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  • (upbeat music)

  • - Hello, everyone, and welcome back to English With Lucy.

  • When you are learning English,

  • there is one sentence that you have to say a lot,

  • or you feel you have to say a lot.

  • It is, can you repeat that,

  • can you repeat that please,

  • or please could you repeat that.

  • When you talk to natives

  • and especially when you are listening to natives speak,

  • it is highly likely that you won't understand everything

  • that they've said and you will probably want

  • to ask them to repeat something

  • so you can try to understand.

  • Unfortunately, many students feel embarrassed

  • because they're saying the same sentence

  • over and over again.

  • Can you repeat that?

  • Sorry, can you repeat that?

  • Please, can you repeat that?

  • A lot of my students tell me that in the end

  • they just give up and stop asking for repetition,

  • which really isn't good for their listening practise.

  • This video is really going

  • to help you improve your listening skills

  • and indirectly help you with your vocabulary as well

  • and your pronunciation

  • but if you want to improve your vocabulary

  • and your listening skills even further,

  • then I highly recommend the special method of reading books

  • and at the same time,

  • listening to their audiobook version on Audible.

  • It sounds complicated but it's not so let me explain.

  • Take a book that you have already read in English

  • or a book that you would like to read in English.

  • I've got lots of recommendations for you

  • in the description box

  • and I'm also thinking of making a video

  • all about the different books that you should read

  • for different levels.

  • Let me know down below if you would like that.

  • And once you've chosen that book, read it whilst listening

  • to the audiobook version on Audible.

  • I recommend Audible in particular

  • because they've got the most amazing range of books

  • with fantastic native narrators

  • and I really like their subscription model.

  • It encourages you to do a little bit each month.

  • Reading alone will not help you with your pronunciation

  • because English isn't a strictly phonetic language.

  • The way something is written in English

  • might not give you any indication

  • as to how that word is pronounced in English.

  • It's like the spelling

  • and the pronunciation is nearly separate.

  • This is why so many students find pronunciation so hard

  • but if you listen to a word as you read it,

  • your brain will start making connections

  • and the next time you see that word written down,

  • you'll know exactly how it's meant to be pronounced

  • and the next time you hear that word,

  • you'll know exactly how it's spelt.

  • It's such an effective method

  • and the best part is you can get one free audiobook

  • of your choice that's a 30-day free trial at Audible.

  • All you've got to do is click on the link

  • in the description box and sign up.

  • Give it a try because it really, really works.

  • Right, let's get started with the lesson.

  • So the first alternative way of saying,

  • sorry, can you repeat that, or sorry, I don't understand,

  • is the most natural native way.

  • It is just one word, it's sorry?

  • Sorry?

  • This is what we are most likely to say if we can't hear

  • or can't understand what someone is saying.

  • Make sure you focus on the intonation,

  • we want to go, sorry?

  • Down, up, down, up.

  • Sorry?

  • That way we are showing the listener that it is a question.

  • We are showing doubt.

  • This is also a word that you can add on to lots

  • of the other phrases which are going to follow

  • but it's a really nice quick one and because it's so short,

  • you don't feel like you are repeating yourself as much

  • if you have to say it over and over again.

  • Next, we have a slightly more formal one.

  • It is, excuse me?

  • Excuse me?

  • Now I don't like this one as much as I like sorry.

  • This is because sometimes if said

  • with the wrong tone of voice and the wrong intonation,

  • it can make it sound like you're slightly offended.

  • If somebody says something offensive to me,

  • I would say, excuse me?

  • Excuse me?

  • But I definitely show with my body language

  • that I'm offended.

  • If I can't understand what someone's saying,

  • I would say, excuse me?

  • Excuse me?

  • And maybe shake my head to show

  • that I'm having trouble following what they're saying.

  • Another one which is even more formal

  • and this isn't even the most formal one yet.

  • The most formal one is coming after this one.

  • This is, pardon?

  • Pardon?

  • And this is quite a posh word.

  • Not everyone will consider it to be posh

  • but in general I think it is more of a posh word.

  • I remember being taught this word

  • by my grandmother as a little girl.

  • Instead of saying, what, I had to say pardon? (chuckles)

  • And then the most posh of all of them, the poshest is,

  • I beg your pardon?

  • I beg your pardon?

  • Now you have to be careful with the intonation of this one

  • because again it can be used to show offence.

  • If somebody says something offensive,

  • I could say, I beg your pardon?

