Best English Phrases to Check for Understanding and Improve Communication

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Communication is a two-way street. To communicate clearly, you must ensure your message gets across to the person with whom you are interacting. One way to check that is through comprehension check questions. Learn professional and casual phrases to check for understanding and ensure the participants follow along.

Hello, Advanced English learners. Welcome back. Today I'm gonna be sharing a few ways that you can check for comprehension. Why is this important when you are interacting with someone, whether it be someone whose first language is English or not. You wanna make sure that the person who is in this conversation with you is following along.

That is really important because at the end of the day, communication, successful, effective communication is about sending a message that is received, right? There is comprehension, there is meaning, there is an understanding of what is being communicated. And if you are talking and you don't know whether or not the person is understanding what you're saying

then that can be problematic in terms of having a potential miscommunication or a communication breakdown. So in order to prevent this, what we can do is check for comprehension along the way, and I'm gonna give you phrases that you can use in both professional settings and casual settings that you can use in English to check for comprehension.

If you're ready, let's get into it.

 All right. The first one is as simple as, right, So you might say something and you might just tag it at the end with, Right, and you can wait for the response or not. If you don't wait for the response, then don't be surprised if someone interrupts you. They won't interrupt you and say wrong, right? That's the opposite of, Right.

But they might interject, they might interrupt and say, Well, actually, I'm not really sure about this point. Or, Could you actually repeat that? I didn't quite catch it, or, you know, I'm not in agreement here. This is what I think. So it gives them an opportunity to either chime in right away after you say, right after you ask, right, or a little bit later, they might interrupt you, and that is absolutely fine.

Interruption is not always bad. It is overlapping speech, and it's a very natural part of conversation. So don't be shocked. And don't be upset if someone interrupts.

All right. This one is more so in casual settings. You might say, You catch my drift. My drift, right? So it's like when water is drifting, you're drifting with the water, right? You have a buoy or a float on the water, and it's just drifting away. It's like, You catch my drift? Are you following me here?

Do you catch my drift? So instead of saying, Do you catch my drift? We'll just say, You catch my drift. Or catch my drift. So that's a casual way of saying, do you understand?

Another one that you can use in both settings is, you know what I mean? Do you know what I mean? Or you know what I mean? You know what I mean? So you know what I mean. Do you know what I mean? You know what I mean? So again, we'll emit the do.

Another one is, Do you get what I'm saying? Get what I'm saying? Do you get what I'm saying?

So again, you can use this in personal and professional conversations. It's more so used in more casual conversations. But if you are really close with your colleague and it's a little bit more casual talk when you have meetings and this and that, or maybe you work in a startup culture a work culture is more casual with the way people talk with each other.

Then you might just say, You know what I'm talking about you. You know what I'm saying?

You get what I'm saying.

Another one is, are we on the same wavelength? Are we on the same wavelength? So that way you're checking to make sure that the person is following you . And if you're on the same wavelength or the same frequency, then that means you're aligned. So this is a nice way of saying, are we on the same wavelength?

Are we on the same page here? I'm just checking.

This one is mostly in casual settings. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? Are you picking up what I'm putting down? That's a really fun one. It's very visceral, right? We can see that image in our minds. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

The next one's pretty simple. Am I being clear? That's straightforward. Am I being clear? This is a little bit like you're the expert and the other person is not the expert. So I don't love this one too much, but you will hear it. And if you are actually, , in a position where you are the expert, then you might say that if you're talking to clients or students or something where you are deemed the person who is the expert with this information, that you can just say, Am I being clear?

Or is this clear? Does this make sense to you? There are a few different derivatives of that. But am I being clear is also fine. It comes down to preference.

You know what I mean? You know what I mean? That one's a little bit more casual. You'll hear people talk like this in a more relaxed setting. Not so much at work. It's not very professional, but it's something to keep in mind. You know what I mean? You know what I mean? And saying it like that instead of, Do you know what I mean?

You know what I mean?

Another thing to ask is, do you get what I'm saying? You get what I'm saying? You can say that in both professional and personal casual contexts.

Does that make sense? Does that make sense? You can say this in both professional and casual contexts. Are you following? Are you following? Are you follow? You following. You can say it like that too. You following?

And then the last one, was that clear enough? The other way of saying this is, am I being clear enough or was that clear enough? So depending on how you wanna say it, they mean essentially the same thing.

All right. Amazing job. So these are a few ways that you can check for comprehension during the conversation, during a meeting, even in an interview, you can use these phrases. Steer towards more of the professional ones that I've shared with you, and the ones that are more casual, save for a more casual interaction.

But for the most part, you can use both of these. Just assess the degree of professionalism in each situation you find yourself in and you make the call, you make the judgment there. I think these are gonna help you make sure that whatever you're saying is being communicated in a clear way. And if it's not, then somebody will tell you and they'll be nice about it, and you can rephrase it or you can just say it again.

Maybe they just didn't hear you the first time. Maybe they don't understand the concept, and you might have to break it down into more simple terminology. Or simpler terms, and that's fine too. But again, the point of communication is to be understood both ways, right? It's a two-way street. So if you're talking , but it's not being clear enough, or someone's talking and it's not being clear enough, then there can be some work done there, right?

We wanna be effective communicators. So these phrases will help you become even more effective when communicating in English.

All right, advanced English learners. Thank you so much for joining me for this lesson. I hope that you liked it. Let me know what you think of this episode. Leave me a nice little q and a in the Spotify app, or you can tell me what you think on YouTube as well.

All right, so I will see you in the next one. We're gonna continue advancing your English together. Until then, keep up the awesome work and I will see you soon.

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