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! 


Worksheet95.48 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (34 votes)

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...