If you can’t think of a word, ask:
What do you call that in English? or What is that called in English?
These questions ask the listener to provide you with a specific noun or noun construction. For example:
I’m looking for… Oh, what do you call that in English – you know, a book that gives the meanings of words?
Yes, a dictionary. Have you got one I could borrow?
If you can’t think of how to phrase a thought, ask:
How do you say that in English?
This question asks the listener to provide you with a phrase, a sentence or a paraphrase that will help you express what you want to say. For example:
We want to… How do you say that in English?
Outperform the market?
Exactly. Outperform the market.
Don’t make the mistake that many non-native speakers of English make by asking How do you call that in English?
© 2014 Baxter Publishing, Hilversum, The Netherlands