J’arrive

J'arrive !
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Essential French Expression

Meaning I’m on my way, I’ll be right there/up/down/out, I’ll be right back
Literally I’m arriving
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Pronunciation [zha reev]
IPA   [ʒa riv]̃

Usage notes: Literally, j’arrive means "I’m arriving," but in English that needs a qualifier: I’m arriving at 8pm, I’m arriving from Annecy, etc. In French, however, j’arrive can be used on its own to let people know that you’re on your way to meet them.

Par exemple…

Tu es déjà au resto ? J’arrive.   You’re already at the restaurant? I’m on my way.
– Salut, on est dans le hall.
– J’arrive.
  – Hi, we’re in the lobby.
– I’ll be right down.

The odd thing about j’arrive is that you can also say it when you’re actually face-to-face with the person but need to leave temporarily.

Par exemple…

Mince, j’ai oublié le cadeau. J’arrive.   Darn it, I forgot the gift. I’ll be back in a sec.
Allez-y, commencez la réunion. J’arrive.   Go ahead, start the meeting. I’ll be right back.

It’s especially important to know this expression when you eat at restaurants, as it’s likely that at some point when you try to get the waiter’s attention, he’ll say j’arrive ! while zipping past your table.

  Of course, since arriver is a verb, it can be used with other subjects as well.

Tu arrives ?   Are you on your way?
Oui, Odette arrive.   Yes, Odette will be right out.
Ne t’inquiète pas, nous arrivons.   Don’t worry, we’re on our way.
Est-ce que vous arrivez ?   Are you coming down?
Je les ai vus tout à l’heure, ils arrivent.   I just saw them, they’re on their way.

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