How To Ask Someone To Wait In English

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  • Post last modified:08/07/2021
  • Post category:Everyday English
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Learn how to ask someone to wait in English.

Whether you’re on the phone, talking to your friends, or participating in a business meeting, you may need to ask someone to wait in English. Learn 10 useful expressions for asking someone to wait.

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how to ask someone to wait in English

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Today, we’re going to look at certain ways to ask somebody to wait.

Just to get the right spelling right.

If we’re talking about how heavy we are, that’s w-e-i-g-h-t.

Oh, he has put on a bit of weight.

If you’re asking somebody to w-a-i-t:

Please wait while I finish.

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A lot of the time when you’re using these expressions, you have to use a certain intonation in your voice. So let’s take them one by one.

Let’s take the first two:

hold on

and

hang on

together because often they are used synonymously.

Meaning: to wait for a short time

Examples:

Just hang on for a few seconds, and I’ll be with you.

Just hold on until I finish this.

We often use them when we’re talking about telephone calls. For example, if your new washing broke down and you’re ringing a customer service line.

Hold on, I’ll put you through to someone who can help you.

Unfortunately, these days many companies have an automated voice recognition system; and it’s hard to get a real person on the other end of the line.

just wait until/till

You can use either till or until there. Watch this video lesson where I explain the difference between till and until.

Meaning: use this to ask someone to be patient for a moment

Examples:

Please just wait until I get a chance to discuss this with you.

Just wait until I get a chance to read the proposal.

I’m very busy, please wait until I have time to read the form carefully.

how to ask someone to wait in English

How to ask someone to wait in English. 10 useful expressions for asking someone to wait. Formal and informal. Study advanced English at www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish

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wait a second / minute

A very very common way of asking somebody to wait.

Meaning: use it to ask somebody to wait until you get a chance to explain to them exactly what you said or meant

Examples:

No, no, no, wait a second. We haven’t agreed to that yet.

Wait a moment, that’s not what I said. What I actually said was…

If you’re getting a little bit frustrated, you can put a bit more emphasis on it:

Oh, just wait a second!

Examples:

No, no, no, wait a second. We haven’t agreed to that yet.

Wait a moment, that’s not what I said. What I actually said was…

Wait, wait a minute, I’m just finishing getting dressed.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the second or minute. We’re not really counting the seconds, and we’re not counting the minutes.

let me think

Meaning: use it to give yourself extra time to think or consider something

Example:

Let me think about that and I’ll give you a reply tomorrow.

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how to ask someone to wait in English

just a moment/second/minute

Moment, second and minute interchangeable. They’re not really a period of time. It could often be much longer. For example, five minutes later you’re still waiting.

It has no reference to the particular time, we just use it as an expression to get somebody to wait.

bear with me

Meaning: ask someone to wait and be patient

Examples:

Please bear with me for five minutes while I finish this email.

Bear with us while we try to fix these technical issues.

something or somebody will have to wait

Meaning: use it when you have no time to do something or no time to deal with somebody

Example:

The report is just going to have to wait; I’m not going to be able to complete it by today.

how to ask someone to wait in English

all in good time

Meaning: a polite way to ask someone to wait and not try to make you hurry

Example:

We’re just going to take another day; it’s going to happen, but all in good time.

And then finally:

not so fast

Meaning: wait, slow down

Examples:

Okay, not so fast. Just take your time, let’s go through them one by one.

Hold on, hold on, not so fast. Just take it one piece at a time. Let’s try and sort this problem out.

So they are all expressions and ways in which you can ask someone to wait in English.

Let me give them to you again:

  • Hold on
  • Hang on
  • Just wait until/till
  • Wait a second/minute
  • Just a moment/second
  • Let me think
  • Bear with me
  • Something will have to wait
  • All in good time
  • Not so fast

Just pass the details on. I’m always happy to hear from you, always happy to help you. Thanks for listening, and join me again soon.

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

English expressions related to SLEEP

When to use the Present Continuous Tense in English

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