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 Bouziene_Nacef on Tue, 05/04/2022 - 13:11


Thanks British Council !!!!!!!

Submitted by sinilidoch on Mon, 04/04/2022 - 08:21


yeah, this video is so usefull, thanks for course.

Submitted by emohammid on Fri, 01/04/2022 - 20:55


of course it is helpful and improve my level of English , thank you a lot

Submitted by a.seyeddokht on Thu, 10/02/2022 - 23:37


Yes, it's really useful, it's good for my listening.
Thanks a lot.

Submitted by omarghareeb on Sat, 05/02/2022 - 14:26


Yes, its a useful video. Thanks!

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Mon, 24/01/2022 - 15:05


Hello, I'm very happy to join this course. I would like to learn new things. I'm very weak in the English language that is the reason why I spent too much time in this course. Well, I use these phrases in my daily conversation. That would be a great help. Thank you so much.

Submitted by lemagefrancis on Fri, 21/01/2022 - 14:45


It is a very useful video. I really like it. Nice job

Submitted by lobello291 on Fri, 21/01/2022 - 01:56


Yes, its a useful video. Thanks!

Submitted by rivergirls on Wed, 19/01/2022 - 17:28


Hello there,
Could you please answer what is wrong with playing this video?
When I try to enable it, this site write me connection error. What is the mistake?

Hello rivergirls,

I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with the video. I've checked to see it is working and I don't see any issue, so the problem must be a local one related to your system, device or local service provider. You could test these by checking to see if the video will play on a different device, for example, or by adjusting your multimedia settings in your browser. Beyond that, we can't help you with a local issue.

Please note that even if you can't play a video on our pages you can often find the video on YouTube by searching for the name of the video ('Checking understanding') and 'British Council'. For example, this video can be found here:

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Alihosssen on Wed, 05/01/2022 - 06:59


It’s very easy and clearly.and nos I speak fastly

Submitted by Albert73 on Fri, 31/12/2021 - 19:23


The video is very clearly, they speak english very well and slowly and it´s a colloquial languaje. The problem is when people use street lenguaje.

Submitted by Thein Htet Zaw on Tue, 21/12/2021 - 08:41


Yes, it very usefully for me.

Submitted by TRD on Sun, 19/12/2021 - 09:25


That was very useful but, could you please tell me how can I match or adopt my intonation and pronunciation with a native speaker?

Hello TRD,

In general, imitation is a good way to develop your intonation, pronunciation and speaking fluency. You could choose a phrase or sentence from this page that you think would be useful in your speaking, either because it's difficult to pronounce or because it could be useful in different conversations.

Practise saying the phrase over and over again until it's easier to pronounce it. This can take time, as often the muscles in your mouth have to move in new ways. Compare your pronunciation and intonation with the recording -- you might even want to record yourself saying the sentences and then compare your speaking to the video's.

Then do the same thing with the other phrases or sentences you've chosen. Do this a couple of times a day for several days, until you can remember and say them all confidently.

Write them down in a notebook and then choose another set of sentences from another video or listening and follow the same procedure. Gradually, you will build up your speaking fluency and vocabulary, and improve your pronunciation and listening as well.

Let us know how you get on!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by dcouto on Fri, 10/12/2021 - 15:00


Yes, basic but useful!

Submitted by Kamelbenslimane on Wed, 08/12/2021 - 19:30


yeah, I find the video useful, I learn new words.

Submitted by Wutiprasert Sujin on Sun, 05/12/2021 - 12:40


yes Bob's out fit is cute.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Mon, 29/11/2021 - 09:11


Yes, this is easy to understand. I have learnt a lots of new phrases.

Submitted by skypara on Thu, 25/11/2021 - 12:31


This is very polite and little bit officional conversation.

Submitted by soniashakeel on Thu, 18/11/2021 - 05:49


Yeah! That was useful

Submitted by Brevis on Wed, 17/11/2021 - 13:08


It is quite useful for just someone who has the basics

Submitted by masanchezd on Sat, 13/11/2021 - 13:33


Yes, i think that it's a very good and funny video too

Submitted by Fredy Araque on Sat, 06/11/2021 - 19:46


Yes, it's very useful for me, thanks

Submitted by Ei Khaine Myo on Thu, 04/11/2021 - 17:34


Yeah... that's useful video for me.

Submitted by ema sab on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 14:12


Yes, it's very useful. Thank you

Submitted by Lary03 on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 04:42


Yes, it's very useful. Thank you

Submitted by ANOUAR on Mon, 25/10/2021 - 13:33


Yes it's very usefull and the words spelling ar clear, thank you britishCouncil you've saved my english

Submitted by marywong on Thu, 21/10/2021 - 04:02


Yes,it’s very useful. Thank you British Council for your hard work.

Submitted by Peyman-Tiler on Sun, 17/10/2021 - 13:00


Yes, It was absolutely useful and help and thanks to you, every day my English is getting better just by surfing in your website, thanks a lot.

Submitted by fayrouz abdelmoneim on Sat, 16/10/2021 - 19:19



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Submitted by MonicaJ on Sat, 16/10/2021 - 07:09


I loved doing the exercises, and the video was useful. These helped me also with the vocabulary, ask questions and reply to people in the quotidian life. Thanks.

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Wed, 13/10/2021 - 17:12


yes it is very useful and it is suitable to improve my english

Submitted by Trúc Linh on Sat, 02/10/2021 - 11:06


Yes, I find it very useful. Thanks very much!!

Submitted by avenesra on Thu, 12/08/2021 - 11:13

Of course, thanks a lot!

Submitted by Maitane on Mon, 02/08/2021 - 17:23

Yes, I found this video useful because it's necessary to know these sentences specially when it's difficult to you to follow the conversation, due to the lack of knowledge in a new language such as English.
Profile picture for user YinLiXing

Submitted by YinLiXing on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 15:52

Good video lesson!I like this way to improve my speaking skill.

Submitted by Emily Mellor on Sat, 17/07/2021 - 11:18

It's very useful for speaking. Thanks a lot.

Submitted by KATIELLE RAIAN… on Tue, 06/07/2021 - 14:00

Yes, very useful!

Submitted by Ilhya on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 05:38

Yes, it was easy to understand, the context presented is about real life, and the video gave me more confidence. Thanks for all.

Submitted by amola on Wed, 26/05/2021 - 15:35

Yes I do .it helps me alot. thank u

Submitted by Yin Yin Win on Thu, 13/05/2021 - 15:11

Your video is useful to me. It is best way to improve my speaking skill. Thanks a lot fot it.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Thu, 13/05/2021 - 05:11

Yes, video have very helpful and easy to understand.thank you.
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Submitted by mirtha on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 16:29

Yes, It is a good video!