The ‘Do you copy’ phrase comes from Military CB radio communication but it can be used in normal conversations too to mean the same thing.
‘Do you copy’ is also translated to ‘Do you understand’. It may also be used to ask if another person is hearing you clearly. The military also has special ways of responding to the question, ‘Do you Copy’
One of the best-known responses to ‘Do you Copy’ is ‘Copy that’. You can say this if you hear the speaker clearly and understand the information he/she is passing. You can also just say ‘Copy’ if you hear the speaker and need him/her to continue talking.
If you are having a normal conversation with a person, there is really no need to respond like the military does.
20 Correct Responses To Do You Copy
- I hear you loud and clear.
- I understand
- Go on, please.
- About to.
- Say again, please.
- Roger that.
- I didn’t get that.
- Copy what?
- Run me through it again.
- Give me a minute.
- I swear I want to.
- I can hear you now.
- Copy that.
- I can’t.
- Anything else?
- To be honest, I don’t.
- Let me call you back.
- I’ll keep that in mind
- I do. Let me get to you shortly
I hear you loud and clear
‘I hear you loud and clear’ is a simple way to tell the speaker to continue talking.
You can tell that the question is asking about how clearly you can hear if the speaker says ‘Do you copy’ before saying anything that’s exactly meaningful.
In this case, you are not responding to whether you understand or not. You just have to signify that you can hear him/her.
If you want to sound like the military, you can say ‘Reading you five and clear’ or ‘Reading you loud and clear’ which means you hear what the speaker has said to you. It is also often used to mean the explanation is heard and clearly understood.
If you hear clearly but can’t understand the information being passed, you can choose a different response.
‘I understand’ is another clear way to respond to ‘Do you copy’ instead of using another military language you are not exactly sure of.
This qualifies as a response since you are only having a casual conversation and don’t have to respond like the military men.
A person can walk to you, say a few words about something, and say ‘Do you copy’. This is to ask if you understand all that he/she has said and you only have to respond to that.
Note: The question ‘Do you copy’ is only used by the military over the radio.
Go on, please
‘Go on, please’ is a way of telling the speaker to continue and this implies that you can hear him/her loudly and clearly.
As stated earlier, you can tell if ‘Do you copy’ refers to how well you understand or how well you can hear. If the speaker says the question first or after just a few unimportant words, it is just to ask if you can hear it.
If the speaker says the question after some sort of explanation or instructions, then it is to ask if you understand what he/she has said to you.
By saying ‘Go on, please’, you are telling the speaker to resume his/her message. This can only mean that you can hear him/her clearly.
‘About to’ is a funny response to ‘Do you copy’ in a casual conversation with a friend. You are not required to respond like the military men do over the CB radio.
Since it’s a casual conversation, you don’t even have to say something that makes sense.
I would find it weird if a friend walked up to me and said ‘Do you copy’. Then I would respond by saying ‘About to’.
‘About to’ doesn’t make much sense, as it implies that I’m about to hear or I’m about to understand.
Say again, please
You can ask the speaker to say again if you can’t hear or understand what he or she is saying. Even though the military, over CB radio, often use their coded language, you can bet simple language wouldn’t be found offensive.
This response works for both interpretations of ‘Do you copy’. Whether the question is asking if you hear clearly or understand well, you can always use this response so the speaker can repeat what he/she has said.
Just in case the speaker has given a set of instructions and you can’t hear his/her utterances, you can give this response and state your situation i.e. ‘Say again, please. I can’t hear you clearly’ or ‘Say again, please. I didn’t understand that.’
‘Roger that’ is a standard response to ‘Do you copy’, often used by the military over CB radio. It is used to imply understanding of what another person has said.
You can use this if the question is asking whether you understand or not. ‘Roger that’ is meant to mean that you understand an instruction and you will work on it immediately.
‘Roger’ happens to be the short form of ‘Received – Order – Given – Expect – Results.’ In simple words, it means ‘your order is received and understood. I will work on it and get back to you.’
I didn’t get that
‘I didn’t get the’ is a good way to ask the speaker to repeat himself or herself. It can also be used to ask for further clarification of an order or instruction.
When you are asked ‘Do you copy’, you can give this response if you didn’t clearly hear the last statements uttered by the speaker. You can make this clearer by saying: ‘I didn’t get that. What did you say?’
There is also a chance that you heard what the speaker has said to you before asking the question but you didn’t understand what he/she meant. You can say: ‘I didn’t get that. Can you clarify?’
‘Copy what?’ is suitable for a casual conversation where you are not interested in the speaker’s drama. This is also suitable if the speaker hasn’t said anything that needs to be understood.
It’s okay to find it absurd when a friend suddenly says ‘Do you copy’. You can give this response to shun the approach.
The question, ‘Do you copy?’, may also sound absurd if the speaker has made statements earlier that do not sound like instructions or anything that needs to be understood.
