When you do not understand the meaning of something in the language or you could not get somebody’s point, first you may express your lack of understanding and then ask for clarification.
However, the other person you are communicating with can use different expressions to clarify his or her point of view or explain a certain idea in a different way.
In this lesson, we are going to illustrate these communicative functions with examples. Stay tight and focus with me!
Table of Contents
How to Express Lack of Understanding
- I’m sorry, I could not understand what you mean by …
- Sorry, but I did not really get your point!
- Sorry, I cannot understand.
- I beg your pardon?
- I could not quite understand your point of view!
- I cannot quite see what you mean by….
- I am not really sure I got your point!
- I do not think I got your point!
How to Ask for Clarification
- Would you clarify it, please?
- Would you clarify more, please?
- Could you explain more?
- Can you elaborate on that please?
- Could you give more examples, please?
- What do you mean by saying ……?
How to Clarify (spoken and written use)
- I wanted to say that…
- Let me put it differently, ….
- Let me explain, ….
- To put in a different way, …
- To make it clear, …
- To clarify it more, …
- I mean ….
Examples in some conversational exchanges:
Person A: I could not understand what you mean by aerophobia, could you explain it more?
Person B: I mean there are people who get scared when they fly in a plane or a helicopter. They have this fear of flying.
Karim: Hey teacher, I did not quite get the meaning of “phrasal verb”, could you give more examples?
Teacher: Sure, let me explain, verbs in English language can take one or two prepositions, but once we use them with prepositions, we should remember that their meanings might change completely, for example: look after, take off, put off…