Some English expressions seem to sound natural and unproblematic when expressed by a native speaker.
But for some non-natives, these expressions could get a little awkward particularly when the individual meaning of words and how they relate to one another are dissected inappropriately.
One of these expressions is “looking forward to seeing you” whereby, for the most part, the trouble comes from the arrangement of the last three words.
Quit staying in that unholy, negative town, for our post today will keep all of your confusion at bay.
Is the phrase “looking forward to seeing you” grammatically correct?
Not only is “looking forward to seeing you” grammatically flawless, but it also depicts native-like fluency. “Looking forward to” is a phrasal-prepositional verb that requires a noun afterward to be grammatical. This is a common expression used to express excitement at an upcoming meeting.
Understanding the grammatical structure of “looking forward to seeing you”
“Looking forward to seeing you” is the reduced version of “I am looking forward to seeing you” in which the subject and the auxiliary verb are omitted.
The subject “I” and the verb “am” are replaceable depending on the context and the intention of the language user.
More precisely, you can substitute “I” with other subject pronouns and nouns like “we,” “they,” “he,” “she,” “Anna,” or “Simon.”
Whereas, “are,” “is,” “has been,” “have been” or “had been” may take the place of “am” according to the subject being used.
Indubitably, we can thereby deduce that “seeing” is not the verb in the statement, but it is rather the object of the preposition “to.”
Meanwhile, “looking forward to” is what we refer to as a phrasal verb, a type of verb which is a combination of two or more words having a special meaning.
“To look forward to” means to expect or anticipate an upcoming event or activity which is used to convey a sense of excitement toward the recipient of the message.
To get rid of the confusion, if any, let’s have a look at these parts in detail.
“Looking forward to seeing you” vs. “Looking forward to see you”
Although “looking forward to see you” may not necessarily prompt any confusion nor misinformation, the statement does not follow the grammatical conventions of the natives.
Even my grammar checker tool choked at my usage of “to see” in the previous sentence, almost instantly alerting me to change the phrase upon typing.
“Looking forward to” is a phrasal-prepositional verb that is made up of three distinct lexemes acting as a unit to create a new meaning.
“To be used to,” “to get accustomed to,” and “ to admit to” are also other lengthy phrasal verbs that often confuse non-native users of English.
So, in order to understand the grammatical make-up of the entire expression, we have to group the words accordingly.
“Seeing you,” is meanwhile the complete prepositional object, meaning the noun that the preposition “to” is acting upon.
This phrase has to be treated separately to remove the obscurity.
Moreover, “seeing” is a noun that is masquerading as a verb, more particularly called a gerund; while “to see” is an infinitive phrase.
Even though both may function as a noun within a sentence, only gerunds can act as an object of a preposition.
All of these syntactical subtleties make “looking forward to seeing you” the most widely recognized and accepted grammatical structure in the realm of the English language.
Using the phrase “looking forward to seeing you”
The entire expression is used to inform another person or group of people that one is excited about an upcoming meeting or physical interaction.
Although using this verbiage in spoken conversations is possible, it is more common to use it in written correspondence, which is generally expected to be more formal.
Using this in more formal spoken discussions is also recommended, but reducing its formality is more appropriate in more casual ones.
We would notice “looking forward to seeing you” in e-mail writing as a closing statement as a way to convey politeness through language.
It is found in situations wherein a message sender wants to make the recipient feel welcomed and comfortable, such as a recruiter communicating to an applicant.
Let’s just say you’re a recruiting staff inviting an applicant who just passed the initial online screening for a vacant job position. Here’s what you might write in your e-mail:
“We are pleased to hear that you are available for an interview here in the office next week. Please don’t forget to bring printed copies of your resume and application letter.
We are looking forward to seeing you.”
How formal is “looking forward to seeing you?”
“Looking forward to seeing you” is relatively less formal than its full-length version containing a subject and an auxiliary verb.
