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 (32 votes)

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