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 (378 votes)

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