How to Say “Wait, Please” in French: A Comprehensive Guide

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to ask someone to wait, whether in a formal or informal setting, knowing the appropriate way to do so in French can be quite helpful. This guide will provide you with various ways to say “wait, please” in French, including both formal and informal expressions. While regional variations exist, we will focus on the most common and widely used phrases. So, let’s dive in and explore the different ways to express this polite request in French!

Formal Expressions:

When addressing someone formally, such as in professional or business settings, it’s important to use appropriate and polite language. Here are some ways to say “wait, please” in formal French:

1. “Attendez, s’il vous plaît” – This is the most common way to ask someone to wait politely in formal French. The verb “attendez” means “wait,” and “s’il vous plaît” is the formal equivalent of “please.”

When using formal expressions, it’s important to pay attention to your tone and body language to display respect and courtesy. Now, let’s move on to informal expressions that are suitable for casual situations.

Informal Expressions:

Informal situations allow for a more relaxed and friendly tone. Here are some informal ways to ask someone to wait in French:

1. “Attends, s’il te plaît” – If you’re addressing someone you have a close relationship with, such as a friend or family member, “attends” (wait) and “s’il te plaît” (please) are appropriate expressions to use.

2. “Un instant, s’il te plaît” – This expression translates to “one moment, please” and is commonly used when asking someone informally to wait.

In informal situations, it’s essential to consider the context and your familiarity with the person you are talking to. These expressions convey a more relaxed atmosphere and are best suited for casual conversations. However, always be mindful of your relationship with the individual to avoid any unintended offense.

Additional Tips:

Now that you have learned some formal and informal ways to say “wait, please” in French, let’s explore a few additional tips that can help you master the usage of these phrases:

1. Non-verbal Cues:

In addition to using the correct expression, it can be helpful to accompany your request with appropriate non-verbal cues. Making eye contact, raising your hand slightly, or using a friendly facial expression can convey your message more effectively.

2. Polite Intonation:

To ensure your request comes across as polite, be mindful of your intonation. Aim for a soft and friendly tone when using these phrases to convey your politeness and respect towards the person you are speaking to.

3. Adding “s’il vous plaît” or “s’il te plaît”:

Including “s’il vous plaît” or “s’il te plaît” shows an extra level of politeness and consideration in both formal and informal situations. It’s always good practice to include these phrases when asking someone to wait.


To further clarify the usage of these phrases, here are a few examples of how to say “wait, please” in different situations:

  • Formal Example:

    You are meeting with a potential client, and they ask you a question. You respond by saying, “Attendez, s’il vous plaît” (Wait, please) while maintaining a polite and professional demeanor.

  • Informal Example:

    You are having a conversation with your close friend, and they ask you to wait while they grab something. You respond by saying, “Attends, s’il te plaît” (Wait, please) with a warm and friendly tone.

Remember, understanding the nuances of these expressions and tailoring your response to the specific situation is essential for effective communication in French.

In Conclusion:

In this comprehensive guide, we explored various ways to say “wait, please” in French, covering both formal and informal expressions. By using “Attendez, s’il vous plaît” in formal situations and “Attends, s’il te plaît” in informal contexts, you can politely ask someone to wait. Remember to consider non-verbal cues, maintain a polite intonation, and include “s’il vous plaît” or “s’il te plaît” for an extra touch of politeness. With these tips and examples, you can confidently navigate different social settings in French and communicate your requests with ease.

Bonne chance! (Good luck!)

Leave comment