  • It's often used in a jovial sense,

  • kind of in a sarcastic way,

  • maybe to respond to an accidental innuendo

  • or something like that.

  • If we want to use it to ask for repetition,

  • you've got to say it like this.

  • I beg your pardon?

  • I beg your pardon?

  • Really showing with your body language

  • and that upward intonation at the end

  • that you are asking a question, a genuine question.

  • If we're showing offence,

  • we're likely to push our body back.

  • I beg your pardon?

  • Now, back to neither informal nor formal,

  • these are just normal phrases you can say.

  • You could say, what was that?

  • What was that?

  • This is much nicer than just, what?

  • Even better you can follow it with, sorry.

  • What was that, sorry?

  • What was that, sorry?

  • You could also say, what did you say?

  • What did you say?

  • Or what did you say, sorry?

  • What did you say, sorry?

  • It feels strange to repeat them over and over again

  • but really the intonation makes it so clear.

  • What did you say, sorry?

  • Sorry?

  • Sorry? (chuckles)

  • Now what if we want to be just really, really clear?

  • We could just put it out there,

  • you could just say, I don't understand,

  • could you say that again, please?

  • Or, I don't understand,

  • please could you say that again?

  • It doesn't really matter where you put the please

  • as long as you say please.

  • I always like to put please first

  • because then the person knows from the very beginning

  • that I've said please.

  • Please, could you say that again?

  • In my household growing up,

  • pleases and thank yous were incredibly important,

  • overly important and it scarred me for life.

  • I just can't not say please, thank you.

  • Now if you want someone to repeat something

  • that they have only just said very recently

  • and you want to interrupt them, stop them there

  • and say, I want that exact sentence repeated again,

  • then you can use the word just.

  • For example, sorry what did you just say?

  • What did you just say?

  • And note that I'm not saying what did you just say?

  • I'm saying what did you just say?

  • Just, just.

  • What did you just say?

  • What did you just say?

  • That's real connected speech there.

  • What did you just say?

  • I'm missing out the tuh sound between just and say.

  • I'm saying jus-say instead of just say.

  • Just a little pronunciation tip for you there.

  • Or an alternative version, what did you say just then?

  • What did you say just then?

  • Again, I'm not including the tuh after just.

  • I'm saying jus-then, jus-then.

  • Now, if you didn't understand everything that someone said

  • but you did understand parts of it

  • then you could say, sorry, I didn't quite catch that?

  • I didn't quite catch that?

  • And the quite is implying that you understood some of it,

  • you caught some of it but you didn't catch all of it.

  • And catch here is used to mean to hear and understand.

  • It's a slang use of catch.

  • I didn't catch what you just said.

  • I didn't understand or hear what you just said.

  • An alternative for this is, sorry, I didn't quite get that.

  • I didn't quite get that.

  • And both of these could imply

  • that it's not because you didn't understand what they said,

  • it could be that you didn't hear what they said.

  • And if you can't hear what somebody is saying,

  • then you could say something like,

  • would you mind speaking up a bit?

  • Would you mind speaking up a bit?

  • This is a nicer way of saying,

  • please could you speak more loudly?

  • Or please could you speak less quietly?

  • To speak up is to increase the volume of one's voice.

  • Now if you want to make it clear

  • that it's not anything to do with volume,

  • it really is that you're just not understanding.

  • Your understanding little bits

  • but you're not managing to understand complete sentences,

  • you could say, sorry, I'm not following what you're saying.

  • I'm not following what you're saying.

  • Or an alternative, wait a second, I'm a bit lost.

  • Wait a second, I'm a bit lost.

  • And both of these imply

  • that you would like the person to slow down.

  • If you're struggling to follow or you're getting lost,

  • it could make the speaker think

  • that they are speaking too quickly

  • and implying that they need to slow down

  • without you having to ask them to slow down.

  • If you do want to be clear about it

  • or they don't understand you when you're trying to imply

  • that they're going too quickly,

  • you could say, would you mind slowing down a bit,

  • I'm struggling to follow.

  • I'm struggling to follow.

  • Now, if there is a specific word or phrase

  • that you don't understand but you understand everything else

  • but you want to ask a specific question

  • about a specific word or phrase,

  • then you could point it out and say something like,

  • I'm not sure I understand what you mean by, word or phrase.

  • Or you could simplify it and say,

  • I'm not sure what you mean by, word or phrase.

  • It's a bit of a funny preposition

  • so make sure you learn it properly to mean by.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by pigeon.

  • Here we