BEP 35c – Meetings: Clarifying What Was Meant

BEP 35c LESSON - English Meetings: Clarifying Meaning

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on clarifying in English meetings. Previously we looked at how to clarify what was said when you didn’t hear properly. Today we’re going to look at how to clarify what someone means in order to avoid misunderstandings.

Life would be simple if everyone said what they meant clearly and directly. But that’s not the way things work. People often speak indirectly or use words that are a bit confusing. For this reason, we often need to clarify what people mean.

There are several ways to do this. You can tell someone you don’t understand. Or you might confirm an idea or restate what someone says if you think you might understand. And it may take some time to work out the general meaning or the meaning of a specific word.

Today we’ll listen to a meeting between Michael, Rachel, and Ryan. Michael is leading the meeting and talking about the disappointing launch of a new product. During the conversation, it’s not always clear what people mean. For this reason, they use several different expressions for clarifying what was meant.

Listening Questions

1. What expression does Michael use about the “numbers” that Ryan tries to clarify?
2. What does Ryan ask about that Michael wants to clarify?
3. What word does Michael use that Rachel asks about near the end of the conversation?

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