When You Need to Tell Someone to Wait, Here’s How

Sep 12, 2018 | Business Professional English, English Conversation

We live in a fast-paced world and things happen quickly. Now more than ever, when we need people to wait, even for a short time, we need to say the right things to let them know about the delay. There are lots of ways we tell someone to wait in everyday conversations, from the formal to the slang.

In today’s Confident English lesson, you’ll learn 10 common ways we tell someone to wait in English.

Plus you’ll get examples of how we use these phrases in sentences that you can use on the phone, at work, or with friends and neighbors.

After you watch the video, be sure to check out the challenge questions at the end to get practice and feedback.

10 Ways to Tell Someone to Wait.

Lesson by Annemarie

10 Ways to Tell Someone to Wait in English

Hang on, why was he at the concert, I thought he had to work?

In the video lesson, you learned 10 expressions we use to tell someone to wait. For example situations and sentences, be sure to watch the full video. But here’s a quick reference list of those expressions.


  • Just a moment (please)
  • Bear with me
  • I won’t be long


  • Just a second
  • Just a sec
  • Just a minute
  • Just a tick (Australia)


  • Hold on!
  • Hang on!
  • Gimme a minute
  • Hold your horses (idiom)

Now that you’ve watched the video lesson, it’s your turn to put these into action.  

Review the 3 situations below and tell me what would you say to tell someone to wait? Share with me in the comments section below. It’s the best way to get practice and to learn from others in the Confident English Community.

  1. An important package delivery has arrived while you are on the telephone with your colleague, the courier has a question for you.  What do you say?
  2. You are in the supermarket and you see someone walking away without their bag of groceries.
  3. Your friend just told you that two of your high school friends, who never got along and never liked each other, are getting married. 

Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!

~ Annemarie

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