(1) Pardon: Used to ask someone to repeat something.
Pardon me? I didn’t understand. Could you repeat that?
(2) To check: To learn if something is ok.
I have to go back to the office and check if all the papers are ready for tomorrow’s meeting.
(3) Confirmation: Knowledge
Stop being nice. Tell him directly that she has to improve or find another job.
1. How can you get someone to repeat what they said?
a. Tell them that you’re sorry.
b. Say sorry or pardon with rising intonation.
c. Say sorry or pardon with falling intonation.
2. How can you check if you understood?
a. Repeat the information.
b. Ask them to repeat what they said.
c. A and B.
3. How can you get confirmation?
a. Ask, “Is that right?”.
b. Send an email follow-up.
c. A and B.
By Jeremy Schaar
When English is your second language, talking on the phone can be pretty hard, right? Actually, talking on the phone is always harder than talking when you can see the person. On the phone, you can’t see a person’s face. It’s so much easier to misunderstand someone.
So, what can you do if you don’t understand? Today, let’s look at a few, polite ways to check your understanding.
First off, you might want the person to repeat what they said. You can say:
Note that your voice should go up when you say sorry or pardon. This will tell your listener that you didn’t understand. In fact, just making a sound that goes up can be enough.
Simple, right? Well, unfortunately, saying those things often doesn’t work. The person repeats what they said. Or they say it in a different way. But you still don’t understand. Or, you might understand, but you’re not sure.
Well, you have to check to see if you understand and get confirmation from the other person. How can you do that? First say that you’re going to check if you understood. Then repeat back the information. Then ask if you understood well.
Let’s assume that the information is that the meeting is on Tuesday at 9:00am. Here are some examples: