Sometimes we say things that other people don’t understand, or we give the wrong impression.
This is an example conversation where one person says something that the other person thinks is strange.
LUIZ: “English is a very easy language to learn.”
IRENE: “What do you mean?”
LUIZ: “Well, what I meant to say was that it is easy if you practise every day.”
IRENE: “Oh, right.”
“What I meant to say was…”
“Let me rephrase that…”
“Let me put this another way…”
“Perhaps I’m not making myself clear…”
Back to the beginning
If you’re explaining something, and you realise that the other person doesn’t understand, you can use the following phrases:
“If we go back to the beginning…”
“The basic idea is…”
“One way of looking at it is…”
“Another way of looking at it is…”
If you forget the English word
If you forget the word you want to use, you can say:
“I can’t find the word I’m looking for…”
“I’m not sure that this is the right word, but…”
“What I want to say is…”
Don’t be afraid to repeat what you’re saying, especially if you can do it in a slightly different way.