As sentence truncation or shortening is a characteristic of casual language use, it is best to utilize the complete sentence format if you want to increase the formality of any statement.
However, e-mail correspondence is becoming less and less formal these days; hence, word omission is getting more usual than ever, as well.
Apparently, a writer is the one holding the pen, so it is always up to him or her what sort of style adjustment should be done depending on the context.
To be more concrete, we can still further increase or decrease the formality of “looking forward to seeing you” when the situation requires.
While “excited to see you” would suffice in writing to a friend or a family member, “I am eagerly looking forward to our next meeting” would also be a bit too much.
And, it may also be inappropriate to say “see ya around” to your school’s dean or to a business prospect who is a Chief Financial Officer of a company.
Such scenarios would create a register clash, which is only applicable when you’re a New York-based comedian.
Kidding aside, the importance of considering the overall context when communicating is actually really integral in maintaining relationships.
So, let’s also try to look at some handy expressions related to “looking forward to seeing you” that we can use in various scenarios.
Other ways of saying looking forward to seeing you
Knowing a bunch of alternative expressions is elemental in starting or maintaining both social and professional relationships.
This allows you to calibrate your tonality after assessing the context in which the language needs to operate in.
Excited to see you
A more casual way to say “looking forward to seeing you” is “excited to see you,” which is applicable when a sense of familiarity is already established between the interlocutors.
As this expression conveys a personal tone, you can use this when you’re texting or emailing your friends, classmate, cousins, and other intimate connections.
Unless you share a special bond with your superiors or business prospects, it is best to avoid this tonality when communicating with them.
“I’ve heard you’re coming home next month, Deb. We can finally hang out again.
I’m so excited to see you!”
See you again soon
Another casual alternative is something as simple as “see you again soon,” in which “soon” denotes an unspecified date in the near future.
This can be used when you are unsure of the exact time or date to meet the other person, but you do want to convey enthusiasm and desire at the same time.
Also, regardless of whether you would actually see the person anytime soon, this is a generic farewell expression that works pretty much all the time.
Similarly, it is better to use a more formal expression when corresponding with psychologically distant individuals.
“Thanks for coming to my mom’s birthday party earlier, Cath.
See you again soon!
I am hoping to see you soon
When communicating with rather distant people, a functional alternative expression to use would be “I am hoping to see you soon.”
This one’s not pretentious, and it is also not too casual. In other words, it is a neutral yet polite way of conveying a desire to meet the other party without sounding too desperate.
You’re sending a follow-up e-mail to your prospect whom you’ve just convinced to be on a virtual meeting for a product presentation.
“Happy Monday! There’s no need for you to respond to this email. This is just to remind you about the product presentation meeting at 3 pm this afternoon.
I am hoping to see you soon!”
Looking forward to meeting you
Lastly, we can simply change “seeing” into “meeting,” especially if we are going to visually or physically interact with the person for the first time.
The word “meeting” evokes a feeling of formality because it is often used in business-related settings.
While “see,” comparatively speaking, is something that contains the connotation of spending time with a person, which is less formal.
So, when it’s your first time interacting and seeing a person, especially for business-related reasons, it is best to use “looking forward to meeting you” instead.
“Thank you for considering my proposal, Mr. Gonzales.
I am looking forward to meeting you at your office tomorrow.”
Looking forward to seeing you there
Saying, “Looking forward to seeing you there” is a great way to let someone know that you are happy to be meeting up with them and to confirm that you will see them in a specific place.
If you have just made plans to see someone at a designated location, you can end your conversation with “Looking forward to seeing you there.”
When you say you are looking forward to seeing someone “there,” you are letting them know that you will see them soon at the place you have arranged to meet in.
This is the ideal sign-off to an email or text exchange with someone you will next see in a designated location.
Example: How to use “Looking forward to seeing you there” in an email
Thank you for confirming your attendance of the New-Age Scholars Meeting at the Yoga Conference on March 22nd at the Northwest Arena.
