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 Esteve on Sat, 09/01/2021 - 11:57

Yes, I did. Thks BC.
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Submitted by ye wint kyaw min on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 13:05

yes ,very useful .Thanks BC

Submitted by Minthanttin on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 05:17

Thank you BC,I love your free lessons. It is very useful.

Submitted by Shune Lae Khin on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 04:17

It's very useful.Thanks

Submitted by German on Tue, 05/01/2021 - 23:25

Yes, I do.The video is mery useful because sometimes is dificult to me understand some phrases and some sentences like "Can you repeat slowly" and others are useful.

Submitted by Joselyn15 on Wed, 30/12/2020 - 19:40

Yes, I did. The video is very funny and understandable.

Submitted by mrelvinaliyev on Tue, 29/12/2020 - 06:48

Yes. This video was useful me because i learned new words like spanner , pass. Also improved my listening ability. Thanks for everything :)

Submitted by Tzar on Thu, 24/12/2020 - 10:14

Yes,this video is really useful to learn the new phrases.Thanks a lot.

Submitted by May Sabai Phyu on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 15:33

I think it's useful in daily life speaking. Thank you, British Council!!!

Submitted by bykarenreis on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 15:59

Yes! I liked the video.
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Submitted by Karan Narang on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 07:47

I have been understood through watching video about basic phrase. How can I use these phrase over day ? 1)Is this it 2) that's right In all tenses along example!

Hello Karan Narang,

When Paul wants to check that he has the right tool in his hand, he says 'Is this it?' You could use this in a similar situation. It's also possible to change the tense, but it would be a little difficult since in that case it might not be as clear what you mean.

'That's right' is a very common way of saying that what someone has said is correct. Like before, it's most commonly used in the present.

Hope this helps you.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Pann Nilar Htun on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 04:20

Yes, I love it and it is very useful for me.

Submitted by Ella on Thu, 17/12/2020 - 11:00

This video is very useful for my listening and speaking skills. I think if I'll listen more videos like this, I'll improve and understand more difficult phrases. Thank!

Submitted by Lylylie on Tue, 15/12/2020 - 18:07

Yeah,I liked it,this content is very useful for some situations,when you don't understand someone in english you have to know how you will ask the right phrases to communicate with other person.

Submitted by MayThuNeWin on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 18:01

That's quite good and I am really fond of teaching technique of British Council

Submitted by heri sinaga on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 05:07

i'm very happy learn about english speaking here, and this is very helpfull for me. Thank you

Submitted by Larissa330 on Thu, 10/12/2020 - 17:49

That was so useful

Submitted by Phyo Ei Ei San on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 10:07

Its that very good video. I always trust brithsh council.
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Submitted by DJ Singh on Sat, 05/12/2020 - 11:11

Yes, the video was useful to learn more common phrases like this.

Submitted by Nway Nway Aung on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 16:09

Good lesson! Thanks you!
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Submitted by zabiullah on Tue, 01/12/2020 - 17:08

this kinds of videos are very helpful and can help us to unterstand more phrases. i have learnt more useful phrases now. and i can use them in our real life. I am sorry. I can not hear that. could you say that again please? could you repeat that more slowley please? Do you mean the hummer. is this it? that is right.
I'm so pleased to see you commenting briefly here , so can you be my friend I want to practice English conversation with you? Here is my whatspp ------------

Hi Eltayeb,

Unfortunately, sharing personal contact details is not allowed in our House Rules. But you can practise conversation by writing comments and replies here on this site :)

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Marina Hornus on Sun, 29/11/2020 - 21:34

I have found the video very useful. It is worth it and funny. Bod and Poul make a perfect facial expression. I love it.

Submitted by mrelvinaliyev on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 13:27

Yeah this is video is really useful for me. I like watching video like this when I want to improve my English.

Submitted by Sridhar reddy on Sun, 22/11/2020 - 08:52

I have always loved learning English here. I wonder if there's any application available for britishcouncil

Submitted by aranis on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 15:53

this video is very usefull to me. Thanks british council

Submitted by xianglin on Wed, 18/11/2020 - 12:10

None of all video in Speaking in Skills can be turned on. There are neither pictures nor sounds. Can you help me?

Hello xianglin,

The videos are working for me. I'd suggest you try using a different browser or device to view the pages.

If that doesn't work for you, please let us know what browser version you are using and what country you are in so that I can investigate a little more.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk, First thanks for your help. I'm in Australia now. I'm not familiar with computers. I'll be sure to ask you when find out. thanks again Have a good day. Xianglin.

Submitted by Hadjer hadjer on Sat, 14/11/2020 - 19:06

Yes thank you is verry useful for me

Submitted by karim.medusa on Fri, 13/11/2020 - 03:29

It's useful video

Submitted by Khin Khin Htet on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 09:52

Yes , This video is useful for me ! Thank for sharing !

Submitted by Brenda Patrici… on Thu, 05/11/2020 - 23:19

Yes, this video was very useful for me, I learned some new ways to check my understanding.

Submitted by Yati on Thu, 05/11/2020 - 14:53

Thanks, for sharing. That's very useful.

Submitted by mrelvinaliyev on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 06:14

Yeah. This video is really useful for me. I learned new words for example like hammer, spanner and etc.

Submitted by Kaique Machado on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 01:37

Yeah it was really useful i have learned that words already but I really liked the video

Submitted by kzmyr on Sat, 31/10/2020 - 17:41

Thank you for sharing