Ready When You Are: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
December 14, 2023

The phrase "ready when you are" is a flexible way of saying that you're prepared to go ahead with something as soon as the other person is. It's often used to show you're eager but willing to wait for another person to set the pace. This saying means you're good to go, but you're also giving the green light to the other person to kick things off when they feel ready.

In short:

  • It means you're set to go but are waiting for the other person to start.
  • This phrase shows you're keen but considerate, letting the other person take the lead when they're prepared.

What Does "Ready When You Are" Mean?

The phrase "ready when you are" means that you are prepared to proceed and are just waiting for the other person to be ready. You can use this phrase in various settings, like when you're about to start a meeting, waiting for someone to catch up, or preparing to move on to the next stage of a project.

Let's dig into its main meanings and uses:

  • "Ready when you are" indicates that you're all set and simply waiting for the other person to give the go-ahead.
  • This phrase is used to show that you're eager to proceed but also patient enough to wait for someone else.
  • It’s a way to pass the ball into the other person’s court, letting them decide when to begin.
  • You often hear it when someone wants to show they're considerate and not trying to rush things.
  • Other ways to express the same idea include "all set on my end," "good to go when you are," or "waiting on you."

Where Does "Ready When You Are" Come From?

"Ready When You Are" is often associated with the famous American film director Cecil B. DeMille. According to one story, DeMille directed a film requiring a large, expensive battle scene. The quote "Ready when you are, C.B.!" became a punchline indicating enthusiastic readiness, even in complex or challenging situations. The phrase has since been abbreviated to "Ready when you are" and is used in various contexts to indicate that one is prepared to proceed with an action as soon as the other party is ready.

10 Examples of "Ready When You Are" in Sentences

To help you get a better feel for this phrase, here are some examples from different situations:

  • As they stood at the start line, she turned to him and said, "Ready when you are" before they began the race.
  • From dusk till dawn, we can explore; I’m ready when you are.
  • “Let’s go downtown. I’m ready when you are,” he suggested to his friends.
  • “I’m good to go, ready when you are,” she said, lacing up her running shoes.
  • As they prepared to move the heavy box, he glanced at her and said, "Ready when you are."
  • With a determined look, he said, “Bring it on; I’m ready when you are.”
  • They said their goodbyes at the airport, and he told her, "Ready when you are" to board the plane.
  • As soon as we get back on track with the project timeline, I’ll be ready when you are.
  • Just checking in to inquire about your preparations. Remember, I’m ready when you are.
  • Take a peek at this design and let me know your thoughts. I’m ready when you are,” the designer told her client.

Examples of "Ready When You Are" in Pop Culture

This phrase shows up in movies, TV shows, and books to indicate that someone is set to go but also gives control to someone else.

Here are some examples:

  • The book "Ready When You Are: Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments for Success" weaves timeless truths into a detailed road map for successful living.
  • In the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," the phrase "Ready When You Are, Mr." appears in the review of the film's key themes.
  • A music reissue article mentions "Ready When You Are, J.B.," an attempt to bring John Barry into the pop market.
  • The TV film "Ready When You Are, Mr. McGill" features Bill Nighy as Phil Parish.
  • Richard Curtis chose Mike Newell to direct "Four Weddings and a Funeral" after watching his TV film "Ready When You Are, Mr. McGill."
  • An article titled "Ready when you are: Answering your questions about psychotherapy" discusses various aspects of therapy.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Ready When You Are"

If you're looking to shake things up, there are other ways to say "ready when you are."

Here are some options:

  • All set on my end
  • Good to go when you are
  • Whenever you're ready
  • Waiting on you
  • Your call
  • Let's go when you say
  • Your move
  • Waiting for your signal
  • Locked and loaded

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Ready When You Are":

  • What does "ready when you are" mean?

"Ready when you are" means that one person is prepared to start or proceed with an activity and is waiting for the other person to be ready.

  • How can I use "ready when you are" in a sentence?

You can use "ready when you are" as a stand-alone phrase or as part of a larger sentence. It often shows up when someone is waiting for another person to initiate an action. For example: “I'm ready when you are to start the meeting.” “The car is packed, ready when you are!”

  • Does it imply impatience?

No, the phrase doesn't imply impatience. It generally suggests that the speaker is ready and waiting, but in a respectful way that puts the timing in the hands of the other person.

  • Is the phrase used in casual or formal settings?

It's versatile and can be used in both casual and formal situations. The context and tone will usually make it clear how formal the speaker is being.

  • Is it polite to use "ready when you are"?

Yes, it's generally seen as polite. The phrase lets the other person know that you're prepared but you're giving them the control over when to start.

  • Can it be used in written form?

Yes, "ready when you are" can also be used in writing, like in emails or text messages, to indicate that you're waiting on the other person’s readiness.

  • Is it a command or a suggestion?

It's more of a suggestion than a command. The phrase is offering the other person the option to decide when they're ready to proceed.

  • Can it apply to groups or just one-on-one situations?

It can apply to both. You could say it to one person or to a group, as long as the message is that you're waiting for their readiness.

  • Is it specific to English, or do similar phrases exist in other languages?

While "ready when you are" is an English phrase, the sentiment exists in other languages, often expressed in similar ways.

  • Does it always refer to activities or can it refer to emotional readiness?

It's most commonly used for activities, but it can also indicate emotional or mental readiness. The context usually makes the meaning clear.

Final Thoughts About "Ready When You Are"

The expression "ready when you are" is a polite and flexible way to let someone know you're prepared to move forward with an activity, task, or conversation. It puts the ball in the other person's court, allowing them to take the lead.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase is easy to use in casual and formal settings, making it versatile for interactions.
  • It's a polite way to signal your readiness without rushing the other person.
  • "Ready when you are" can be used in spoken or written form, and its meaning is usually apparent from the context.
  • Whether you're discussing starting a project at work or waiting for a friend to be ready to leave, this phrase can help keep things smooth and respectful.

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