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excuse me? (1)

American English
This page is about the conversational phrase excuse me? (1)

Meaning

You can use this to ask someone to repeat what they've just said, either because you couldn't hear them or because you couldn't understand them.

For example

  • It was too noisy to talk. After we'd each said "Excuse me?" a few times, we laughed and stopped trying.

  • "You've got acid reflux."
    "Excuse me?"
    "It's when the acid in your stomach gets into your oesophagus and causes heartburn."

Note:
Said at normal volume and with a rising tone.

Variety

This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

I was talking to Katie, but I kept saying "Excuse me?" because

a. I had nothing to say

b. I have a very soft voice

c. she has a very soft voice

Contributor: Matt Errey