Quick answer
"Wait" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "esperar", and "hang on" is an intransitive verb phrase which is also often translated as "esperar". Learn more about the difference between "wait" and "hang on" below.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to hold on)
a. esperar
I'm waiting for him to get out of his meeting so we can eat.Estoy esperando que salga de su reunión para que podamos comer.
2. (to postpone)
a. esperar
That can wait. This is more important.Eso puede esperar. Esto es más importante.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
3. (delay)
a. la espera
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Bowling is fun but the wait to get a lane is unbearable.Los bolos son divertidos, pero la espera para conseguir una pista es insoportable.
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hang on
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to be patient)
a. esperar
Hang on one second. I'll be right back. I just need to run to the bathroom.Espera un segundo. Ahora vuelvo. Solo tengo que ir al baño.
2. (to resist)
a. aguantar
"You just need to hang on for two more minutes," said the paramedic to the patient as they brought him into the hospital."Solo tiene que aguantar dos minutos más", le dijo la paramédica al paciente cuando lo llevaban al hospital.
3. (to cling to)
a. agarrarse
Hang on until the rescue squad gets here!¡Agárrate hasta que el equipo de rescate llegue!
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
4. (to cling to; used with "to")
a. ir agarrado de
The little girl hung on to her mother's arm as they crossed the street.La niña iba agarrada del brazo de su madre mientras cruzaban la calle.
5. (to depend on)
a. depender de
The defendant's fate hung on my vote as the last juror to decide.El destino del acusado dependía de mi voto por ser yo el último jurado en decidir.
6. (to keep going; used with "to")
a. aferrarse
Hang on to your dreams and you'll always be happy.Aférrate a tus sueños y siempre serás feliz.
7. (to keep; used with "to")
a. guardar
My grandmother has always hung on to droves of family photos.Mi abuela siempre ha guardado un montón de fotos familiares.
b. conservar
Gina hung on to the soldier's letters in hopes that he would someday return.Gina conservó las cartas del soldado con la esperanza de que algún día volviera.
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