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To explain something is to give information, instruction, a description, or a reason.

  • The teacher explained how to form the present perfect tense.
  • The coach explained the rules of volleyball during a gym class.
  • An expert on the subject of American politics explained how the electoral college works.
  • This report explains why the city needs to create more public transportation options.
  • Isabel asked her daughter to explain why she was out so late last night.
  • The boy's sudden illness explains why he wasn't in school yesterday.

teacher explaining something

The teacher is explaining the process of recycling.

The word "explanation" is a noun:

  • Todd offered an explanation for his poor performance at work, but his supervisor remains unconvinced.
  • Our professor provided an explanation on the subject of existentialism.
  • The mother gave her children a simple explanation regarding where babies come from.

Here are some different ways you can request an explanation:

  • Can you explain how this works, please?
  • Would you mind giving an explanation?
  • I would like an explanation.
  • This requires an explanation.
  • You have some explaining to do.
  • I demand an explanation. (You can say this when you are angry about something; otherwise, it sounds rude.)


Date of publication: December 5, 2016







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