Discuss and learn French: French vocabulary, French grammar, French culture etc.
Well I have understood "pressé" to apply to a person (as in "je suis pressé" ="I am in a hurry") .
I am not so familiar with "pressant" but I would suppose that it would apply to a circumstance or a thing.
It can mean "important" or "pressing" apparently.
The most obvious translation of urgent is urgent. But pressant is a synonym. As George writes, pressé is short on time.
"pressé" is very very used for a person. "Je suis pressé" = I am late and I have to run to go somewhere, I can't stay, I say "Je suis pressé". For a letter or a packet, you could say to the postman "c'est pressé" = it must start very quickly. But "urgent" is better : "ce courrier est urgent"
"pressant" is not very used. And only in 2 cases with 2 words. It could be used with other words but indeed this is not usual.
- "une envie pressante" = urgent need to go to the WC (it can be usual to say that with decency)
- "une affaire pressante" = an urgent matter or business.
"Une lettre pressante" is correct, but not really very used. It's too formal in verbal language (maybe a domestic to his boss). You can hear that in a swashbuckler movie, or read it in a novel.
there is another close meaning for "pressant" = from the word "pressure" (stress). "Il est pressante" = he/it pressures me.