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    #1

    What do you say? / What are you saying? = when we don't understand

    Hi,

    As is seen on the page (http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/What+do+you+say%3F), 'What do you say' has more than one meaning (1. Inf. Hello, how are you? 2. Lit. What is your answer or decision? 3. Lit. an expression urging a child to say Thank you or please). So I'd like to ask if we can use it when we don't understand what a person says or has just said, for example:

    Friend: Beckett's 'Waiting For Godot' tells the story of two men who are ,in vain, waiting for someone named Godot, who will never arrive.
    Me: (I cannot catch what he says) What do you say? / What are you saying?

    I gather that they could sound OK but it is better to say 'what did (just) you say?' or something like that.

    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What do you say? / What are you saying? = when we don't understand

    Use "What did you (just) say?".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What do you say? / What are you saying? = when we don't understand

    As far as I know, "What do you say?" is only used before a person has said the relevant thing - as in your examples.
    Here's another use.

    Tom: We could go to the pub for a few drinks. What do you say?
    Bob: Sure. Sounds like a plan.

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