197.- Other ways to say wait.

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Hold On  AND Hang On

together because often they are used synonymously.

Meaning: to wait for a short time



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



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.





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


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!


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


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




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


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


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





All In Good Time

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


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




Not So Fast

Meaning: wait, slow down


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.

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