Skip to Content

“Looking forward to talking to you” in Business Writing

“Looking forward to talking to you” in Business Writing

You are writing an email response to an ideal client whom you have just convinced to get on a call regarding the service you offer.

But, as you type your closing remark, you suddenly get caught in the weeds on the expression “looking forward to talking to you.”

You end up contemplating on whether to use the present simple or progressive tense, gerund or infinitive, as well as the correct preposition before “you”.

Well, worry no more because we got your back on these grammatical nuances. Now, please scroll down for more details.

 

 

Is the phrase “looking forward to talking to you” grammatically correct?

Apart from being grammatically correct, this expression implies a neutral to semi-casual tone that is beneficial in conveying enthusiasm in business correspondence. The expression can be tweaked to change the formality level by changing the verb tense, adding a subject, or changing the preposition final preposition into “with.” However, changing “to talking” into “to talk” will make the expression grammatically incorrect.

 

A grammatical background on “looking forward to talking to you”

“Looking forward to talking to you” is the truncated or shortened version of “I am looking forward to talking to you.”

This means that the implied subject “I” and the linking verb “am” have been removed for convenience and contextual understandability reasons.

Also, the subject “I” is replaceable with any other subject pronouns or nouns depending on the context, while the verb inflection has to follow the subject used.

That said, we can deduce that “looking forward to” is the complete verb phrase in the expression, wherein it is particularly classified as a phrasal verb in grammar.

 

The phrasal verb “to look forward to”

Phrasal verbs are formed by combining two or three words that may be composed of the following: a verb, an adverb, and a preposition.

Examples of two-word phrasal verbs that are formed by a base verb and a preposition are “look into,” “look after,” and “look for.”

Whereas, some common examples of two-word phrasal verbs that are made up of a base verb and an adverb are “take apart,” “fade away,” and “set aside.”

“(To) look forward to” is a three-word phrasal verb which consists of the infinitive verb “to look,” the adverb “forward,” and the preposition “to.”

Other examples of three-word phrasal verbs are “come down with,” “pick up after,” “come up with,” “get along with,” and “take care of.”

Phrasal verbs need a noun or a noun phrase to serve as an object of the preposition.

Thus, in the case of “looking forward to talking to you,” the words subsequently following “to” make up the prepositional object in the overall expression.

 

The object of the preposition “talking to you”

“Talking” is a gerund, a base verb with the suffix -ing, that functions as a noun in the expression being discussed.

It is specifically just a part of the complete noun phrase “talking to you.”

Gerunds are used to create nouns from verbs so they can be utilized as subjects or objects in sentences.

On the other hand, we also have what we call infinitive verbs that may function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb in sentences.

While both may be used as nouns, gerunds can neither function as adjectives nor adverbs in a sentence.

Moreover, an infinitive is also not used as the object of a preposition in sentences, thereby making “looking forward to talk to you” grammatically unsound.

Even my grammar checker flinched at my use of “to talk” in the previous sentence, immediately underlining “talk” while I was typing.

In a nutshell, the point of this subsection is to conclude that while we can say “I want to talk to you,” we can never say “I am looking forward to talk to you.”

 

The preposition “to” vs. “with” in “talking to you”

The question regarding the difference between the preposition “to” and “with” is also common over the internet.

So, it is essential that we tackle this issue in this post too.

For starters, we have to know that using either of the prepositions does not create any grammatical problem in any context at all.

That said, it means that no one is going to misinterpret the implication behind the message, so getting stuck in this issue is not a very good idea.

However, a slight connotational difference has to be taken into consideration before deciding which one to use.

If and only if we have to strictly differentiate the nuances behind “to” and “with,” the latter may suggest more warmth and personal intent than the former.

The basic meaning of the preposition “to” suggests a directional purpose, whereas “with” suggests a sense of accompaniment.

Hence, “talking with you” implicitly implies that a two-way conversation is expected by the message sender.

But, bear in mind that using “talking to you” does not in any way suggest that the message recipient is prohibited from responding.

So, again, I’d like to stress that using either proposition would never create any chance of misinterpretation.

Now that we’ve exhaustively discussed the grammatical subtleties behind “looking forward to talking to you,” let’s have a look at its usage in the next subsection.

 

An example of using “looking forward to talking to you”

As briefly explained earlier, this expression is commonly observed in business correspondence, particularly as a closing remark in emails.

As regards the expression’s implication, using this verbiage means one is anticipating an upcoming conversation that is expected to take place in the future.

Here’s an example to illustrate the explanation better.

Dear Dave,

Thank you very much for considering the service that we offer. Please let me know your availability so we can get on a formal call or video conference. I am looking forward to talking to you soon.

Best regards,

George

Realistically speaking, there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding if we use “to talk” instead of “talking to you.”

So, why do we even have this issue in the first place?

 

The confusion with “looking forward to talk to you”

More often than not, the non-native English language users, as opposed to the natives, are the ones who easily get confused with the “to talking” part.

Apparently, this is simply because the phrase does look like the verb in the statement per se.

Apart from that, the usual omission of the subject and the linking verb also adds insult to the injury.

But, would it necessarily mean that a person using “to talk to you” has “poor English skills?”

From the perspective of Applied Linguistics, the answer to this is a massive “no,” because being able to notice these grammatical subtleties is already a sign of fluency.

Compared to lapses in verb inflection which potentially cause temporal misinterpretation, this is a rather minute grammatical issue.

I’d like to assure non-native English language users and learners that there is nothing to worry about, as long as one is always willing to unlearn such grammatical misconceptions.