I am looking forward to seeing you there.
Looking forward to seeing you soon
The phrase “Looking forward to seeing you soon” emphasizes that you will be seeing the person you are talking too in the near future.
You can use this phrase to refer to plans to see a friend, family member, colleague, or date at a specific time.
If you have arranged to see one another on a certain day and at a certain time, you can tell the person you will be meeting that you are looking forward to seeing them soon.
However, this phrase can also be used under more general circumstances. Even if you don’t have specific plans to meet up with someone, you can tell them that you are “Looking forward to seeing you soon.”
This implies that even though you haven’t penciled anything into your diaries yet, you would like to do so.
Saying, “Looking forward to seeing you soon” is a friendly way to end an email or text exchange when you already have plans with someone or when you anticipate making some before too long.
How to say “Looking forward to seeing you” professionally
When you have a work commitment to meet with a colleague, collaborator, or potential client, you can sign off your correspondence with them by saying “Looking forward to seeing you.” However, you might feel that this is too informal.
And there are certainly more formal ways to express this sentiment.
To ensure maximum professionalism, you can forego the casual and informal tone of “Looking forward to seeing you” and opt for one of the following formal alternatives.
I look forward to working together soon
One way to increase the professionalism of your message is to say, “I look forward to…” instead of “Looking forward to…”
If you will be meeting with an associate or potential collaborator because you will be going into business together or working on a joint project, you can say, “I look forward to working together soon.”
Example: How to use “I look forward to working together soon” in an email
Dear Mr. Jackson,
Many thanks for confirming your attendance of our meeting to discuss our joint venture, scheduled for Monday, January 10th.
I look forward to working together soon.
I look forward to speaking to you shortly
Saying, “I look forward to speaking to you shortly,” is an ideal way to end a professional email that confirms you will attend a business meeting.
This alternative to saying, “Looking forward to seeing you” strikes a far more formal tone, because it uses the word “speaking” instead of “seeing.”
Example: How to use “I look forward to speaking to you shortly” in an email
Dear Ms. Reid,
Many thanks for your correspondence regarding the time and venue for our upcoming meeting.
The conference is scheduled to take place in the Brook Room at the Seinfeld Hotel.
I look forward to speaking to you shortly.
I look forward to meeting with you
Telling someone you cannot wait to “see” them is a casual way of saying, “I look forward to meeting with you.”
By using the word “meeting” instead of “seeing,” you are automatically upping the professional tone of your correspondence.
This is the perfect way to end an email in advance of a meeting with a client or colleague. It is a great alternative to saying, “Looking forward to talking to you” in business writing.
Example: How to use “I look forward to meeting with you” in an email
Dear Mrs. Brendan,
I have read your correspondence to the firm and have reviewed your case.
Based on the evidence you have provided, I feel confident that we will be able to secure you a favorable outcome.
I look forward to meeting with you on Monday, June 2nd at 2 pm.
I am looking forward to a productive conversation when we meet
If you want to say more than just “I look forward to meeting with you,” you can put a positive spin on your sign-off by saying that you are looking forward to a productive conversation.
This is a formal way to show the person you are corresponding with that you feel goodwill toward them and are hoping for a mutually beneficial outcome.
Example: How to use “I am looking forward to a productive conversation when we meet” in an email
Dear Dr. Bern,
I am highly interested in the possibility of merging our family practices.
We would both certainly benefit from one another’s expertise and resources, and I have heard such positive things about your clinic and staff.
I am looking forward to a productive conversation when we meet.
Dr. Jane Burke
I look forward to continuing our discussion in person soon
The phrase, “I look forward to continuing our discussion in person soon” is a great way to end a thread of email correspondence when you are going to be meeting with the person you have been talking to in the near future.
In order to use this professional alternative to “Looking forward to seeing you,” you have to have been engaged in an email or phone exchange for some time.
Example: How to use “I look forward to continuing our discussion in person soon” in an email
Dear Mr. Ali,
Many thanks for all your help over the last two months. I am glad our correspondence has brought us to this point.
I have complete confidence in the business plan we have devised.
I look forward to continuing our discussion in person soon.
How to respond to “Looking forward to seeing you”
Responding to “Looking forward to seeing you” can be a bit tricky.
The main difficulty you’ll encounter when trying to respond to someone telling you they are looking forward to seeing you is that you have to reference what they’ve said when you respond.
If you simply put “Likewise!” at the end of an email, chances are the person you’re responding to will not know what you’re referring to.
For this reason, it is crucial that you let the person know that you are also looking forward to seeing them, or that you are looking forward to seeing them too.
Here are a few great ways to respond to someone saying, “Looking forward to seeing you.”
I’m looking forward to catching up too!
If you are engaged in a casual conversation with a friend, family member, or close colleague, you can respond to “Looking forward to seeing you” by saying, “I’m looking forward to catching up too!”
The phrase “catching up” means getting back up to date with what is going on in each other’s lives.
This informal response to “Looking forward to seeing you” is perfect if you haven’t seen the person you’re talking to for quite some time.
Example: How to use “I’m looking forward to catching up too!” in an email
It has been too long!
Thanks so much for reaching out and suggesting grabbing a coffee together on Thursday.
I’m looking forward to catching up too!
I can’t wait to see you either.
If you are texting someone you are close to and they say, “Looking forward to seeing you,” you can respond by saying, “I can’t wait to see you either.”
That said, this response is highly casual and would not be appropriate in a professional setting. Make sure you only use it when you have an informal relationship with the person you are writing to.
Example: How to use “I can’t wait to see you either” in a text
A: Looking forward to seeing you!
B: Aw! I can’t wait to see you either!
Likewise. It will be great to talk this over in person.
If you are responding to a professional email from a colleague and they say, “Looking forward to seeing you soon,” you can give the formal answer, “Likewise. It will be great to talk this over in person.”
This is an appropriate response to give in a wide variety of circumstances, both professional and personal.
Example: How to use “Likewise. It will be great to talk this over in person” in an email
Dear Mr. Halbert,
Likewise. It will be great to talk this over in person.
Let’s continue this conversation tomorrow at the office.
I also look forward to seeing you
Saying, “I also look forward to seeing you” is a great way to reciprocate the sentiment, “Looking forward to seeing you.”
Because it is an almost identical phrase, it perfectly matches the tone and formality of the original message.
Example: How to use “I also look forward to seeing you” in business correspondence
Many thanks for confirming your attendance!
I also look forward to seeing you.
Me too! I can’t believe we’ll be in each other’s company so soon.
If you have a close working relationship with someone who has said, “Looking forward to seeing you,” you can respond by saying, “Me too! I can’t believe we’ll be in each other’s company so soon.”
This would also be an ideal response to a good friend whom you haven’t seen for many years.
Example: How to use “Me too! I can’t believe we’ll be in each other’s company so soon” in an email
Thank you for reaching out to me in advance of the Neuroscience Conference this November.
Thank you for saying you are looking forward to catching up. Me too! I can’t believe we’ll be in each other’s company so soon.
Frequently Asked Questions on “Looking forward to seeing you”
How can we reply to “looking forward to seeing you”?
To respond to a message that says “looking forward to seeing you,” we can simply say “see you soon” or “see you then.”
What is a synonym for “looking forward to seeing you”?
“Can’t wait to see you” is a casual alternative, and “I am hoping to see you” is a neutrally formal one.
Which is grammatically correct, “I am looking forward to” or “I look forward to seeing you”?
Both expressions are grammatically correct, but the simple present tense in “l look forward to seeing you” is more formal than the other. The present continuous tense, though, is more commonly used in email writing at present.
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