Lesson Plan to Ask for Repeats


In any normal conversation between people, there will times when one person will not hear or understand
what the other has said. The probability that this will happen increases greatly when taking an order in a
crowded restaurant or checking in a group of boisterous chattering travelers. There are several expressions
that can be used to ask for a repeat. Look at the expressions below.

Expressions Used to Ask for Repeats

Excuse me.
Pardon me.
Please say that again.
Can you repeat that please?
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.

Dialogues about Asking for Repeats

Guest: Could I have more soap in the bathroom?
Staff: I’m sorry; could you repeat that, please?
Guest: I need more soap.

Guest: Which way to the gym?
Staff: Pardon me.
Guest: How do I get to the gym?

Guest: I’d like to schedule a tennis game.
Staff: I’m sorry sir; could you say that again.
Guest: I want to reserve a tennis court.

Of course, there are other things that hinder communication besides not hearing someone. For example,
unknown vocabulary words or idiomatic expressions that the listener does not understand, or the speaker
is just talking way too fast for the listener to comprehend. Fortunately there are expression that can be used
to cover these situation as well. Look at these examples.

Please speak more slowly.
I’m sorry; I don’t understand that expression.
What does _________ mean ?
Can you give me an example?
I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.

Whole Class Activity- Asking for repeats: Appropriate Responses

The teacher should go around the room and ask students questions that have difficult vocabulary, are
mumbled, or are incomprehensible. Say it so they are forced to practice the phrases used when asking
for repeats.

Other links for repetitions

Asking for Repetitions
Asking for Repeats
Exercise: Asking for Repetition
Other Activities: On the Telephone


For more ideas about teaching in the hotel industry take a look at

Hotel and Resort English

How to ask for repeats in English- Hotel-tefl.com