What to Say When You Don't Understand What Someone Has Said

  • Adrian Wallwork
Part of the English for Academic Research book series (EAR)


In this chapter you will learn how to
  • interrupt your interlocutor and ask for clarification without losing face

  • identify for the interlocutor exactly what part of their sentence you did not understand

  • find a way to help your native-English-speaking interlocutor be sensitive to the fact communication is a two-way process, in which both parties are responsible for helping each other understand. It is thus perfectly acceptable, and indeed often essential, to interrupt your interlocutor, and you shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to do so


Native Speaker Taxi Driver Listening Skill Embarrassing Situation Clarification Question 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Wallwork
    • 1
  1. 1.English for AcademicsPisaItaly

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