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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
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      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Sep 2013
    • Posts: 296
    #1

    sorry or pardon

    Dear teachers,
    In comunications, if we do not understand what other person says, we commonly use sorry or pardon? And I belive these two are for informal. May I use these in formal situations as well?

    Thanks.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: sorry or pardon

    There are many things you can say.
    Pardon?
    I'm sorry?
    Could you repeat that, please?
    I'm sorry - I didn't quite get that.
    Could you say that again, please?
    I'm sorry - I didn't quite hear you.
    I'm sorry - I couldn't quite make out what you said.

    (The "I'm sorry" at the beginning is optional and appropriate for just about any of these.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,838
    #3

    Re: sorry or pardon

    And if you're not feeling particularly polite, you can say:

    Eh?
    Huh?
    What?

    The last is very common in BrE but can be met with an exasperated "It's not WHAT, it's PARDON!" from language sticklers (like my dad and grandfather !)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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