Keeping a conversation going

In this video, Noelia and Bob talk about Spain. Listen to the language they use for keeping a conversation going 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 keep a conversation going? Listen out for useful language for keeping a conversation going. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Noelia: Hi, Bob!

Bob: Oh, morning, Noelia.

Noelia: So, what's new? 

Bob: New, hmm, let me think. Hmm … Nothing much. Oh, hang on. My dog Bertie had his 14th birthday on Monday! 

Noelia: Oh, he's getting old then?

Bob: I guess so … but not as old as his owner. 

Noelia: Haha … er, anyway …

Bob: How about you, Noelia? How's it going? 

Noelia: Great, actually. Yeah … all good.

Bob: By the way, I wanted to ask you, where in Spain are you from?

Noelia: I'm from Santander.

Bob: Oh, lovely. Wonderful to grow up near the sea. 

Noelia: Yeah, it was perfect. Ah, I miss the sea. 

Bob: I know what you mean. I used to live in Spain and I absolutely loved it.

Noelia: Really? I didn't know that, Bob! 

Bob: Yeah, I had a little bar on the Costa Brava.

Noelia: Wow! So do you speak Spanish then?

Bob: Oh, not much. Ah, those were the days! Excuse me. Perdona, Noelia. Tengo que irme. Me necesitan en el segundo piso. ¡Hasta pronto! [Excuse me, Noelia. I've got to go. They need me on the second floor. See you soon!]

Noelia: Wow! 


Ana: Hello again! Wow! Bob is full of surprises. So, did you notice the useful phrases used for keeping a conversation going? Listen to me and then repeat.


So, what's new? 

Let me think ... 

Nothing much. 

Anyway …

How about you, Noelia? 

How's it going? 

By the way, I wanted to ask you ... 

I know what you mean.

Really? I didn't know that! 


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to keep a conversation going in English. Bye for now! 

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Worksheet95.48 KB

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by Saad786 on Sun, 28/02/2021 - 13:39

Yes! I lived near the sea for 3 days in Khobar. It was fascinating to watch clean and fast flowing water.

Submitted by Eman.F.R. on Fri, 19/02/2021 - 18:55

No,I don't live there. But actually , I wish to live near the sea . I love seeing the waves of the sea and listening to their sound. I think it's the ideal place for relaxing . People live there know well what i mean . By the way , I want to ask people who live there if they could enjoy the sea or when people used to have a precious gift ,they couldn't .

Submitted by franciscakaras on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 19:15

Yes, I attually live 8 minutes from the sea. It's a pleasure and I feel every single day that I'm a lucky person to live here, in Lisbon- Portugal. It's a wonderfull place to live.

Submitted by facunica44 on Fri, 22/01/2021 - 23:39

i live so far from the sea, 300 km between the coast and my city to be exactly. i was born in a little town from argentina, it's a great place but in holidays time, i usually go to the sea

Submitted by lavande1983 on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 18:56

I don't live near the sea beause i was born and grew up in a small town near moutains. So i love going to the sea. The first time i was on holiday in the sea when i was 20 years old. Now i have chance to travelling around the world et 5 continents and i visited lots of different seas and oceans. I prefere hot sea in tropical coutries beaucause we can enjoy the sea all year. in notherne Europe, the sea water is quite cold do we can swim only in summer. so i try to protect my skin from the UV high level sunshine. Honestly,a holiday in the sea makes me happy and gives me energy

Submitted by Yassir Ali Ahmed on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 22:14

No, I'm not, so I scared to swimming.

Submitted by Joesph on Wed, 06/01/2021 - 15:18

I used to live in a city overlooking the sea, I was afraid swimming in the open sea, but my father pushed me and taught me to swim very well. I was had jet ski, It was very entertaining.

Submitted by Thinn Thiri Myo on Thu, 31/12/2020 - 06:00

I used to.I love the water but l can't swimming because I'm afraid toswim.

Submitted by Khatia25 on Tue, 29/12/2020 - 16:03

No, I’m not living near the sea. But I adore sea and would like to live.

