• We are slowly getting set up here. Why not sign up and get the discussion going?

When you cannot understand what someone is saying

Welcome to EnglishForum.com!
Are you ready to improve your English? Sign up free today!
Sign up


Sep 23, 2020
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?