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English Communication Skill: How to Ask for Clarification for Vague Words


English Communication Skill: How to ask for Clarification for Vague Words.

Experts say that one of the two most important skills to advance your career is asking questions.

Asking questions takes a little bit of courage. The benefit can be clear communication, getting specific answers which help you or your organization … or your personal life.

What do you do during a communication if the other person uses a vague word– also called “relative word. ” Relative words are nonspecific descriptive words which only have a meaning in relation to something else.

Examples of vague or relative words which can create a great deal of confusion:

  • Substantial
  • High quality
  • Soon
  • Many
  • Large
  • Cheap

Ask for clarification when someone uses one of these words.   What do you do if the person insists on using generalities? Press for a range.  If you still don’t get a specific answer, offer two or three ranges and ask the person to choose one.  For example, you can say, “Do you mean more like 20 to 30, or a hundred, or a thousand?”

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

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