To ask for clarifications, you can simply ask: ‘Copy what? Sorry. I think you should come again.’
Run me through it again
‘Run me through it again’ is a request to hear an explanation or a set of instructions all over again from the speaker.
When you hear ‘Do you copy’, the speaker has probably given you a set of instructions earlier. To ensure your understanding, you can respond with this statement.
This means you need him or her to give you a summarized but step-by-step guide to make sure you are following.
Give me a minute
‘Give me a minute’ is not a direct answer to ‘Do you copy’ but a response you can give if you are talking to the speaker over a phone.
‘Give me a minute’ means you need the speaker to stop talking because you won’t be listening or focusing for the next few seconds or minutes.
After saying this, the speaker is expected to stop talking till you notify him/her that your attention is back.
It makes much sense to say this over the phone since the speaker can’t tell when you are busy or not. However, when you can see each other, the speaker should be able to tell when you need to take a break.
In this case, it would still be polite to ask for a break instead of abruptly leaving the conversation.
I swear I want to
‘I swear I want to’ is a good and casual way to express your inability to understand what the speaker is saying to you. You won’t just be asking the speaker to start the conversation over again but also to explain better to you.
This is probably not a part of the military’s language. Even though they speak in coded language, they most likely pass information that is understood by both sides.
When you are asked if you understand something, you can give this response to show that you don’t enjoy making the speaker repeat himself or herself but you really are struggling to understand.
He or she may even have tried explaining again to you. This response would imply that you need a simpler explanation to get the message.
I can hear you now
‘I can hear you now’ makes it clear that you can now make out a speaker’s words, though you couldn’t earlier.
This will most likely be needed over a phone since there are fewer chances that you won’t be able to hear someone who is right in front of you.
You can give this response if the speaker’s voice had been breaking, or if you just couldn’t tell what exactly he was saying.
There are times when a voice over the phone is pretty clear but you can tell what the person is saying because the words are sounding like different words.
You can pretend like you can’t hear clearly. Then when you do, you give this response and proceed.
‘Copy that’ is another military response. It means the same as Roger that, that is Received- Order- Given.- Expect- Results.
Just like ‘Roger that’, ‘Copy that’ implies that you have heard what the speaker is telling you and you will work on it immediately. Saying you will work on it means you already understand the order.
‘Copy’ can be used to mean you only hear what the speaker is saying. You should say ‘Copy’ if the speaker starts the conversation with ‘Do you copy’, that is ‘Do you hear’.
However, if the question comes after an explanation or a set of instructions, then say ‘Copy that’.
Sorry. I can’t
‘Sorry. I can’t’ is a good response over a phone to show your inability to hear or comprehend the speaker’s words.
This response makes more sense over a phone due to the distance which justifies your inability to hear. You can also say this if the speaker is actually with you to imply your inability to understand.
However, before using this phrase to imply your inability to understand, the speaker must have tried explaining twice.
Sure. Anything else?
‘Sure. Anything else?’ is a positive question in response to ‘Do you copy’. It implies that you hear and understand what the speaker has said and you are asking if he/she has more to add.
This response strictly means you have comprehended all that the speaker has been saying and you will work on it unless the speaker has more to add.
To be honest, I don’t.
‘To be honest, I don’t’ is a suitable response to imply your inability to understand an explanation or a set of instructions.
You can make this clear by saying: ‘To be honest, I don’t. Can you start over, slower this time?’
Let me call you back.
‘Let me call you back’ doesn’t answer the question ‘Do you copy’ but it communicates your need to leave the phone conversation and return to it.
You are requesting to end the call and call the speaker back to confirm if you heard and understood his/her words.
Yes. I’ll keep that in mind
‘Yes. I’ll keep that in mind’ is a response to ‘Do you copy’ and a response to the instructions or explanation previously given.
This implies that you have heard and understood the speaker’s words and you will apply it when the time comes to do so.
‘Maybe’ is a playful response if ‘Do you copy’ comes from a friend.
You should use this if the question is asking about how clearly you can hear the speaker. By saying ‘Maybe’, the speaker knows you can hear clearly n
I do. Let me get back to you shortly
‘I do. Let me get back to you on this’ is a good response to imply that you heard and understood the speaker but you need to call back to respond accordingly.
The speaker may have called to ask you a question. If you can’t respond to the question all by yourself, then you can request to call back.
You may need to ask someone else or go somewhere else to confirm the answer to that question. If the speaker doesn’t understand or wants the answer immediately, you can state why you have to take some time to get an accurate answer.
‘Do you copy’ is a question often used over CB radio but it has been incorporated into casual communication. It simply asks if you ‘hear’ or if you ‘understand’ the speaker.
One of the best responses to ‘Do you copy’ is ‘Roger that’ which means ‘the order is understood and will be worked on’.
If this isn’t your answer, you are allowed to answer in any way that communicates your message.