'Have somebody wait' vs 'Have somebody waiting'

Dear All (Amy,in particular :smiley: )

Further to our discussion regarding the difference in:

1- He had me laugh all through the meal.
2- He had me laughing all through the meal.

…there is this query.(Which one is correct?)

1- He had me wait for two hours.
2- He had me waiting for two hours.


Hi Tom

You noticed I was online, didn’t you? :wink:

What exactly to do you want to say? They’re both possible, but the meanings are a bit different (as with your other pair of sentences).


Dear Amy

Could you please tell me the difference? What is more possible?


PS: I really do not know how to check the online status of anyone!! Could you help me learn that too, please?

Hi Tom,

The main theme throughout the various forms of the infinitive and the -ing form is that the infinitive suggests completion and the -ing form indicates continuousness. You can see this most obviously in the tense forms ie simple and progressive (continuous).

In your examples have someone do or have someone doing the same theme persists. The idea of possibility or near possibility is not relevant. It is the sense and the meaning of the uses of these two forms.

If you have someone do something, the sense is that they will do it or have done it.

If you have someone doing something, the sense is that the process is ongoing - the picture if you like is the activity rather than the act.


Hi Tom

The way I’d personally tend to use/understand these two sentences might be as follows:

1- He had me wait for two hours.

For example:
He = dentist (maybe even Alan’s dentist :lol:)

I went to the dentist and had some work done on my teeth. I asked the dentist if I could eat right away after the appointment. The dentist said no, I should wait for at least two hours before eating anything.
He had me wait for two hours.

2- He had me waiting for two hours.

I had an appointment with the dentist for 9:00 a.m.
I arrived at 8:50. Nine o’clock came and went. The dental assistant told me that the dentist had had an ‘unavoidable delay’ but that he would arrive shortly. Ten o’clock came and went. By 10:30 I was beginning to get a little hot under the collar. At 11:00 the dentist finally arrived.

When I later told this story to friends I simply said:
He had me waiting for two hours.

I think my examples pretty much reflect what Alan described.

Does that help or just muddle things? :lol:


Thank you everybody…for making things so easy to understand!

Hi Tom,

You can click on this link: Who is online? or you can simply scroll down to the bottom of the forum page to see the user names that are online.


TOEIC short conversations: Personnel discussion[YSaerTTEW443543]