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! 

Do you need to improve your English speaking skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English speaking skills with our live online classes and personal tutoring courses.


Worksheet133.18 KB

Language level

A1 English level (elementary)

Submitted by ph.anht12 on Fri, 12/08/2022 - 08:11


Thanks to The LearnEnglish Team, I learned lots of useful phrases, I'll try to practice them every day to improve my English speaking skill. In addition, I really love your method of teaching.

Submitted by Diego89 on Fri, 29/07/2022 - 02:12


The contain is very well for learnd english

Submitted by tiago.rodrigo on Thu, 28/07/2022 - 16:47


Yes, I Find the video totaly useful.

Profile picture for user ashrafsdmp

Submitted by ashrafsdmp on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 21:33


British Council is my one of the best platform to learn authentic English. I've learned a lot from here freely.
I love their teaching techniques. There are video clips, transcripts, practice lessons and comment section too.
I encourage my friends to use it to improve their English Skills. As a graphic designer and freelancer, English is must for me. I am to work with American Clients, British Clients, Canadian Clients and many more countries. So you can see without English, it's impossible to communicate with them for deals.

Thank you so much, British Council for giving us such a wonderful platform freely.

Submitted by ROBSON_PEREIRA on Sun, 17/07/2022 - 09:14


Yes, this video is very useful. Thanks!

Submitted by Mayar.Younis on Wed, 13/07/2022 - 18:06


It's useful thank you!

Submitted by DhanashriUjjainkar on Mon, 04/07/2022 - 05:33


Its very useful . I`m enjoying it.

Submitted by abdirasak maha… on Sun, 03/07/2022 - 18:06


yeah, it's very useful

Submitted by mohabas45 on Mon, 20/06/2022 - 19:23


yes of course, its very useful.

Submitted by Yell Yell on Mon, 13/06/2022 - 04:00


Yup, its useful.
Feels great while studying

Submitted by Sofía02 on Sat, 11/06/2022 - 22:47


yes, of course. It’s very interesting and functional.

Submitted by Hrahmaty on Mon, 06/06/2022 - 12:37


I would like to learn English speaking and speaking skills

Submitted by amrkhalaf1997 on Fri, 03/06/2022 - 15:51


Yes it is very helpful

Submitted by Muberra on Wed, 01/06/2022 - 14:59


Yes, basic but useful!

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Sat, 28/05/2022 - 12:45


Did you find the video useful?

yes, I did. I find useful phrases and the way of talking I love it really.

Submitted by Bena - Mustafa on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 11:48


yes it's useful for me

Submitted by NDK on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 06:50


It's very useful for me. Thanks.

Submitted by pitcharat on Tue, 17/05/2022 - 11:20


It’s very useful. Thank you.

Submitted by meeryam.a on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 10:24


yes, it's very useful, a good way to improve our speaking skills

Submitted by linhvu2095 on Sun, 15/05/2022 - 15:48


It's very useful. Thank you so much

Submitted by Waleed kasem on Tue, 10/05/2022 - 21:14


In my opinion, these kinds of videos are so useful. thanks

Submitted by tadili heba on Tue, 10/05/2022 - 01:07


Of course thank you

Submitted by mohamed_samir77 on Tue, 26/04/2022 - 19:26


It was a useful lesson to learn , I think I'll remember it for along time

Submitted by SetarehS on Wed, 20/04/2022 - 16:34


Yes, it's great , I can understand it very well.

Submitted by aahmed on Mon, 18/04/2022 - 09:23


yes , it is very good

Submitted by loeychel on Tue, 05/04/2022 - 18:59


I can't find and play a video what's wrong with my phone

Hi loeychel,

Thanks for letting us know. I have just checked the video and it seems to be working OK for me. Do the other videos in the Speaking section work for you? One thing you can try is to use a different web browser. But if that doesn't work, it may be blocked in your local area for some reason.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

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