What do you say when you are going to make sure nobody else takes it?

Like you are going to occupy the seat for him.

Sorry if it was a bit unclear...

  • Say to whom? To your friend? Or to someone who tries to sit in his seat?
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 10:53

3 Answers 3


"I'm holding this for my friend, he'll be back soon." Or anything to that effect that is succinct and to the point.

  • 2
    In the UK we might often say "Sorry, someone's sitting there". This may seem counter-intuitive if the seat is empty, but will be understood. This assumes that it is legitimate to block a seat in this way. in some situations, if you leave a seat you lose it. Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 10:35

If no-one is actually trying to take the seat, you do not have to say anything. If someone tries to take the seat, or if they ask if the seat is available, the usual thing to say is:

I am sorry but this seat is already taken.


I'm sorry but my friend is (already) sitting here.

I'm sorry, but this seat is taken.

As a related bit of culture, in the US we often put an article of clothing (like a jacket) or a purse/backpack on the seat to indicate the seat "is taken".

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