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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Learn English – English Phrases to ask for clarification (Free English Lessons)

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Hello Everyone and welcome back to a new lesson. Well, there are times when we are not quite

sure or we don't understand or we are a little confused when someone says something. so what

do you do then? You ask for clarification and how do you do that? Well, that's what

we are gonna learn in today's lesson.In today's lesson we are gonna look at different ways

to ask for clarification or times when you really don't understand or you didn't get

what the person just said.

So that's what we gonna learn. Now, most of the times people

end up saying What?? May be the person just murmured and you did't understand what he

said , so the immediate reaction would be What? or ok, what now? So, that is quite rude

and harsh. so rather than saying what , use these phrases. Now let's get started. The

first one and the most common one is 'Sorry' you use the word sorry to apologize right?

But why is the word sorry here? You need to put it like question. SO here when you say,

sorry , it's more like a question and probably you are asking that person to repeat himself.

So, maybe you are at the supermarket and the person at the counter said something which

you really didn't understand. You don't again say what? that's rude, you can use the phrase

sorry and that should be with a question mark, Sorry? SO, you use this in a very informal

way or informal situations. Probably you are at the supermarket or you are just ordering

for your pizza or you ordering at some fast food center and you did't understand what

the person just said so you ask for clarification or you him to repeat himself by using this

phrase. Another one, Come again. So , come again is another way of asking could you please

repeat yourself. Again, this phrase can be used in a very informal situation.So may be

you are with your friends, hanging out, having a cup of coffee with your friends and your

friend just mentioned something which you really didn't understand, so you would say

hey, come again . You have to watch your tone as well. Don't say what? say come again, that

will be a little better way for asking clarification Another one, I beg your pardon - I beg you

pardon is a very polite phrase used by people in the corporate world. so may be you are

in a meeting with your clients or you are on a conference call and of course at times

when you are on a conference call, the line is not clear or the voice is breaking and

you are unable to hear that person clearly. SO there times when you have to ask that person

to repeat himself. SO how do you do that in the business world?

The right phrase to use is I beg you pardon, so probably you didn't understand what that

person just said so you want him or her to repeat, you gonna say I beg your pardon. Another

one that you can use is - Could you say that again please? You can use this phrase in a

very formal situation. You are asking someone to repeat so you are being straight forward

but when you add the word please it add to that extra element of politeness

SO rather than just saying could you say that again? Add that please, so you sound very

polite. and make sure to watch your tone , it should go this way, Could you say that again,

please. BE nice, you don't have to be rude just because you did't understand that person.

SO be nice and use this phrase. Let's have a look at another one - I didn't quite catch

that, could you repeat it. maybe you can add please here as well, just to be nice, just

to be polite. So I didn't quite catch that, maybe that person said something, you didn't

understand or you are confused and you are not sure if you got it right - so you can

ask him to repeat it by using the phrase - I didn't quite catch that, could you repeat

it please? Now, let's have a look at another one - Could you illustrate? When you are in

meeting or you are talking to someone, discussing something about a big project and may be you

are not able to understand or sequence the ideas what that other person is explaining

you. And maybe you need examples or want them to explain it in a better way You not gonna

say I didn't understand what you saying , I just don't get it. That's gonna be rude - You

can't talk to your bosses or you can't talk to your colleagues in this way, its rude right!

Sp probably to understand their idea in a better way. maybe you want them to explain

it in a better way - So how do you do that? Well, you can say COuld you illustrate? So

if your boss is trying to explain you something and you are not able to match up his pace

or you are not able to match up with his idea so you gonna ask for illustrations - you gonna

ask for explanations. The best way to to that, use this phrase - Could you illustrate. Could

you illustrate further or you could use the word explain also-could you explain ti further?

And then the last one is pretty much similar to the one here .Could you give an example

- SO again, maybe someone is trying to explain you something or even when you are ordering

for food, you are at a restaurant and you are ordering for food and the waiter just

goes on and on - saying something that this is the way how it's cooked and you don't really

understand. So, ask him to explain it to you further or give an example. So this is the

way you would ask for - Could you give an example.

Or again, you are sitting with your colleagues or team members and probably you are not able

to understand what they are trying to tell you and you want it to be explained it in

a better way with examples, then ask for it. Either you can say - Could you illustrate?

or you can say Could you give an example? So, these are the phrases that you can use

instead of saying what. So go ahead use them and I will be back with a new lesson soon

till then take care.

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