AEE 669: Hang on! Hold up! Wait a Second! Listen to this Episode Right Now

how to say wait in native English

Do you ever hear natives say “hang on” or “hold up”?

Do you know what it means when natives use these phrases?

Do you know how to use them?

Find out today!

“Hi its me again Em, I’ve been your avid fan for 3 yrs now. I really learn a lot from your podcast and every time I listen the more I get motivated to learn more. I have a question I’d like to ask. I’m quite confused on how to use -hold on, hang on,hold a sec,hold up, do they mean all the same as wait?? What’s the most common or nicest to say if you wanna make a person wait for just few minutes??? I hope you’ll discuss this topic on your next podcast. Thank u so much” – Em


Why is this an important skill?

This is a skill to build CONNECTION.

A place where you could break the connection or build the connection is when you are asking someone to stop and wait.

If we’re too formal the person might feel a sense of distance from us.

If we’re too casual they might think we’re being rude.


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How to ask someone to wait:

  • Hold on (phone or in person)
  • Hang on (phone or in person)
  • Hold up (wait, stop, think again- more in person in conversation)
  • Please hold (more formal, secretary of a business)
  • Wait a second, wait a minute
  • Wait
  • Wait up! (kids, physically someone is running ahead of you, you ask them to wait)


Where can you use these phrases?

You can use these phrases when you are in the middle of a conversation with friend.

You can use them at a shop or a register when you are paying the bill or ordering food.

These phrases can be used in many different situations.


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  • 1) Please hang / hold on / hold down / Please hold (formal) . Don’t hang up the phone .
    2) Hold up ! / Stop ! / Wait !
    3) Please wait . / Wait / Just a second / minute .
    4) Wait up ! (kids) Wait up for you . / Don’t sleep until you come .

  • Moisés Rocha

    Wow!AEE is so great! I don’t miss any episode at all! This is my favorite podcast ever.

  • Hey thanks! Great to hear you like the show