With so much information being transferred nowadays, it’s not surprising that some of it might get mixed up. Therefore, it’s necessary that we check with the people we are talking to, just to be sure that we’ve understood everything correctly. Let’s look at a few ways that we can do that.
Why don’t we take a familiar situation at school, as an example?
Your teacher has just explained something new to the class, so wants to get feedback from the students to check they’ve understood. These are the questions he or she could ask;
Do you understand?
Are you following me?
Do you understand what I mean?
Do you understand what I’m saying?
Have you got it?
Now, there are two ways we can reply. Either to express that we have understood.
Everything is comprehensible.
Okay, I got what you mean.
I understand what you mean.
I see what you mean.
I understand what you are saying.
I’ve got it.
Or we need to use the following phrases if we have not understood.
Sorry, I didn’t get your point.
What do you mean?
I’m not sure I got your point.
I beg your pardon, but I don’t quite understand.
I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you mean.
Sometimes we think that we have understood, but might want to ask a question to check;
Could you clarify that please?
Could you explain that please?
What do you mean by that?
Could you say that again?
Could you repeat please?
Could you put it differently please?
Our teacher will of course happily clarify the point he or she was making, by saying
Sorry, let me explain.
Let me clarify it for you.
To put it differently.
Let me put it another way.
I will paraphrase that for you.
So, don’t feel discouraged when you don’t understand everything the first time round. Just think of these phrases and you’ll be able to check you have understood, in no time at all.
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