Attendre (To Wait) Meaning, Usage, Example Sentences

attendreIf you’re new to learning French once of the verbs you’ll come across is attendre, which means to wait. On this page we’ll have a look at the different meanings of attendre and learn how to use the verb in several example sentences.

attendre qqch

The most common usage of attendre is attendre quelque chose, which means to wait for something. Notice there’s no “pour” involved here. In English we “wait for something” but in French attendre takes a direct object and isn’t followed by any preposition.

par example:

  • J’attends le train. I wait for the train.
  • Tu attends l’avion. You’re waiting for the plane.

attendre qqn

The sames concepts apply to waiting for a person: attendre quelqu’un.

  • J’attends mon ami. I’m waiting for my friend.
  • Tu attends ton professeur. You’re waiting for your teacher.

s’attendre à qqch

In the pronominal form, s’attendre à quelque chose means to expect someting.

par example:

  • Je m’attends à un miracle. I’m expecting a miracle.
  • Tu t’attends au pire. You’re expecting the worst.
  • Ils s’attend à un résultat différent. He’s expecting a different result.

attendu and inattendu

As adjectives, attendu and inattendu mean expected an unexpected.

  • Ce résultat fut complètement inattendu. This result was completely unexpected.

en attendant

In the gerund form, en attendant means in the meantime or meanwhile.

par example:

  • Le médecin n’est pas encore arrivé. En attendant, vous pouvez lire cette revue. The doctor hasn’t arrived yet. In the meantime, you can read this magazine.

la salle d’attente

As a noun la salle d’attente means the waiting room.

  • J’attends dans la salle d’attente avant de voir le dentiste. I wait in the waiting room before seeing the dentist.

attendre in the subjunctive

This is how attendre looks in the subjunctive.

  • Il faut que tu attendes quelques minutes avant de commencer. You have to wait a few minutes before starting.

attendre in the imperative

This is how attendre looks in the imperative.

  • Attends-moi deux minutes! Wait two minutes for me!
  • Attendez-moi devant l’entrée. Wait for me in front of the entrance.
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