Common Phrases Used in Daily English Conversation

Learn the English you need to communicate successfully in everyday situations...

1. Expressions to use in asking someone to say something again

  • Pardon
  • 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

  • So,…
  • 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.
  • Informal: 
  • Are you with me?
  • Get it?
  • Right?
  • 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…
  • Really?
  • Oh, yes.
  • How interesting!
  • I know/ see what you mean.

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Common Phrases Used in Daily English Conversation

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