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)
Profile picture for user Marce-English

Submitted by Marce-English on Wed, 03/03/2021 - 13:32

Very important, I learned a lot of new words.

Submitted by Darekarl on Sun, 28/02/2021 - 03:40

I had understood very well

Submitted by RaiBonfim on Thu, 25/02/2021 - 20:27

Yes, i lovely this video, i understand verry well each word. The language is great , and i clearly get the informations. Thanks

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Tue, 23/02/2021 - 13:45


Submitted by victor.07 on Mon, 22/02/2021 - 12:21

yes, it was really useful
Profile picture for user YENI NURAENI

Submitted by YENI NURAENI on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 03:45

it's such an amazing exercises and tasks!

Submitted by iammhdzaki on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 04:47

yes it's very useful

Submitted by loqueador22 on Thu, 04/02/2021 - 17:34

It was really useful for me because I didn't know what to say to the other person when I don't understood , so thank you so much British Council.

Submitted by senaguner on Fri, 29/01/2021 - 23:46

This video is been very useful for me. Because I learnt new phrases also I practiced with it. Thanks a lot.

Submitted by IMRAN HOSEN on Sat, 23/01/2021 - 15:38

It's not working why??

Hello Imran Hosen,

Is the video still not working for you? It's working for me, and I don't see any errors on the page. Usually this means that the browser or device you are using is not compatible with the video player. I'd suggest trying a different browser and/or device and seeing if it works there.

If not, please let us know what operating system, browser and browser version you're using and I'll see if I can figure out what's wrong.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Samer Isa,

I don't see any problems with the video. I'm afraid this means that the problem is probably with your device or browser. I'd suggest trying different ones to see if one works.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Samer Isa,

Please read my response to Imran Hosen above -- I give you the same advice.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Leila77 on Fri, 22/01/2021 - 16:34

Yes, it was useful.

Submitted by Ekaterine Bakhtadze on Fri, 22/01/2021 - 14:59

I can not listen to it, It doens't work

Hi Ekaterine Bakhtadze,

Thanks for letting us know. I've just checked the video and it works OK for me at the moment. I wonder if it was a temporary problem.

Could you let us know if the video still doesn't play for you? If it doesn't work, do you find this problem with other video and audio on the site too, or only this one? Also, does the video work if you try using a different web browser program? Thanks.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by sjdazmi on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 12:45

yes, lit was useful ...

Submitted by mrelvinaliyev on Tue, 19/01/2021 - 06:07

Yes. This video is useful for me beacuse i learn new words like spanner, toolbox.

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

Yes, I did. Thks BC.
Profile picture for user ye wint kyaw min

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.
Profile picture for user Karan Narang

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