When To Use “Looking Forward To Hearing From You”

If you “look forward to something”, you are eager or excited for it to happen in the future. “Looking forward to hearing from” or “look forward to hearing from you” are two common phrases that you often see at the end of a letter. These phrases have the same meaning; there is no doubt about that. However, it is more complicated when you consider their usage.

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Many people consider these two phrases to be similar and interchangeable. Still, they are slightly different and should be used for different occasions. Read on to learn more about how to use the phrase - “looking forward to hearing from you” correctly.

1. The difference between “looking forward to hearing from you” and “ look forward to hearing from you”:

As I mentioned above, 2 phrases, which are “looking forward to hearing from you” and “look forward to hearing from you” are considered to be similar in meaning. Both of them are correct in term of grammar. That is the reason why to many people, they are interchangeable. However, there is a slightly minor difference between 2 phrases.

  • “I am looking forward to hearing from you”: This expression is quite informal and casual.
  • “I look forward to hearing from you”: On the other hand, this expression is formal. It could then be used for more formal correspondence and business-related emails.
  • “I’m looking forward to hearing from you”. With the use of the apostrophe, this sentence is even more informal than the two sentences which are mentioned above.

Let’s look into more detail about the implication behind these two sentences. While the first sentence – “I am looking forward to hearing from you” sounds like a general sentence to use at the end of a letter, the second sentence – “I look forward to hearing from you” has a stronger message. It points out who should have something to say next. That is the reason why the second sentence sounds stronger and hence, becomes more suitable to end a formal letter.

​2. The correct structure

​Unlike “have to” or “want to”, the phrase “look forward to” is followed by a gerund.

  • I want to hear from you.
  • I look forward to hearing from you.

After the verb “want” or “want”, the word “to” is used as a liking word to introduce and link the next word with the previous word. Hence, the structure has to be “want + to + Verb”.

However, after the phrase “look forward”, the word “to” is used as a preposition. After the preposition, the gerund form of a verb should be used. Hence, the correct structure is “I (am) look(ing) forward to V-ing”. If you eagerly expect for something, use “I (am) look(ing) forward to N”.

  • I look forward to seeing you next week.
  • I look forward to your arrival next week.

​I hope this article helps to answer the question about whether you should use “looking forward to hearing from” and “look forward to hearing from”. The former is more suitable for an informal letter while the latter is for letter which is more formal. Make sure that these two phrases are followed by V-ing.