How to Say I Don’t Understand in Spanish: 7 Different Ways

Have you ever had the opportunity to speak to a native Spanish-speaker only to be totally lost in the stream of words coming out of their mouth? What do you do in those situations?

Understanding spoken Spanish can be incredibly difficult when you’re caught off guard. Fret no more. In this article, you will learn seven ways to say “I don’t understand” in español.

1. ¿Cómo? – What?

This is one simple word to say, “what?” Say that with a confused look on your face, and you will definitely relay the message that you didn’t understand what the other person said.

¿Cómo? is just one of the many ways to say “I don't understand” in Spanish.

2. ¿Me lo puedes repetir, por favor? – Could you repeat that, please?

Sure, you’re not exactly saying that you didn’t understand, but it gets the message across that you need them to repeat a certain part. 

3. Otra vez – Again

You’re just saying “again” with this one. Very short, very simple. It gets the point across that you didn’t understand what was being said.

4. No entiendo – I do not understand

This is the classic way to say “I don’t understand” in Spanish. You can also say, “no entendí,” which means “I did not understand.” 

Be polite enough to express yourself when there is something that you don't understand in Spanish. Here's one of many options of things you can say.

5. Una vez más, por favor – One more time, please / Again, please.

This is synonymous with the phrase “otra vez,” but just a different way to say it. 

6. ¿Qué dijiste? – What did you say? 

This is a pretty straightforward phrase that means, “What did you say?” If you’re talking to someone older or someone you want to show more respect to, you would use the formal you and say, “qué dijo?” 

7. Más lento, por favor – Slower please.

If you think the person you are having a conversation with is talking too fast, you can ask him or her to repeat what they said, but slowly. 

Remember that in Spanish, it is important to use a rising intonation at the end of the sentence to differentiate that you are asking a question. 

When you don't follow what the other person said, it is okay to ask them to slow down. Here's how in Spanish.

Our Advice

Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t understand. Mastering these seven phrases will help you buy time to process what you just heard, hear it again, and better communicate with native Spanish-speakers.

What’s your favorite phrase? Let us know in the comments!

You might also enjoy reading about different ways to say “you’re welcome” in Spanish.

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