Business English: Die Dinge richtig erklären

Sie können Unklarheiten und Missverständnisse in englischen Geschäftssituationen vermeiden, wenn Sie prüfen, ob Ihr Gesprächspartner Sie richtig verstanden hat und ob Sie ihn verstanden haben. Das gilt besonders für die Kommunikation im Beruf.

In communicating effectively in the business world, you can avoid misunderstandings and double meanings by checking what your communication partners have said for clarity and making sure that you have been understood correctly. Today, we’ll take a look at asking good questions to clarify meaning, expressions to check for understanding and some useful follow-up techniques.

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First, let’s take a look at some good questions that you can ask to clarify meaning?

o      Do I understand you correctly? Do you mean…?
o      Am I getting this right? You mean…?
o      You just mentioned that… Does that mean…?
o      (Just) what exactly do you mean by…?
o      Am I understanding you correctly? You mean…?

Second, here are some expressions to check for understanding:

o      What questions do you have?
o      Where do you see open questions in this context?
o      How clear is this to you?

Note: You could ask “Do you have any questions?“, “Do you know what I meant?”, or “Did I make myself clear?” but that will probably not be as effective as asking an open question. 

Finally, use the following techniques to introduce an example:

o      Let me (just) give you an example…
o      Put differently,…
o      This is what I mean. Imagine…
o      I’m going to give you an example…
o      For example,…

These are especially important expressions to have on hand. For example, printing this page and taking it along to the next meeting or telephone conference can make that next business encounter much more effective.

Until next time.


Nelly Thomas