What is the difference between the following sentences?

  • ho aspettato tre anni
  • ho aspettato da tre anni

I thought that the latter was the correct one, but I have read the former today.

  • 1
    "Ti aspetto da tre ore" means that you began to wait someone three hours ago and you are still waiting for him/her. "Ti aspetto tre ore" means that you will wait someone for three hours and then you will stop waiting for him/her.
    – Charo
    Sep 2, 2019 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


What do you intend to say?

a) “Ho aspettato tre anni” means that, sometime in the far or immediate past, I experienced a wait that lasted 3 years. For instance, Dopo le superiori ho aspettato tre anni e poi mi sono iscritto all'università.

b) “Aspetto da tre anni” means that I am presently waiting and have been doing so starting 3 years ago. More colloquially, and expressing some impatience, “Sono tre anni che aspetto”.

c) “Aspetto tre anni” (or “per tre anni”) means that I am waiting now, or about to start, and intend to do so for 3 years. For instance, Aspetto tre anni e, se non trovo un lavoro, vado in Inghilterra.

d) “Ho aspettato da tre anni” sounds unusual. If you mean the meaning b), but in the past, you'd probably use the imperfect tense; say, Aspettavo da tre anni quando finalmente è arrivato il principe azzurro.

  • The second sentence was in the present tense. Sorry for the confusion. Sep 2, 2019 at 12:44

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