(#43) Please hold on / 请稍等

Time for another set phrase and today I’m starting with the more formal phrase before moving to the casual version.

To ask someone to ‘please hold on’ you say 请稍等 qing3 shao1 deng3 and you can use it when you are answering the phone and you need to transfer the line, or you might hear it from waiters and waitresses when they are trying to arrange a table for you.

As mentioned, this is a more formal way of asking someone else to hold on, alternative you can say 等一下 deng3 yi4 xia4.

deng3 as seen in both examples mean ‘wait’, but it has another meaning as ‘etc’, which I will cover in the next entry.

When someone need your help but you need a moment before you can spare your attention, or you saw someone leaving the seat with the umbrella still hanging off the back of the chair, you can ask that someone to ‘hang on’ or ‘hold on’ or ‘wait a moment’ with the phrase 等一下.

You can pair 不好意思 and 等一下 to become 不好意思,请等一下 bu4 hao3 yi4 si4, qing4 deng3 yi4 xia4 to first get the attention by saying ‘excuse me’ and then quickly add on to ask that someone to ‘hang on a moment’.

Do you still remember about 不好意思? Are you still following well? 🙂

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