Idioms and expressions with wait

April 20, 2012

Something can wait

When something can wait, it does not need to be done now. When something can’t wait it must be done now.

You need to consult a specialist and I’m afraid it can’t wait.

Someone can’t wait / someone can hardly wait

When you can’t wait for something, you are very excited about it.

He can’t wait for his birthday. (= He is very excited about his birthday.)

Susie can hardly wait to see Michael again.

Just wait till / until

It is an expression used for saying that someone will be in trouble if they do not stop behaving in a certain way.

Just wait till your wife finds out what you have done to her.

Keep someone waiting

To keep someone waiting is to make them stay in one place until you are ready to see them.

He kept me waiting for hours.

You can’t keep me waiting for an answer.

Wait at table/on tables

To wait on tables is to serve food to people in a restaurant.

I was shocked to find my old boss waiting on tables.

Wait your turn

To wait your turn is to wait patiently for your opportunity.

She waited her turn like everybody else.

Waiting in the wings

When somebody is waiting in the wings, they are prepared for an opportunity to do something they have wanted to do for a long time.

Another batch of young and talented cricketers is waiting in the wings.

Waiting to happen

When something is waiting to happen, it is likely to develop from a particular situation.

It was a tragedy waiting to happen.