymous with await. The length of the entry [[wait]] shouldn't be an important issue when coming to a decision about keeping [[wait for]]. And a possible derived term from wait for is wait for it (not yet defined here, but Urbandictionary gives the definition "A sentence-enhancing phrase, used to illustrate the epicness of an object/situation/event. " (better than most UD definitions, but I'm sure we could do better)). Merriam-Webster's usage note at [1] says

American dialectologists have evidence showing wait on (sense 3) to be more a Southern than a Northern form in speech. Handbook writers universally denigrate wait on and prescribe wait for in writing. Our evidence from printed sources does not show a regional preference; it does show that the handbooks' advice is not based on current usage <settlement of the big problems still waited on Russia — Time> <the staggering bill that waited on them at the white commissary downtown — Maya Angelou>. One reason for the continuing use of wait on may lie in its being able to suggest protracted or irritating waits better than wait for <for two days I've been waiting on weather — Charles A. Lindbergh> <the boredom of black Africans sitting there, waiting on the whims of a colonial bureaucracy — Vincent Canby> <doesn't care to sit around waiting on a House that's virtually paralyzed — Glenn A. Briere>. Wait on is less common than wait for, but if it seems natural, there is no reason to avoid it.

--Jackofclubs 10:01, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Keep. The use of "wait for" is idiomatic and therefore is not a sum of its parts. Translating the parts into another language will certainly give the wrong result, therefore it warrants having a separate translation for the idiom. --CodeCat 16:18, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you but, by what reasoning or what criteria is it idiomatic? Without your presenting that or lending support to someone else's reasoned position your vote on irrelevant criteria should by rights be be disregarded. We have provisions for voting on changes in policy. Initiate a discussion at WT:BP. There are others who agree with you. Make a proposal. Then we vote. Then we act on the new policy. And then those who vote in flagrant contradiction to the new policy can be ignored. DCDuring TALK 17:02, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

kept no consensus --Rising Sun 19:45, 8 August 2009 (UTC)