Feb 282013

When you’re listening to someone explain something or tell you something, how can you show that person that you understand him or her? How can you indicate that you are following what is being said – or not following it? In this programme, we look at different ways you can do this using body language, noises, words and intonation.

Showing understanding
Understanding Not understanding
Body language Nod your head Look confused – e.g. by frowning or squinting
Noises Umm-hmm
Words Right…
Hang on…
Hold on…
Run me through that again
You’ve lost me
Intonation Speak clearly and confidently Speak more slowly
to follow someone / something
here, to understand something or someone
e.g. After a while, I stopped following the conversation.
Sorry – I don’t follow you. Can you explain it again?

to nod
to move your head up and down, usually in agreement

to run somebody through something
to explain something
e.g. Can you quickly run me through the new guidelines?

Hang on / Hold on
Use this to ask someone to stop or pause
e.g. Hold on – I don’t think I follow you
Can you just hang on a second? I need to get my coat…

to be lost
here, to no longer understand
e.g. Aaagh! I’m totally lost!

to lose someone
here, to confuse someone or lead to them not understanding you
e.g. Hang on – you’ve lost me!




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