 

The formality level of “looking forward to talking to you”

Very quickly, let’s also talk about the formality level of the expression “looking forward to talking to you.”

This phrase is common in formal discourses like business correspondence, especially in emails and business letters.

Of course, this expression is not limited to written conversations alone, so one can also use it when speaking in a rather formal tone, as opposed to colloquial use.

This means that it is best to reduce the expression to “can’t wait to talk to you” if the atmosphere is casual and, obviously, more personal.

And, take note that we cannot say “can’t wait to talking to you” because we are not using a fixed phrasal verb that ends in a preposition anymore.

In case you want to know more options for the expression being discussed, please proceed to the next section.

 

Alternative expressions to “looking forward to talking to you”

Sometimes, we may feel the need to vary the closing remark in our emails, especially when constantly exchanging messages with the same person.

Here are two alternative expressions to use instead of “looking forward to talking to you.”
 

I look forward to speaking with you

To increase the formality level of the mentioned phrase, we may use “speaking” instead of “talking.”

We can use this verbiage if we feel that the message recipient is an authority figure or when the correspondence requires a more serious tonality.

Dear John,

I would like to request a meeting with you regarding the issue raised by the accounting department last week.

Please consider this as an official preliminary investigation of the reported financial liabilities you allegedly had on your recent business trip to Florida.

I look forward to speaking with you.

It is best not to omit the subject in the closing remark as it provides more sense of authority, as well as inflecting the verb in the present simple tense.

The present simple inflection prompts the interpretation that the action is not only true during the time of typing the email.

Instead, it suggests that the act of anticipation would always hold as valid and true until the official meeting or discussion takes place.
 

Talk to you soon

On the other hand, we can simply say “talk to you soon” to express a casual, friendly, and more personal tone to the message recipient.

This may happen when conversing with a peer, a friend, a relative, or even a co-worker whom we’ve already established an intimate relationship with.

Dear Dana,

Hey, there! I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve been sick for days now. Have a speedy recovery! 

Talk to you soon!

In the example above, it is still possible to use “looking forward to talking to you” but the more personal intent of the message calls for a less formal expression.

Therefore, “talk to you soon” would be a more suitable expression in the given context.

 

Bonus formal and casual alternatives to “Looking forward to talking to you”

 

I am looking forward to our meeting.

Sometimes, we may also feel like we want to convey a more neutral emotion toward our target addressee, especially in more serious contexts.

When this happens, we may have to change the object of our statement from “speaking with you” to “our meeting.”

Shifting the objective focus of the message toward the upcoming meeting instead of the other person further formalizes the expression being discussed.

Note that formal language is frequently used when a power imbalance exists between or among the interlocutors.

This may happen, for instance, when the people interacting are in a subordinate-superior or student-teacher relationship.

If this is what your context requires, you may simply use “I am looking forward to our meeting” as follows:

Dear Reese,

Thank you for your prompt response. I am pleased to know that you are available on the date and time I suggested. When you have the time, kindly send me a copy of your report so I can review it prior to our discussion.

I am looking forward to our meeting.

Regards,

Sally Kaufman

 

I am excited to talk to you soon.

When the relationship between the two people communicating is relatively close rather than distant, we may also have the need to adjust our language use.

This may happen, for example, when the participants of the conversation are of the same social status, such as between immediate colleagues and classmates.

In situations like this, “I am excited to talk to you soon” would be appropriate, polite, and thoughtful enough.

This will also take place when some degree of trust or closeness has already been established rather than only starting to occur.

Also, the casual and personal tone of “I am excited to talk to you soon” would be inappropriate, for example, when responding to a job interview invitation or writing a cover letter.

The other linguistic elements that are meanwhile observable in casual contexts are contractions, exclamatory marks, and less formal closing remarks.

“I am excited to talk to you soon” may be used in the same manner as follows:

Dear Mel,

I’m really glad to know that you’re back in town and that you’d like to catch up. I am absolutely free this Saturday for lunch. My cousin owns a great restaurant at 406 Orchard Lane, and it’s called Daily Deli. I’ll reserve a seat for us at 11:30 am.

I am excited to talk to you soon! See you.

Take care,

Annie

 

Frequently Asked Questions on looking forward to talking to you

 

What’s the difference between using “I look forward to” and “I’m looking forward to talking to you?”

The difference in the verb inflection entails the distinction in the temporal meaning of the act of anticipation. The simple present “look forward to” implies that the act holds true until the discussion takes place. Whereas, the present progressive tense “looking forward to” implies that the action is taking place at the time of writing the message. Also, the former is slightly more formal than the latter.

 

What is a synonym for “looking forward to talking to you?”

If we want to slightly increase the formality of the message’s tone, we can say “looking forward to speaking to or with you.” But, if we want to decrease its formality and increase the enthusiasm, we can simply say “talk to you soon” or “can’t wait to talk with you.”

 

Should it be “looking forward to talking with you” or “looking forward to talking to you?”

Neither “to you” nor “with you” is grammatically incorrect. However, “with” generally suggests a sense of accompaniment as opposed to “to” which may imply a one-way discourse, if we focus on their rather strict implications. But of course, using “to” instead of “with” does not mean that the message recipient is prohibited from responding in the conversation.

 

Conclusion

Grammar-related concerns on the expression “looking forward to talking to you” are generally more common among non-native English language users.

But, it is crucial to highlight the point that this is not a sign of language incompetence after all, as long as one is willing to embrace the grammatical conventions used by native English users.

So, if you’ve been having similar issues, you deserve a pat on the back because, in the first place, this is already an intricate grammatical concern.