If I wanted to say, for instance, "I waited for two days," what would be the most natural way of phrasing it? J'ai passé deux journées en attendant ? J'ai attendu pendant deux journées ? A second example might be "I walked for three hours" -- again, how best to phrase that?

  • You should also look for the difference between "jour" and "journée". You don't need to ask a question, there are already plenty here. Jan 28, 2017 at 22:55
  • I am familiar with the difference; my understanding was that in this context if you wished to emphasize the duration you used the longer form. If I'm emphasizing that I waited two whole days, is journée still not the right word? Jan 28, 2017 at 23:26
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    Nope ! It's almost never a good idea to use "journée" with specific numbers (except "une" of course). It's ok when it's indefinite ("des journées"). "En attendant" is also no good (again, there a tons of questions about gerunds, we don't use them half as much as "-ing verbs" in English). Jan 28, 2017 at 23:34
  • Exactly, but for one day, "journée" is fine : if you spent the whole day shopping, you'll say "J'ai passé la journée à faire du shopping", alors que "J'ai passé le jour à faire du shopping" est incorrect.
    – Ben
    May 12, 2021 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


I would say that the following are the most natural ways to say that:

J'ai passé deux jours à attendre.

J'ai attendu (pendant) deux jours.

where the pendant is optional.


J'ai marché (pendant) trois heures.

Pendant is again optional.

  • You can also say "Ça fait deux jours que j'attends" if you really want emphasis on the "two days". Jan 28, 2017 at 23:38

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