🤔 How to ask someone to REPEAT IN ENGLISH (FORMAL + INFORMAL)

Image illustration Elisabeth newsletter

🎁 Get 3 gifts to improve your French

They will allow you to overcome a blockage. Panicking or not understanding when someone speaks to you in French 🤯.

They are free and without obligation 🙏.

Leave your name and email to receive your gifts ⬇️

It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time 🙏

🤔 How to ask someone to REPEAT IN ENGLISH (FORMAL + INFORMAL)


Are you doing Christmas in Paris? Are you? Are you doing Christmas in Paris this year?

If you say "excusez-moi?" the person will naturally understand that you are asking them to repeat themselves. These expressions, they're going to sound a little more natural in French than "pouvez-vous répéter?"

Hi everyone, I hope you are feeling good and motivated for this new French lesson. Today, we are going to see together some words or expressions to use when you don't understand someone who is speaking or when you don't hear someone who is speaking and you want to ask him to repeat.

You may ask someone to repeat something simply because you didn't hear, because the person is speaking too softly or because there is noise around, or because you simply didn't understand the words they used.

Perhaps you learned in school or from books to use the phrase "can you repeat, please?" "Could you repeat that, please?" Or perhaps even more politely, "Could you repeat, please?"

Could you repeat that, please? Of course, these expressions are completely correct. We will understand you and grammatically it is correct. But they are not expressions that the French will necessarily use naturally.

So today, we're going to look at some formal, polite expressions to use instead of "can you please repeat that?" And at the end of the video, we're going to see some more informal, rather familiar expressions to use with your friends when you want to ask them to repeat something.

So, the first expressions we're going to see, you can use them in a restaurant, in a bakery, with the conductor on the train for example. You can really use them with everybody. These expressions, they're going to sound a little bit more natural in French than "pouvez vous répéter?"

The first one is pardon? Sorry? For example, if you are at the bakery and you ask for "a croissant please", and the baker says something to you and you don't understand, you can simply say "sorry?".

And then she'll repeat. For example, "Would you like anything else?" With strangers, you can also use the phrase "excuse me."

If you say "excuse me" the person will naturally understand that you are asking him to repeat. And it's the same with forgiveness. When you say sorry to someone in this context, the person will naturally understand that he/she has to repeat. In the supermarket, for example, you go to the checkout and the cashier tells you something and you don't understand. Do you want a bag? Excuse me? Would you like a bag? Oh yes, thank you.

If you are on first-name terms with the person, either because it is someone you know, for example a colleague, or if you are in a situation where someone is on first-name terms with you, for example, this can happen in bars in Paris. To be a little cool, a little friendly, the waiter can be on first-name terms with you. Then you will also be on first-name terms with him. And instead of saying "excuse me?" You can say "excuse me" to ask the person to repeat.

So for example, if you are in a bar and the waiter is tutoring you and says "do you want to pay with cash or card?" And you didn't understand, you can answer "excuse me?"

He will then repeat "do you want to pay with cash or card?"

Finally, one last expression that is always very polite, a little more colloquial in my opinion, but you can use it with just about anybody because it's still pretty polite. It's just using the word "how".

For example, if your colleague asks you a question and you didn't understand, you can say "how?" He will then repeat. Do you want to get lunch or did you already bring your lunch? How? Did you bring your lunch yet or do you want to go outside and get a sandwich?

Let's move on to informal expressions. These are colloquial expressions. Do not use them with people you do not know.

With your friends, so whoever you talk to informally, you can use the words we're going to see. So, if you didn't understand something, you can say "what did you say?"

"You said what?" Or you can even just use "what".

If you just say "what?" the person, your friend, will understand that they need to repeat. Do you want to have pizza tonight? What? Do you want to have pizza tonight? Ah yes, with pleasure! Have you heard from Christophe? What did you say? Have you talked to Christophe lately?

Even more informal, you can just say "huh" huh.

I'm sure you've heard French people use this word, this interjection. Are you doing Christmas in Paris? Huh? You're doing Christmas in Paris this year? Ah. Yes, I'm doing Christmas in Paris. You can also simply say "I didn't understand or "what did you say?"

By the way, "what did you say?" in speaking can sometimes turn into "what did you say?".

So there's the "that" that we forget to pronounce. Are you hungry? Are you? What did you say? Are you hungry? Do you want to eat ? Oh yes, I'm very hungry.

That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed this video, that you were able to learn some new expressions that will be used more naturally by the French in France.

If you liked the video of course, put a like and if you are not yet a subscriber, subscribe and activate the bell so you don't miss any of my videos.

See you soon!

Share this article

My French lessons 🇫🇷

Dialogue courses to improve your French

Boost your understanding in French 🚀

40 conversations + cards to understand everyday French.

You understand French spoken at school or in movies but you panic when you have a real conversation with a native French speaker 😱 ?

Work on your listening comprehension with 40 dialogues from daily life in France (+ vocabulary cards + comprehension quiz).

Each month, a new dialogue is added.

45 minutes of conversation with Elisabeth

Boost your French speaking 🚀

45 minutes of conversation in French with me (+ working document)

Want to practice your French speaking skills, gain fluency and confidence? Book a private conversation session with me.

More than a simple conversation, I accompany you in your progression...

At the end of each session, I will send you a PDF summary sheet with your mistakes and corrections.

90 days to progress in French

90 days of exercises to progress in French

90 days to progress in French through your daily life.

This booklet will guide you through your day to improve your French in 15 minutes a day.

Free resources that might interest you


LEARN FRENCH IN 2 MINUTES - French idiom: A hard blow

Transcript of the video Bonjour tout le monde, j'espère que vous allez bien, je vous retrouve pour une nouvelle vidéo dans le format une expression française en quelques minutes avant de commencer, pensez à activer les sous titres en français

man and woman near grass field

How to say I love you in French ❤️

Whether you are writing a love letter or saying je t'aime to your partner, French offers a multitude of words and expressions to express your love. Discover the different ways to say I love you in French.

Videos that might interest you

Scroll to Top