I'm wondering about how to, in one phrase, say, 'Waiting for the classroom to be full'. I was talking with someone who was an international student just like me. So the full conversation was: ​

Me: Hey! How are you doing?

Him: I'm in my classroom. But we are waiting for the classroom 'to be full'.

​ ​ I can tell right away it's not natural to say that. However, I've come up with alternatives that can be used in that situation: '

We will start as soon as the remaining students come'

'We are waiting for the remaining students to come'

'We are just waiting for 'everyone' to come' (everyone in this case includes

'the people who are already present in the classroom' + 'people who will later come to the classroom'

I feel that my expressions are still long. Are there any brief English expressions/ phrases that I can use in this case?

Thank you

2 Answers 2


Actually, it is perfectly fine to say:

I'm in my classroom. But we are waiting for the classroom 'to be full'.

Your sentences explain the meaning of the sentence, but are less idiomatic.

  • 1
    A colloquial phrase would be we're just waiting for a full house. May 14, 2019 at 14:17
  • Thanks, both. You guys are awesome. May 23, 2019 at 12:10

In some cases like this, you can say that you are waiting for a quorum.

The dictionary meaning of quorum is

the number of members of a group or organization required to be present to transact business legally, usually a majority.

So, for example, a legislative body might be barred from doing certain sorts of business unless a minimum number of members are present -- five of a hundred members can't come in, declare the legislature open for business, and pass laws.

However, the use of the term has spread. In meetings in my office, we talk about reaching quorum as people show up, although in this case our goal is having productive discussions with general reach, not conducting formal business.

  • I wouldn't use "quorum" to mean that the other students had arrived, except in a jocular way - deliberately misusing the word for a joke.
    – James K
    Nov 11, 2023 at 9:43

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