We are all familiar with the phrase “wait a moment”. However, “wait” sounds not that polite in the working context. Also, how long does “a moment” exactly mean?


Below are some formal and polite ways of asking someone to wait.


  • Wait a while

“A while” is longer than “a moment”. Remember to say “wait a while” when you need more time.  

You might have to wait a while.


  • Just a moment

“Just” is a mild version of “wait” that sounds politer.

Give me just a moment please.


  • Give a second

It is similar to “wait a moment”, which can be shortened to “give me a sec” in a conversation.


  • Hold on

It is often used in phone calls.

Could you hold on a moment/second/sec?


  • Hang on

An informal way of speaking, it can be used among friends and colleagues.

Hang on, I’m kind of busy now.


  • Hold your horses

An idiom for telling someone to slow down/keep clam.

Hold your horses. If you keep rushing, it will not turn out as what you expect.


  • Wait for me

Stop saying “wait me”, it should be “wait for me”.

Wait for me, I’m coming.