Como falo em inglês: Não entendi. Que você disse?

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Jul 27
Inglês Online Não entendi Que você disse

Hi, everyone. No episódio de hoje do podcast Inglês Online, eu falo sobre algumas maneiras diferentes de pedir pra pessoa repetir o que disse (pois você não entendeu de primeira).


não entendi em inglêsHi, everyone. This is the new episode of the Inglesonline podcast. Please subscribe to this podcast using the Podcasts app for iPhone or iPad, or listen to the episodes using the Inglesonline Android app. Thanks for all the comments at the iTunes store and if you haven’t yet left a comment for this podcast please do so: the more comments for the Inglesonline podcast, the more people will find out about it and listen to the episodes. Thank you for telling your friends, your neighbours, your family and keep listening.

So today’s episode is about common ways to ask someone to repeat what they just said to you. You didn’t hear it the first time, so you say, for example, “Come again?” There’s obviously a literal meaning to that phrase, which is “Come again” or come back again some time, but if you say it more like a question, you’re asking the speaker to repeat what they said. Now, it could be that you couldn’t hear them, and it could also be that you’re sort of questioning what they said. So “Come again?” can also be said when, let’s say… You cannot believe what you just heard.

It’s very simple to use. Let’s say someone offers you chocolate. “Would you like some chocolate?” And you say “Come again?” “Chocolate. Would you like some chocolate?” That’s it.

Here’s a very similar term: Say what?  Same thing. Say what? It’s like you were asking “What did you say?” or asking that person to repeat what they said. So you simply say “Say what?” We could use the same example: Would you like some chocolate? “Say what?” Chocolate. Would you like some chocolate?

Now here’s another one, and this one’s a bit longer. “I didn’t catch that” and you can also say I didn’t get that. That just means, again, I didn’t hear you. Please repeat. So there you have it: come again, say what and I didn’t catch that, I didn’t get that.

If you watch lots of American movies and shows, you’ve no doubt come across the line “I didn’t catch your name“. That’s very common and that just means that person’s asking what your name is. Now, remember, it may be that you’re talking to a native speaker on the phone and they’re speaking a bit fast (as we often do when speaking our mother tongue) and you can’t understand them very well – not just a couple of words, but overall.

In that case, you may want to ask that person to slow down, rather than saying “Come again? ” or “Say what?” all the time. For most situations, just say “Could you speak slower, please?” That’s the informal version, which uses the adjective “slower”. The more formal version, which correctly uses the adverb, is “Could you speak more slowly, please?

Sometimes it is necessary to explicitly ask someone to slow down, since some people will just keep repeating what they said without realising that the problem is that they’re speaking too fast to be understood by someone whose native language isn’t English.

Have you ever had to ask someone to slow down? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!


Key expressions

  • come again?
  • say what?
  • I didn’t catch that
  • I didn’t catch your name
  • Could you speak slower?
  • Could you speak more slowly?



slow down = desacelerar



About the Author

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

  • Ricardo Y says:

    Hello Ana. I have a question. When you say “I didn’t catch your name”, that means the other person has already told you his name, and you’ve just forgotten it? or Can I use it even if the person hasn’t told you the name?

  • Anne says:

    Hi, Ana!!!

    Great podcast as usual!!!

    And oh man!! That happens pretty often with me. I don’t usually have trouble understand people in a face to face conversation but over the phone, it is indeed a challenge. Getting everything that the other person is saying gives me a hard time sometimes. Here’s a little story:

    I got a flat tire yesterday– I somehow drive over a nail and today I called a place that would repair my tire, fine so far. The man that answered the phone started speaking really fast and using a lot of slangs, I was able to get everything except for ” .. Down here.. Swinging by..” ?? WHAT?
    I asked him to reapet 3 times before I got what he was trying to say. He was just asking in a informal way when I was planning to go there! Ufa!

    In the USA, people usually dont slow down when speaking to someone, even though they sometimes notice that you are from another country.

    Because I was having trouble understand that person, he gave up making my appointment and said he did, but well, once I got there I had to wait 2 hours because there wasn’t any info on their computer.

    Tip: always ask others to repeat if you weren’t able to catch what was said. And most important- make sure they get what you are saying too and insist if necessary, I am sure that every misunderstanding can be repaired and we all laugh about it later!

    Have a great week, Ana!!
    Lots of love from California- USA.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Hi Anne,
      Great story :-( and very real :)
      Yep, that was my experience in the US – people usually won’t slow down even when it’s apparent you’re a foreigner and not fully getting what they’re saying.
      That is a great tip – ask that person to repeat what they said; and make sure they understood what you said. You can say – “Just to be clear, etc etc”
      Thanks Anne!! x

  • Isabela says:

    Hi Ana Luiza! While living in the U.S. people would be like “what’s that?” Whenever they didn’t understand me. Did I get it right? I though it was a very common expression and also that it fits the situation this post is about.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Hi Isabela,
      Yes, that was the case for me too. My classmates would always say “What’s that?” – it slipped my mind while writing the podcast :)
      Where did you live, by the way?

  • Lucas says:

    Hi Ana. Can I use “what did you say?”. I remember that my american roommate used to say that when he was here. It sounds like “whad you say”.

  • Deb says:

    Hi Ana!! Can I use “sorry?” Is it a common expression too? And which is more formal? Thanks!!

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