ways to ask for repetition in english

10 Ways to Ask Someone to Repeat Something in English

It’s important to know how to ask someone to repeat something in English whether you’re a native speaker or an English learner. In both cases, there are going to be situations that you simply don’t hear what someone said to you. As a learner, there will also be situations that you don’t understand because of how something was worded or said. This doesn’t need to be a stressful situation though because there are many ways to ask for repetition in English.

Be ready for your next English conversation and be ready to speak more confidently by reviewing these 10 ways to ask someone to repeat something in English.

10 Ways to Ask for Repetition in English

The expressions that we’re going to learn today will help you express that

A) you didn’t hear something


B) that you didn’t understand something

It’s important to try and differentiate these two things if possible because it can be frustrated when people repeat the same thing again and again and you didn’t understand the meaning of what they said (or the words they used)

Asking for Repetition:

  • I’m sorry….  ***INTONATION NEEDS TO RISE***
  • Can you repeat that?
  • Can you say that again?
  • What was that?

These expressions won’t clearly state whether you need repetition because you didn’t hear or because you didn’t understand. However, these expressions below will be a lot more clear.

Asking Someone to Repeat Something in a Different Way:

The following expressions are going to tell your listener that you heard them, but you didn’t understand. When you express this, they’ll hopefully repeat the information in a new way, a way that’s easier for you to understand.

  • I didn’t understand…
  • I didn’t get that…
  • Can you say it in another way?

Impolite yet Common Ways to Ask for Repetition:

The expressions you’re about to review are not considered polite; however, they are things you’ll hear in TV shows, movies, or with other native speakers. The following is language that’s typical of native speakers, but should definitely be avoided in any formal or professional settings

  • huh?
  • what?
  • eh?

Again these are more for use casually and among friends.

Practice Makes Perfect

What are some situations that you’ve needed these expressions?

What are some other expressions you’ve used when you needed to ask for repetition?

Let me know in the comments and of course,

Happy Studying! ♥

Do you know a friend learning English? Help me help them and share this lesson with them!

Do you want EVEN MORE English resources? Don't stop learning now!
Sign up to receive access to my [free] English resource library. The library has videos, PDFs, worksheets & more!

1 Comment

  1. Breathe J. on November 27, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Cool 🙂

Leave a Comment