Submitted by YewandeAdeosun on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 18:44

I use to. I miss the cool breeze by seaside

Submitted by Nyein Swe Thet on Thu, 17/12/2020 - 09:44

I was.I was born and grows up in a little town near the sea.But i'm afraid of the's kinda weird tho.

Submitted by TalhaÖzkan on Sat, 12/12/2020 - 16:59

I don't live near the sea, but I would like to by the sea. Hopefully when I grow up, I will move to Kastamonu with Talat and Talha. :)
Hi Talha. I hope you move to Kastamonu. By the way I live in Adana and there is a sea but I don't live near the sea. Its sadly..

Submitted by Ei Thidar Tun on Thu, 10/12/2020 - 08:21

No, I live in city. But, I often go to beach that is not as far as to my city and I feel relax when I reach. It is so beautiful and breathtaking.

Submitted by samssira on Fri, 04/12/2020 - 14:04

Hi everyone, actually, I don't leave near the sea but not far away also. It taks 30 min by a car to get in.

Submitted by Marina Hornus on Sun, 29/11/2020 - 12:28

Hello, I do not live near a beach. That is fine for me because I do not like beaches, and neither living on a side sea beach. I only visited hot beaches where the sun is so strong and I feel that I burn in that kind of place. Maybe you know that in Latin countries it is common that women take sunbathe and they think they are more fashionable with dark skin. I do not like to take sunbathe, I think that is dangerous for your skin. Also, it is not enjoyable for me been lying on the beach taking the sun, it is like you are cooking something. In summary, I enjoy living near a River where you have trees and you can swim better than in the sea.

Submitted by farhad zada on Wed, 25/11/2020 - 07:04

I live near the Caspian Sea which we call as 'Khazar Danizi'. I love sea, lake, river and so

Submitted by Pola on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 14:10

Yes, I do, I was born and raised in a small village by the sea and I'm still living in this village, so I'm used to see the sea everyday.

Submitted by fariba on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 09:49

no, unfortunately i live don't near the sea.

Submitted by Sana Omar on Sun, 22/11/2020 - 12:55

No, fortunately. I don't live near the sea; I used to live in the mountains. But now I'm living near the Nile river.

Submitted by O'Prata on Sun, 15/11/2020 - 05:18

Yes, I do. I live near the sea, but it's been more than 8 years I don't touch that water. LOL! Actually, the people who usually come to see the sea live far away from the district I live in.
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Submitted by Mr.hanymabrok on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 05:43

I have suggestion, if any body need to connect me to practice this conversations lessons together I think that will be more useful, I hope to find class mate for that. Thanks for all
Hi, Mr Hanymabrok. I'm Farhad from Azerbaijan. I'll be happy. Actually I wanted to write this and i seen your comment. This is my whatsapp ---------------

Hello Farhad,

I'm afraid our House rules don't allow you to share personal information such as your phone number. You might want to have a look at our Facebook page.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Mr.hanymabrok on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 05:40

Great really great.

Submitted by Ceci Almeida on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 13:49

I live near the sea, about ten minutes walking, but I rarely go to the beach because the sun is very strong here. But I like the landscape and being able to see the sea.

Submitted by Momocompanyman on Fri, 06/11/2020 - 17:33

Yes, I live near the sea, I'm from Maghnia

Submitted by fahri on Tue, 20/10/2020 - 10:22

Dear team. From the lesson above. What's the difference from 'by the way' and 'any way' ??? Thank you very much for your answer

Hello fahri,

We use by the way in conversation when we want to say something that has just occurred to us (something we have just thought of or remembered) which is not directly connected to what we have been saying.

We use anyway (one word) as a conversational marker to show that we want to change the subject. For example, you might start a conversation with a little small talk and then use anyway to shift the subject to something else:

So how are you?

Fine, and you?

Not too bad. I've been busy, you know. Anyway, I wanted to ask you for some advice. You see...



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by fahri on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 17:20

Dear team. how are things? informal (also how's everything?); (also how's it going?) All of the words are informal. What's the formal word then??? The second question: What's up? Informal (also wassup?, whassup?) What's the formal word then??? Thank you very much for your answer.

Hello fahri,

When you meet a person for the first time the formal greeting is 'How do you do?', often accompanied with a handshake. For subsequent meetings you can say 'Hello again. How are you?' or 'Nice to see you again. How are things?'

