I couldn't hear the "whole thing" that you said.

tufguy

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If I am having a word over the phone with someone and that person is saying something but I don't hear him because I was having a word with my mother while he was speaking but I did overheard few words because I had taken off my headphones so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard few words but I couldn't hear the "whole thing" that you said."
 

emsr2d2

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You have a strange liking for the phrase "to have a word with" when, most of the time, you just need the word "talk". That's the case here. Your first sentence takes up the first two lines and the next four words of the next line! That's far too long!
"Whole thing" isn't natural there. Use "everything".

Now - rewrite your piece taking all of that into account.
 

Tdol

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I don't think it's relevant whether you heard a word or two. Simply ask them to say it again. When you start saying that you heard a few words, are you going to say them so that your friend can leave them out when they say it again? You're giving out too much information that has little or no relevance. Pardon would be enough, or I couldn't hear/catch you, could you say that again?
 

GoesStation

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... I did overheard few words because I had taken off my headphones so can I say....
Tufguy, you forgot the lessons we recently gave you about the two items I underlined and marked in red.
 

tufguy

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You have a strange liking for the phrase "to have a word with" when, most of the time, you just need the word "talk". That's the case here. Your first sentence takes up the first two lines and the next four words of the next line! That's far too long!
"Whole thing" isn't natural there. Use "everything".

Now - rewrite your piece taking all of that into account.

If I am talking to someone and that person is saying something but I don't hear him because I was taking to my mother while he was speaking but I did overhear a few words because I had taken my headphones off so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard a few words but I couldn't hear the "whole thing" that you said."
 

GoesStation

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If I am talking to someone and that person is saying something but I don't hear him because I was taking to my mother while he was speaking but I did overhear a few words because I had taken my headphones off so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard a few words but I couldn't hear the "whole thing" that you said."

I read the first twenty words or so before giving up on that first sentence. Please revise it. Keep working on it until you can say what you want to in one or two sentences of eighteen words or less each.
 

emsr2d2

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In addition to GoesStation's comments, I already told you in post #2 to use "everything" instead of "whole thing". Why did you use "the whole thing" again in post #5?
 

tufguy

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In addition to GoesStation's comments, I already told you in post #2 to use "everything" instead of "whole thing". Why did you use "the whole thing" again in post #5?

I was talking to someone but I didn't hear everything they said but I overheard a few words because I had taken off the headphones so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard a few words but I couldn't hear "everything" that you said."
 

tufguy

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I read the first twenty words or so before giving up on that first sentence. Please revise it. Keep working on it until you can say what you want to in one or two sentences of eighteen words or less each.

I was talking to someone but I didn't hear everything they said but I overheard a few words because I had taken off the headphones so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard a few words but I couldn't hear "everything" that you said."
 

teechar

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I was talking to someone on the phone, but I didn't hear everything they said. [STRIKE]but[/STRIKE] I only [STRIKE]over[/STRIKE] heard ["Overhear" has a completely different meaning.] a few words because I had taken off the [STRIKE]headphones[/STRIKE] hands-free, so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard a few words, [STRIKE]but[/STRIKE] [Don't use "but" in conjunction with "although". "Although" already has a "but" built into it.] I couldn't hear "everything" (that) you said."
See above. You can also say "... repeat that" to avoid repetition in that sentence. Also, consider omitting "because I wasn't listening" from your sentence.
 

GoesStation

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I was talking to someone but I didn't hear everything they said but I overheard a few words because I had taken off the headphones so can I say "Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening?
That sentence contains forty words. When you see that you've written such a long sentence, you should find a way to divide it into at least two shorter sentences.
 

Tdol

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"Could you please repeat what you said because I wasn't listening? Although I heard a few words but I couldn't hear the "whole thing" that you said."


Saying that you weren't listening sounds rude. The rest is irrelevant- does it matter if you heard 20% or 40% when you want them to say it all again. Stop over-explaining and simply ask them to say it again. The rest is complex, unnecessary, borderline rude (about not listening) and irrelevant. Say what you want. We often don't hear things and need the person to repeat. We don't then launch into lengthy explanations about what we did and didn't hear, which will only serve to lengthen the conversation to the point that the person may have forgotten what they said. Come to the point- this is a simple request, and a common one. You can do it politely with one word, so why try to do it with an entire paragraph that will only confuse?
 
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