8 Other Ways to Say “In Other Words”

Other Ways to Say In Other Words

In the vast expanse of the English language, there are countless ways to express an idea. One such expression we often use to clarify or retell our thoughts is “in other words.” But what if you’re in a situation where repetition seems redundant, or you’re just looking for a more compelling way to convey the same feeling? There are numerous alternatives to the phrase “in other words.”

In this piece, we’ll explore these alternatives, offering you a richer palette of expressions with which to improve your communication. Let’s embark on this linguistic journey!

Alternatives to “In other words”

The beauty of language lies in its richness and diversity. By expanding your vocabulary, you can convey the same idea in multiple ways, adding depth and nuance to your conversations.

Clarifying expressions

We often use “in other words” to clarify or simplify a statement. Here are some alternatives that serve the same purpose:

1. To put it differently

Example: “The project was successful. To put it differently, all our hard work paid off.”

Meaning: This phrase suggests another way of presenting the same idea or fact.

Usage: Use this when you want to repeat something in a clearer or more understandable way.

2. That is to say

Example: “He’s the CEO of the company; that is to say, he’s the top decision-maker.”

Meaning: This expression is used to introduce a more detailed or explicit explanation.

Usage: It is suitable when you want to give a more precise definition or clarification.

3. To paraphrase it

Example: “The weather is unpredictable. To paraphrase, it’s hard to tell whether it’s going to rain or shine.”

Meaning: It implies presenting the same information in a new or different way.

Usage: Use this when you want to say something simpler or clearer.

4. Simply put

Example: “The data is inconclusive. Simply put, we can’t make a definitive statement yet.”

Meaning: This phrase introduces a simpler or clearer explanation.

Usage: It’s perfect when you want to break down a complex idea into its essential essence.

5. What I mean is

Example: “The movie was a visual treat. I mean the cinematography was outstanding.”

Meaning: This expression is used to clarify or emphasize a point.

Usage: Use this when you feel that your initial statement may not have been clear enough.

Elaborating on a Point

Sometimes, we use “in other words” to elaborate or provide more details. Here are phrases that can help you expand on your initial statement:

6. To elaborate

Example: “The design is ergonomic. To elaborate, it’s shaped for comfort and efficiency.”

Meaning: This phrase implies providing more detail or further explanation on a topic.

Use: Good for when you want to expand on a point you’ve just made.

7. In detail

Example: “The plan is comprehensive. In detail, it covers every aspect of the project from start to finish.”

Meaning: This expression indicates going deeper into the specifics of a topic.

Use: Use this when you want to provide a comprehensive explanation.

8. Let me spell it out

Example: “The policy is strict. Let me spell it out: no exceptions will be made.”

Meaning: This suggests explaining something in a very clear and simple manner.

Usage: It’s ideal when you want to ensure there’s no ambiguity in your statement.

When to use different expressions

The alternative you choose for ‘in other words’ must fit the context:

Casual Talk: Feel free to use casual expressions like “What I mean is” or “Just saying.”

Formal settings: In a professional or academic setting, choose phrases such as “To specify” or “That means.”

Written communication: When writing, especially in formal documents, clarity is paramount. Phrases like “To put it another way” or “In more detail” can be especially helpful.

8 Other Ways to Say In Other Words infographic


By expanding your vocabulary and keeping context in mind, you can communicate more effectively and more engagingly. So the next time you’re tempted to use “in other words,” consider one of the many alternatives to add flair to your conversation. For those who want to improve their language skills, platforms like Duolingo offer interactive lessons in different languages. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, these resources can help you achieve language excellence.


  1. Can I use these alternatives interchangeably?
    • While many of these phrases can be used in similar contexts, it’s essential to ensure the chosen expression fits the tone and setting of the conversation.
  2. Are there more informal ways to rephrase “in other words”?
    • Absolutely! Phrases like “What I’m trying to say is” or “You get what I mean?” are more colloquial and can be used in casual chats.
  3. Is it essential to have so many alternatives?
    • While it’s not mandatory, having a range of expressions helps make your communication more dynamic and engaging. It also allows you to tailor your language to different audiences and settings.

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