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! 


Worksheet133.18 KB

Language level

Average: 4.6 (377 votes)
Profile picture for user mohamedtaher

Submitted by mohamedtaher on Fri, 25/09/2020 - 18:56

Yes that's very useful practice.

Submitted by casse KC on Fri, 18/09/2020 - 13:25

The vidéo doesn't want to play. It still stay loading

Hello casse KC,

I'm sorry for the inconvenience! Can you see the videos on this Starting Out or this Video zone page? What about videos on YouTube? Knowing the answers to these questions might help me help you.

I'd also suggest trying a different web browser or even a different device if possible. Sometimes that will solve the problem.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

I can see video in the "video zone" but not in "starting out". What can you do for me?

Hello casse KC,

The videos in Starting Out, as well as many others on LearnEnglish, are delivered by a service called Viddler. Viddler works on the most recent versions of the most commonly used browsers in most regions of the world. As far as I know, if you are in Haiti and are using a browser that isn't too old, it should work for you.

If you let me know what browser version you are using (do an internet search for 'find browser version'), I can look into this a little more. Without that, I'm afraid there's nothing else I can do for you other than suggest you try a different browser or device.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk I thank you for all of your suggestions. For the browser, I use Chrome 85.0.4 183.101.
Profile picture for user danisep

Submitted by danisep on Sat, 12/09/2020 - 01:34

I'm taking all the language that I can, and these common phrases help me. I'm going to try to use it in a script or conversation but also it's important to me to make my own phrases using grammar.