Everyday English Phrases

Here are some phrases for everyday situations.

When you are late

If you are late use the following phrases.

Sorry I’m late. I missed the bus. / My car broke down on the way.
Sorry for the delay.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
I’m sorry. I couldn’t make it in time.
I’m sorry.  I got a little late.
If you could not come, you can use:
I’m sorry. I couldn’t make it that day.

Asking someone to wait

Here are some phrases you can use to ask people to wait.

Hang on.
Hold on.
Hold on a minute.
Just wait.
Just a minute/moment/second.
Wait a minute/second. I’ll be right back.
Just a minute. I’m coming.

Other useful phrases

Let me see

Use this expression if you need some time to think before you can give an answer.

‘Have you got any parcels for me?’ ‘Let me see.’
‘How much are you selling it for?’ ‘Well, let me see.’

Bear with me/us

This is a polite way of asking someone to wait while you do something.

Bear with me until I finish working on this report. (= Please be patient with me …)

All in good time
Use this expression to ask someone to wait and to give you enough time to finish an activity.
‘I’m starved! Isn’t dinner ready yet?’ ‘All in good time.’

Asking someone to keep quiet
Phrases you can use to ask someone to keep quiet.
Silence, please.
Please be quiet.
Will you please keep quiet? (Although this expression uses the word ‘please’ it is not very polite.)
Shut up! (Quite rude)