Note that societies change and in the modern world it is normal to assume a lower degree of formality than we would have in the past. People move much more quickly to a relatively relaxed form of interaction these days.


'What's up?' is very informal but it has the same meaning as the phrases in your first question, so the formal equivalent would be the same.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much for your answer Mr.peter

Submitted by habibao.medo on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 12:56

unfortunately i don't live near sea

Submitted by cittàutopica on Tue, 15/09/2020 - 15:57

I was born in a little town, distant about fifteen km. from the sea and I used to go on holiday in a big home near the sea, with my numerous relatives. Now I live in a bigger town which lies on the coast and has a large and big beach, near my home.

Submitted by abudo93 on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 19:58

No, I don't live near the sea, but I living between two rivers.

Submitted by Fsh on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 20:43

I live now a few miles from the sea. In fact I do not like that ,because the weather in general is very humid in the summer,in addition to the high temperature where I live.
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Submitted by danisep on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 00:43

No, I don’t live near the sea. I prefer the cold weather and if the weather is cold there is no sea close. I would like to have the sea close because it would be a great see the view and for hot days will be perfect.

Submitted by Eldorado on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 15:29

No, I don't, but I would love to live near the sea. It will be an amazing sight and a wonderful feeling to see the waters and feel the cool breeze.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 16:47

Unfortunately I live far from the sea. Yes, we have a wide river in our city with spectacular banks and lovely beaches and even the man-made lake higher up the river but, you know, it's not the same as the real sea. Nothing compares at all. It's clear that people who live near the sea don't have that feeling when you, after the long journey, you finally can see the great water surface and smell the sea air. They have it every day and, I think, maybe don't pay attention to that. But we, who can see the sea only on TV for most of the year, become excited with the very first moment at the seaboard. As for me, I would like to live near the sea. Near the warm one, of course )) The friend of mine lives in Sweden near the Baltic sea and he says it's beautiful but cold all the time. I prefer that kind of sea where you can walk in shorts and T-shirts, not in sweaters and parka jackets ))
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Submitted by davicovalencia79 on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 14:32

I don't live near the sea, but really I would like it, I think would be amazing to get up every morning, look to the sea, It would be comfortable...

Submitted by Saish on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 11:51

Yes, I live in the province of my country which is famous for its scenic beaches. I leave a stone throw away distance from a beautiful beach. I love it here, I like to jog on this beach and stroll on the beach to clear my head sometimes. Many tourists from around the world visit this beach. We also have a restaurant near the beach so in case you visit this beach you will find me nearby.

Submitted by IKEDA on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 15:56

Yeah, I was born and grew up in a city near the sea. I like seaside towns because I think the atmosphere in the towns is open and people living by the sea are kind. Of course, just in my opinion and only by my own experience.

Submitted by Suane Alves on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 21:48

I don't know if is near or not but I would say not, the sea is two hours from where I live.

Submitted by Andy_lotr on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 18:48

I live in Manaus, wich stays in the middle of Amazon Rain Forest, so we don't have sea; but, in the other hand, we live by the biggest river in the world: Amazonas.

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 17:55

I don't live near the sea but the beach is just far about 50 km from my house. And sometimes my family spend 2 days to go to the beach to have the rest, usually at the weekend. on the first day, we usually swim, sunbathe, built sandcastles, flew kites, and eat a lot of seafood. In the morning on the next day, we get up early to stroll along the beach, breathe in the fresh sea air, and enjoy the sunrise across the water. Beaches are always the best places to be, and a vacation by the beach can help me regain energy and give me an unforgettable experience.
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Submitted by Fredd on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 22:05

I´m afraid not. Instead of enjoy the beach, people from here (Yucatán, Mexico) prefer to go to "Cenotes". Cenotes means a deep natural well or sinkhole, especially in Central America, formed by the collapse of surface limestone that exposes ground water underneath, and sometimes used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings.

Submitted by Asni on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 22:36

No, I don't but my husband was born and grew up near the sea. He's madly in love with the sea and talks a lot about those years. I wish I had a house near the sea where I can go now and then to renew my energy.