1. Expressions to use in asking someone to say something again
- I’m sorry I didn’t hear/catch what you said
- Would/Could you say that again, please?
- Would/Could you repeat what you said, please?
- I’m sorry, what did you say?
- What was that?
- Informal: What was that again…?
- Very informal: What?/ Eh/ Mm?
2. Expressions to use in checking you have understood
- Does that mean…?
- Do you mean…?
- If I understand right…
- I’m not sure I understand. Does that mean…?
3. Expressions to use in saying something another way
- In other words,…
- That means…
- What I mean is…
- That’s to say…
- …, or rather…
- What I’m trying to say is…
- What I’m driving at/ getting at is…
- Giving yourself time to think
- …, oh/ er/ um, …
- Let me see/ think…
- …, just a moment, …
- …, you see, …
- …, you know, …
- How shall I put it?
- …, now what’s the word…?
4. Expressions to use in checking someone has understood you
- Do you know what I mean?
- … if you see what I mean
- I hope that’s clear.
- Do I make myself clear.
- Are you with me?
- Get it?
- Very informal:
- Got the message?
- Changing the subject
- …, by the way,…
- …, before I forget,…
- …, I nearly forgot, …
5. Expressions to use when you want to add something
- I’d like to make another point.
- I’d also like to say…
- You need help
- I don’t understand, I’m sorry.
- I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
- What’s the meaning of…?
- What does the word … mean?
- What’s the French/ the English word for …?
- I didn’t hear what you said.
- Can you/ Could you/ Would you (repeat, please?/ say it again, please?/ explain it again, please?/ spell that word, please?/ write it on the board, please?/ speak louder/ up, please?/ speak more slowly, please?)
- Could you step aside, please? I can’t see the board.
6. Expressions to use when you want to apologize
- Sorry, I’m late.
- I apologize for being late.
- I’m afraid I’ve forgotten my workbook.
7. Expressions to use in showing you’re interested
- Uh, uh.
- I see…
- Oh, yes.
- How interesting!
- I know/ see what you mean.