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what is the best way to ask someone to repeat what they had said if you didnt hear it.my dictionary shows "i'm sorry i din't hear you" but it seems very formal to me. "what" seems kind of rude.ive also heard "say what" and "come again" are these spoken and formal/informal?and what is the most natural expression to use when, for example, talking with a good friend and someone you just met?
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"Sorry, I didn't get it", "Sorry, could you repeat, please?", "Pardon?"
I don't think I've ever said, "Say what?" or "Come again?"...some people do.

For politeness, but not formality, I'd probably say, "Say that again?". (The question mark implies, "Say that again, will you?")
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Pardon?
Hi guys,

I think the phrase used is dependent on both geography and cultural consideration. For example, Say what seems to stem from the hip-hop culture. Say that again? seems direct and imperative to a point that might verge on rudeness, to this British ex-pat.

I'm interested to note that you haven't yet mentioned what to me is the most common and also the most polite in almost all circumstances - simply Excuse me?

Pardon me seems to me rather old-fashioned now. I think 'excuse me' is a more current form, given the similarity of meaning between 'pardon' and 'excuse'.

Best wishes, Clive
Troublemaker what is the most natural expression to use when, for example, talking with a good friend and someone you just met?

If I didn't hear what a good friend just said, in a conversation, I'm sure I would say, either "What?" or, "Say that again?", and think nothing about it being impolite. It is different with someone you've just met. Then, both 'Excuse me?' and 'Pardon me?' would come more naturally to me.

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Troublemakerwhat is the best way to ask someone to repeat what they had said if you didnt hear it.my dictionary shows "i'm sorry i din't hear you" but it seems very formal to me. "what" seems kind of rude.ive also heard "say what" and "come again" are these spoken and formal/informal?and what is the most natural expression to use when, for example, talking with a good friend and someone you just met?

How about:

>> "I'm terribly/awfully sorry, but I seem to have missed out on what you just mentioned ? Would you mind repeating what you said, please?"
>> "Do accept my apology, but I wonder if you would mind saying it again for me, please?"

Natural expression to use when meeting someone (as in British etiquette, though):

>> "How do you do?" & NOTICE IMPORTANTLY that the response to this expression is ALMOST ALWAYS the same i.e. "How do you do?" (though, can be seen as bit archaic OR too posh sometimes, I fear)
>> "Pleased to meet you?"
the most natural expression to use when, for example, talking with a good friend

Just say "Hmmm?" (Or "Hunh?") You don't even really need a word when it's between friends. Emotion: smile