Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(hold/hang) on a (minute/second/moment)

hold on a minute/second/momenthang on a minute/second/moment
Meaning(s)
1) wait for a short time, wait a while
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • hold/hang on a minute/second/moment while I do sth
  • Analysis
    If you ask someone to 'hold on' or 'hang on', you are asking them to wait for a short time. You might use this expression while leaving a call for a moment or before putting someone on hold. In everyday spoken English we might shorten this to  'just a sec', or use 'give me/gimme a second/minute/moment' instead of hold/hang on. You can use it to ask for time to find something or someone: "Do you have that photocopying done for me? - Yes, it's here somewhere. Hold on a second." Despite this expression sounding very casual, you will hear it in business contexts a lot.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Waiter: Gimme a minute, I'll be right with you when I've cleaned this table.
    2. I'm not ready for the meeting yet. I need to read over my notes again. Just a sec.
    3. They were shouting at him to hurry, but he told them to hold on a moment while he got dressed.
    4. Tom: Come on! We'll be late! Mary: Yeah, just hang on a second. I'm putting my make-up on.
    5. Gimme a moment. I'm almost ready.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. If you hold on a moment I can direct your call to Paul in account management.
    2. Hang on a second, I just want to test this microphone before letting people into the presentation.
    3. If you can hang on for a moment I can send a message to Karen to check if she is in the building.
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