When does someone not understand my mean, how can tell I it politely?

  • This is some good advice. – J.R. Aug 9 '17 at 20:15
  • I think one can never be sure of what other people's impression is. So, you can almost never be sure that they don't understand your words. But if you guess that what they seem to have got from your sentence is different from what you meant to express, you can say something like "We don't seem to be on the same page here " and then try and rephrase your original sentence. – Maryam Aug 10 '17 at 0:01
  • Thanks, @Maryam, "We don't seem to be on the same page here", this is an idiom? I asked it because of "page here!" – Saeed Rahmani Aug 10 '17 at 6:23
  • "We don't seem to be on the same page here" means we don't seem to have the same understanding of the same subject and we suspect that there might be some sort of misunderstanding in our conversation. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/on+the+same+page might be helpful. – Maryam Aug 10 '17 at 6:34

It's best to suggest that you yourself are responsible for the miscommunication in that situation. That's usually the politest way to go about it.

Maybe I didn't make my meaning clear.

or, a shade more polite,

Perhaps I did not express myself clearly.

  • 2
    I'd recommend a little caution with that second one. It's rather formal, and, to me, it's not hard to imagine someone wondering if it's being uttered with a dose of sarcasm. An alternate might be, "Sorry if I'm not being clear." – J.R. Aug 9 '17 at 20:14
  • Any utterance can be construed as sarcasm. Formal politeness is one way to counter that, but YMMV. – Robusto Aug 9 '17 at 20:18
  • True; that's one reason why these questions can be a bit difficult to answer sometimes. As for Perhaps I did not express myself clearly, that just struck me as something I might hear Samuel L. Jackson say in his next action movie – but maybe that's just me. – J.R. Aug 9 '17 at 20:27

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