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When you cannot understand what someone is saying

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englishgeek

Member
Sep 23, 2020
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It is common for people learning a language not to understand what the other person is saying. It is important however to do your best to try and get their meaning. It will not only avoid any communication problems, it is how your English ability will improve.

Try these different expressions when you cannot understand what someone is saying:

  • I beg your pardon?
  • I am sorry, but I don't understand what you are saying.
  • What do you mean exactly?
  • Could you try explaining it a different way?
  • I am sorry, I don't follow what you are saying.
  • Could you please speak more slowly?
  • Do you mean [and try to paraphrase what the person is saying]?
  • Could you please try and use more simple language?