explain verb – Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary at https://www.bestofcalgary.city

    he / she / it present bare I / you / we / they

  1. [ transitive, intransitive ]

    to tell person about something in a way that makes it easy to understand

    • excuse ( something ) He was trying to

      explain the difference

      between hip hop and rap .

    • first gear, I ‘ll explain the rules of the game .
    • The hypothesis is not

      explained in detail

      .

    • ‘ Let me explain ! ’ he added helpfully .
    • excuse ( something ) to person It was unmanageable to explain the concept to beginners .
    • explain that… I explained that an ambulance would be coming soon .
    • excuse who, how, etc… He explained who each person in the photograph was .
    • Can you explain how this machine works ?
    • explain to person who, how, etc… She explained to the children precisely what to do in an emergency .
    • + address ‘ It works like this, ’ she explained .
    • it is explained that… It was explained that attendance was compulsory .

    Express Yourself

    Asking for clarification

    Asking for clarification When you are given some information or asked to do something, you may need to check that you have understood correctly. here are some ways of asking people to clarify what they said :

      • I’m sorry, I didn’t quite understand.

      • Would you mind explaining that again?

        I ’ m not sure that I ’ ve silent correctly .

      • Sorry, I don’t quite follow (you).

      • Can I just check that I’ve got this right?

      • I’m not quite/​exactly clear about/​really sure

        what I ’ m supposed to do .

      • Sorry, could you repeat that?

        I didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate hear what you said .

      • Sorry, would you mind repeating what you just said?

      • If I understand you correctly,

        you want me to earphone the customer and apologize ?

      • Do you mean (to say)

        that the deal ‘s off ?

      • What exactly are you saying?

      • So you’re saying that

        the meet ‘s cancelled ?

      • Sorry, did you mean that

        I should wait here or come back subsequently ?

      • Can you just confirm

        your date of give birth for me, please ?

    extra Examples

    • She saw his promptly frown and hastened to explain .
    • I ‘ll explain the system in greater detail following time .
    • The general principles behind the method acting used are explained intelligibly and concisely .
    • It is a koran which seeks to explain the parturition of greek calamity .
    • many theories purport to explain emergence in terms of a single causal agent .
    • I tried to explain the problem to the technician .
    • She explained the design to me identical cautiously .
    • It ‘s unmanageable to explain precisely how the system works.
    • Let me explain what I mean .

    Oxford Collocations Dictionary adverb

    • in detail
    • fully
    • adequately

    verb + explain

    • be able to
    • be unable to
    • can

    preposition

    • about
    • to

    phrases

    • explain everything
    • go a long way, some way, etc. towards/​toward explaining something

    See full entrance

  2. [ intransitive, transitive ] to give a reason, or be a rationality, for something
    • She tried to explain but he would n’t listen .
    • excuse that… Alex explained that his cable car had broken down .
    • excuse why, how, etc… well, that does n’t explain why you did n’t earphone .
    • excuse something Please

      explain your reasons

      .

    • ( informal ) Oh well then, that

      explains it

      (= I understand now why something happened)

      .

    • The phenomenon is partially

      explained by the fact

      that global temperatures are rising .

    • decelerate growth in the economy is to be

      explained in terms of

      a lack of demand .

    • explain something to person The government now has to explain its decisiveness to the public .
    • + actor’s line ‘ It was like this, ’ she explained .
    • You ‘re going to

      have some explaining to do

      when your parents get home !

    extra Examples

    • There ‘s no want to explain. We understand .
    • She was ineffective to explain her behavior .
    • The official explained patiently that our documents were not valid .
    • scientific findings that help explain the origins of the universe
    • I can explain everything ! I was just trying to help her with her homework !
    • He explained awkwardly that he had not slept at his own home that night .
    • This partially explains why he was so late .
    • This goes some way towards explaining the hostility between the two groups .
    • The reasons for the accident have not been amply explained .
    • I know I ‘m deep, but I can explain why .
    • I have a letter here which explains everything .

    Oxford Collocations Dictionary adverb

    • in detail
    • fully
    • adequately

    verb + explain

    • be able to
    • be unable to
    • can

    preposition

    • about
    • to

    phrases

    • explain everything
    • go a long way, some way, etc. towards/​toward explaining something

    See full entry

  3. You can not say ‘ explain me, him, her, etc. ’

    Can you explain the situation to me?

    Can you explain me the situation?

    I’ll explain to you why I like it.

    I’ll explain you why I like it.

    Word Origin

    late Middle English: from Latin

    explanare

    , based on

    planus

    ‘plain’.

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