Is there a verb for somebody to use when they want to ask someone to help them check how well they have memorized a piece of text such as a poem or a speech? Also, is there a descriptive term or an idiomatic phrase for this process?

Scenario: You are approaching Dylan asking if he could listen to you as you recite a poem and correct or prompt you when you get stuck. If they agree you give them the poem so they can follow your recitation.

  • 1
    You can ask, "Can you quiz me on this poem have to memorize?" Or since that may imply more 'asking random questions', "Can you check me on this poem I have to memorize?"
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 4:43

3 Answers 3


You could say: Would you help me go over/rehearse a poem I memorized?

And then you may want to add cue me/coach me as I recite while handing them the book.


In the theatre we call this process of working through the text focusing only on speaking the dialogue correctly running lines. You can of course run your lines with the other actors (this is a line rehearsal), and most actors spend hours preparing for rehearsals running their lines by themselves; but it's more effective to have somebody else "on book" to cue, prompt and correct you. To request this help you'd say something like

Could you run lines with me?

And my wife frequently recalls her labor coaching one actor who had great difficulty with memorization:

I spent hours running lines with N___.


If you don't mind a bit of religiosity you could use the word catechize (origin: teach orally, instruct by word of mouth). The word is a little obscure but the Catholic 'catechism' derives from it.

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