“I am looking forward to speaking to you” and “I look forward to speaking to you” are two sentences, both with almost similar meanings. Suppose you are writing an important business email or talking to family. It can be quite confusing when you are thinking about whether you should and should not use these sentences. This article is going to help to overcome this problem and you will probably understand when to use what.
Firstly ‘I am looking forward to speaking with you’ describes the expectation of the speaker to speak to you. This phrase shows that the speaker is anticipating that he or she will enjoy speaking with you. The phrase sounds casual. On the other hand, “I look forward to speaking with you” has less emotion, more of a professional vibe. This phrase is suitable in a business letter. It means the speaker just anticipates a meeting with the other party.
Of the two sentences, “I look forward to speaking to you” is written in the simple present tense, and “I am looking forward to speaking to you” is written in the present continuous tense. Simple continuous tense has a more permanent meaning than present continuous tense.
The simple present tense is used for events that are happening right now or have been happening regularly. Some examples of simple present tense are: “I go to school”, “I do my homework”, “I eat food”. In contrast, the present continuous tense is used for events that occurred or may occur. For example, “I am writing a letter”. “She will go to work” etc.
I look forward to speaking with you
“I look forward to speaking with you” is written in the simple present tense. This sentence has a permanent vibe meaning that this is a task that you always do. If we rephrase the sentence to our convenience, “Speaking with you is something I look forward to always”. By looking at the sentence, we can understand that the person looks forward to speaking to others, without mentioning the time. This can happen on any day or at any time.
“I look forward to speaking with you” gives a more formal meaning, which can be used for business purposes ideally. This respects a person’s priorities meaning that you can speak to the person at any particular date and time.
I am looking forward to speaking with you
“I am looking forward to speaking with you” is written in the present continuous tense. This sentence has the quite opposite meaning to that of “I look forward to speaking with you”. The main difference is the tense they are written in. If we rephrase this sentence to our convenience, it becomes “At present, I am waiting to speak with you with eagerness and optimism”. The sentence indicates a casual meeting where the date and time are fixed. So by looking at the sentence, we understand that the sentence offers a casual meaning. That makes it suitable to be used in our day-to-day lives while talking to friends and family.
Another thing is that “I am looking forward to speaking with you” offers more commitment stating that the speaking will happen definitely at a fixed time, irrespective of the priorities of any party. Here the event of speaking is the priority.
Which sentence should be used for professional purposes?
Whenever you write a business letter or email, you have to maintain the utmost politeness and professionalism. You also have to pay respect to the priorities of the other person, say the manager or the HR, keeping in mind that the other person has other important things to do rather than speaking to you. And it matters what type of sentences you use at a professional level. Grammar and speech are very important here.
So in that case, if you use “I am looking forward to speaking with you”, you are disrespecting the manager’s priorities. You will be in fact forcing him or her to be obligated to speak with you at a definite day or time which is rude and unprofessional.
Thus, in that case, It is ideal to use “I look forward to speaking with you” leaving the entire decision on the other person. This sentence is professional and respects the fact that the other person has other important jobs to do. The speaking can happen at any particular time and you are totally cool with that.
But sometimes it doesn’t matter, because being offended by a simple tense is rare. But it is ideal to keep your communication professional and top-notch to avoid inevitable situations.
Which sentence should be used for Casual purposes?
Whenever you are talking to your friends and family, it doesn’t matter about the type of sentence you will be using. But if you want your speech to be communicative and casual, you have to be careful of what sentences you use. In the workplace, study institution, or job-seeking procedure, it is needless to say that you should be formal.
Let’s suppose, your friend asked if you would want to speak about a party upcoming next week, you can reply as “I am looking forward to speaking with you about it”. This sentence adds casualty and friendliness to your speech. It also indicates that you are excited and eager to speak about the party. In another situation, suppose your mother asked you if you wanted to talk about the college applications you sent out lately. You can reply to the question as “I am looking forward to speaking with you” expressing the optimism and eagerness to speak about it.
“I am looking forward to speaking to you” is more casual and friendly than “I look forward to speaking to you”. “I am looking forward to speaking to you” is in the present continuous tense. But using present tense in every sentence is not cool.
Suppose, your friend asked you what you do and you replied: “I am going to school”. It means that you are going to school at that very moment which is not correct in some sense. You should have replied “I go to school” which means you go to school for a particular period of time. So the use of simple tense and present continuous tense simply depends on the context.
Again, using simple continuous tense is not always professional. You should always keep in mind the context and maintain politeness and sincerity in your sentences.
So, “I am looking forward to speaking to you” v/s “I look forward to speaking to you” is a confusing debate. But with time, you will understand the difference between them. “I look forward to speaking to you” is used in most formal cases whereas “I am looking forward to speaking to you” is more casual. Well, most people don’t pay much heed or get offended by the misuse of these sentences. But it is ideal to use the right one in the right context.