Common Classroom English Expressions

SITUATION Variations:
When you didn't hear:
Sorry, could you say that again, please? Polite
Huh? Rude, unless used as a joke, with raised eye brows to express irony.
Excuse me? polite when well executed - raise intonation to make a question, raise eyebrows, smile.
Excuse me, what did you say? Polite
What? Rude formally, but can be used with appropriate body language and tone; raise intonation to make a question, raise eyebrows, smile.
Pardon me, What did you say? When said in a positive tone can be polite, accusatory when said with a scour.
One more please? Wrong. Makes no sense in this situation.
Nani... Very rude to use a different language, particularly in a rude fashion. Relax, smile, and try to communicate with your eyes.
You don't understand:
Sorry, I don't understand. Could you explain that? good
Again, please? not recommended
Would you run that by me again, please? casual
Sorry I didn't understand. Could you rephrase the question? good
You don't know the answer:
Sorry, I don't know. best
Beats me. rude, unless done in good humor.
Humm. . . let me think. good while thinking, shows interest.
(shrugged shoulders) Needs smile and followed by "Sorry, I don't really know."
I haven't a clue. rude unless among friends.
Someone is speaking too fast:
Excuse me, could you speak a little more slowly, please? good
Slow down please, I have difficulty understanding English. OK
Would you mind speaking a bit slower please?
Thank you.
Wow...Where's the fire? Slow your horses! joke, casual only.
Huh? Looks stupid.

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