Useful English Phrases for Better Communication

If you don’t understand what other people say, it’s a good idea to ask for clarification instead of saying:

“I don’t understand” or “Sorry, my English is very bad”

Here there is a list of useful expressions for asking for clarification. These expressions will help you speak fluently and communicate better with your classmates or colleagues. It’s important that you learn how to pronounce each of the phrases correctly. There is an audio below each phrase so you can check the pronunciation that will help you learn them easily.

  1. Pardon me?
Listen and Repeat

2. Excuse me. Could you repeat that, please?

Listen and Repeat

3. Could you say that again?

Listen and Repeat

4. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you properly.

Listen and Repeat

5. I’m sorry, I missed that.

Listen and Repeat

6. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.

Listen and Repeat

7. What do you mean?

Listen and Repeat

8. What does _________ mean?

Listen and Repeat

9. Could you give an example?

Listen and Repeat

10. Did you say ________? (say the word you heard)

Listen and Repeat

Practice Time

Read each of the sentences out load and record yourself using your cellphone or your computer. Listen to your voice.

  1. For you, what sounds/ words are difficult to pronounce?
  2. For you, what is the easiest phrase? How many times can you say it without making a mistake?

Share your answers in the comments below.


Essential Vocabulary for Online Meetings

Useful English Phrases to Ask for Help


Make up your mind

“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”

Michelle Obama

Curious about the meaning of the English expression make up your mind?

Do you know which verb goes with decision in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian?

Which one is correct: take a decision or make a decision?

In this short video I’ll explain the meaning of these phrases and how to use them correctly.

To learn more English expressions check the following posts:

Money talks

Let me sleep on it

I’m thankful for