How would you say "I have been waiting for you forever" ? I'm having trouble translating "I have been"

  • You say you are having trouble, it would be helpful specially for you to tell us what you have tried and we will tell you why it's wrong and what is more appropriate. Remember, we are not a translation service.
    – Joze
    Jun 25 '15 at 14:34

Either "He estado esperándote" or "Te he estado esperando" and then something like "toda mi vida", "todo este tiempo", etc.


While using haber and estar together works perfectly well for translating English's progressive/continuous perfects, there's a more natural way to render them in Spanish using llevar:

  • I have been waiting all my life.
    He estado esperando toda mi vida. (less natural).
    Llevo toda la vida esperando. (more natural)
  • 1
    Both of them are equally natural. It depends on the context
    – Héctor E
    Jun 26 '15 at 15:07

In this case, you will use the verb "haber" to mean "to have", combined the the past participle of a verb. To say "To be waiting", we can say "Estar esperando."

So, "I have been waiting" is "He estado esperando."


It's important to note here that such a phrase could have two different meanings, and that subtle changes in the way it's expressed can bring to misleading or confusion.

If you're trying to express that you've found your beloved one whose you were waiting for you should use:

Te he estado esperando toda la vida.

If you're trying to use exaggeration to express that you were waiting for a long period for anyone to arrive, you better use

Llevo esperando por tí toda la vida.
Llevo esperándote toda la vida.
Llevo esperándote una eternidad.

From a strict point of view, both expressions are valid for the two meanings, however the one with "Llevo" could sound less sweet than the first.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.