Checking understanding

In this video, Paul has problems understanding Bob. Listen to the language they use for checking understanding and practise saying the useful phrases.

Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.


Ana: Hi, I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say!


Do you know what to say when you want to check your understanding? Listen out for useful language for checking your understanding. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Bob: This isn't right. Hey! Excuse me, Paul, could you pass me the hammer?

Paul: Sorry, Bob, my ears are blocked. I can't hear you very well. Could you say that again, please?

Bob: The hammer. Please could you pass it to me?

Paul: The spanner?

Bob: No. The hammer! 

Paul: Sorry, Bob, I don't understand. This is the spanner! 

Bob: No, Paul, I need the hammer. It's in the toolbox, on the left, under the scissors.

Paul: Sorry, Bob. Could you repeat that more slowly, please? 

Bob: The hammer … in the toolbox … on the left … under the scissors.

Paul: On the left … under the scissors … Oh! Do you mean the hammer? Is this it?

Bob: Yes, that's right! 

Paul: Ah! Why didn't you say so?

Bob: I did! 


Ana: Hello again! Oh dear. I think Paul needs to go home and sleep. So, did you notice the useful phrases used for checking your understanding? Listen to me and then repeat.


I'm sorry?

I can't hear you very well.

Could you say that again, please?

I don't understand.

Can you repeat that more slowly, please?

Do you mean the hammer?

Is this it?

Yes, that's right! 


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to check your understanding in English. Bye for now! 

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Worksheet133.18 KB

Language level

A1 English level (elementary)

Submitted by Gilmar Anuncia… on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 17:59

Perfect, thanks!

Submitted by soylemezali42 on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 13:03

Very useful topics for beginner English learner just like me. I hope that I can learn English with britishcountcil at least.

Submitted by Bel on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 19:39

The vídeo is ver useful!

Submitted by Saron Resom on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 16:49

Very useful video. Thanks

Submitted by Carlos Cabrera on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 00:49

The video is great!! Thanks for this.

Submitted by edysonscott on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 01:57

it's simple and understanding

Submitted by bkananta on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 06:32

Yes, these are simple and helpful. I think it addressed the right topics.

Submitted by MammadovAnar on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 07:14

Yes, it is. I think, this video helps me to improve my listening and speaking skills.

Submitted by MOHAMMAD ISHAQ MOLLA on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 01:43

It is very useful to me.

Submitted by RomanVK on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 21:37

very nice web site! thank you!
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Submitted by Ivanox76 on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 01:43

Thank you for the lesson, It was easy for now, let's go for more.

Submitted by BIraqi on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 12:38

Of course, the video was very useful. I learned more English words and practiced about the phrases. Thank you for all that.

Submitted by Raza110 on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 09:42

thanks for providing such a gift, very useful

Submitted by Kham Leik on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 01:47

It's very useful lesson.

Submitted by ko ko lay on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 00:53

it is very nice lesson

Submitted by hangnt5 on Wed, 22/07/2020 - 04:25

It is very helpful to learn, it helps me to explain to someone what I need. It helps me to how I do when I don't understand someone say.

Submitted by Yin Wai Naing on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 16:01

very useful. Thanks

Submitted by Pavindu Rathnayaka on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 02:56

Yes, Thank you!

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Mon, 20/07/2020 - 19:08

I love it. very useful

Submitted by arora on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 17:43

this is useful for listening. but how this can be effective for speaking ?

Hello arora,

After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks -- words which are often used together in set phrases -- which you can use to communicate with less hesitation. 

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk, Do you mean recording by Mobil phone?

Hello Biraqi,

When I said 'try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording', I meant 'audio', or perhaps I should have said 'video' really. The idea was to practise repeating the sentences or phrases until you can say them quickly.

But your idea of using your mobile phone to record yourself is also a very good one! You can use it to practise and to compare your pronunciation to the video.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by velamuni on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 15:44

it's very useful to learn, Thanks!

Submitted by Sharon Torres on Thu, 16/07/2020 - 05:09

yes! i loved it, it´s super useful.

Submitted by Youssef Er-rafay on Tue, 14/07/2020 - 23:29

Totally useful , thank you.

Submitted by M19 on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 17:24

Why not? Words spoken are more audible and clear when watching video than reading transcript.

Submitted by Jean73 on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 11:45

Very useful this video! Thanks!

Submitted by Marcelo will on Thu, 09/07/2020 - 15:42

I have discord if someone want take a conversation

Submitted by mohnuriman on Thu, 09/07/2020 - 05:41

thank you for teaching me to understand the topic! I am very pleased to learn how to checking understanding in English. for now, I am going to speak more confidently

Submitted by Monder19 on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 19:30

yes, your videos are very interesting, a special thanks for noelia, bob, and paul
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Submitted by Ivanox76 on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 08:29

This video is absolutely useful, very practical and functional.

Submitted by Tonmoy_25 on Sat, 04/07/2020 - 15:29

Yes it is very helpful

Submitted by Yin Yin Win on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 10:18

This video is very useful for me.
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Submitted by Saleemullah Khattak on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 07:13

It is really really useful segment for the beginner and for the advanced levels students as well. I am very much interested in the course.