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Expressing lack of understanding

Expressing lack of understanding and asking for clarification

Expressing lack of understanding

When you do not understand what someone has said, you can use the following expressions and phrases to express lack of understanding.

  1. Could you repeat that please?
  2. Could you please repeat yourself?
  3. Pardon me?
  4. I beg your pardon?
  5. I’m sorry. I missed that.
  6. Excuse me?
  7. I’m sorry?
  8. I didn’t quite get that.
  9. I can’t understand you.
  10. I can’t understand what you said.
  11. I’m not quite sure I follow you.
  12. I’m not quite sure I know what you mean.
  13. What? (informal)
  14. I’m sorry. What?
  15. I’m sorry, I didn’t quite hear what you said.
  16. What did you say?
  17. Again, please.
  18. I’m not sure I got your point.
  19. Could you please speak slower?
  20. Speak more slowly, please.

Asking for clarification

To ask for clarification, you may use the following questions:

  • Could you clarify that, please?
  • Could you give me/us an example?
  • Do you mean…?
  • Could you say that again, please?
  • Could you say that again in a different way, please?
  • Could you elaborate on that, please?
  • Would you be more specific?
  • Could you put your idea differently?

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