Keeping a conversation going

In this video, Noelia and Bob talk about Spain. Listen to the language they use for keeping a conversation going 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 keep a conversation going? Listen out for useful language for keeping a conversation going. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Noelia: Hi, Bob!

Bob: Oh, morning, Noelia.

Noelia: So, what's new? 

Bob: New, hmm, let me think. Hmm … Nothing much. Oh, hang on. My dog Bertie had his 14th birthday on Monday! 

Noelia: Oh, he's getting old then?

Bob: I guess so … but not as old as his owner. 

Noelia: Haha … er, anyway …

Bob: How about you, Noelia? How's it going? 

Noelia: Great, actually. Yeah … all good.

Bob: By the way, I wanted to ask you, where in Spain are you from?

Noelia: I'm from Santander.

Bob: Oh, lovely. Wonderful to grow up near the sea. 

Noelia: Yeah, it was perfect. Ah, I miss the sea. 

Bob: I know what you mean. I used to live in Spain and I absolutely loved it.

Noelia: Really? I didn't know that, Bob! 

Bob: Yeah, I had a little bar on the Costa Brava.

Noelia: Wow! So do you speak Spanish then?

Bob: Oh, not much. Ah, those were the days! Excuse me. Perdona, Noelia. Tengo que irme. Me necesitan en el segundo piso. ¡Hasta pronto! [Excuse me, Noelia. I've got to go. They need me on the second floor. See you soon!]

Noelia: Wow! 


Ana: Hello again! Wow! Bob is full of surprises. So, did you notice the useful phrases used for keeping a conversation going? Listen to me and then repeat.


So, what's new? 

Let me think ... 

Nothing much. 

Anyway …

How about you, Noelia? 

How's it going? 

By the way, I wanted to ask you ... 

I know what you mean.

Really? I didn't know that! 


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to keep a conversation going in English. Bye for now! 

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Worksheet95.48 Ko

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Soumis par lavande1983 le mar 12/01/2021 - 18:56

I don't live near the sea beause i was born and grew up in a small town near moutains. So i love going to the sea. The first time i was on holiday in the sea when i was 20 years old. Now i have chance to travelling around the world et 5 continents and i visited lots of different seas and oceans. I prefere hot sea in tropical coutries beaucause we can enjoy the sea all year. in notherne Europe, the sea water is quite cold do we can swim only in summer. so i try to protect my skin from the UV high level sunshine. Honestly,a holiday in the sea makes me happy and gives me energy

Soumis par Yassir Ali Ahmed le jeu 07/01/2021 - 22:14

No, I'm not, so I scared to swimming.

Soumis par Joesph le mer 06/01/2021 - 15:18

I used to live in a city overlooking the sea, I was afraid swimming in the open sea, but my father pushed me and taught me to swim very well. I was had jet ski, It was very entertaining.

Soumis par Thinn Thiri Myo le jeu 31/12/2020 - 06:00

I used to.I love the water but l can't swimming because I'm afraid toswim.

Soumis par Khatia25 le mar 29/12/2020 - 16:03

No, I’m not living near the sea. But I adore sea and would like to live.

Soumis par YewandeAdeosun le ven 25/12/2020 - 18:44

I use to. I miss the cool breeze by seaside

Soumis par Nyein Swe Thet le jeu 17/12/2020 - 09:44

I was.I was born and grows up in a little town near the sea.But i'm afraid of the's kinda weird tho.

Soumis par TalhaÖzkan le sam 12/12/2020 - 16:59

I don't live near the sea, but I would like to by the sea. Hopefully when I grow up, I will move to Kastamonu with Talat and Talha. :)
Hi Talha. I hope you move to Kastamonu. By the way I live in Adana and there is a sea but I don't live near the sea. Its sadly..

Soumis par Ei Thidar Tun le jeu 10/12/2020 - 08:21

No, I live in city. But, I often go to beach that is not as far as to my city and I feel relax when I reach. It is so beautiful and breathtaking.

Soumis par samssira le ven 04/12/2020 - 14:04

Hi everyone, actually, I don't leave near the sea but not far away also. It taks 30 min by a car to get in.

Soumis par Marina Hornus le dim 29/11/2020 - 12:28

Hello, I do not live near a beach. That is fine for me because I do not like beaches, and neither living on a side sea beach. I only visited hot beaches where the sun is so strong and I feel that I burn in that kind of place. Maybe you know that in Latin countries it is common that women take sunbathe and they think they are more fashionable with dark skin. I do not like to take sunbathe, I think that is dangerous for your skin. Also, it is not enjoyable for me been lying on the beach taking the sun, it is like you are cooking something. In summary, I enjoy living near a River where you have trees and you can swim better than in the sea.

Soumis par farhad zada le mer 25/11/2020 - 07:04

I live near the Caspian Sea which we call as 'Khazar Danizi'. I love sea, lake, river and so

Soumis par Pola le mar 24/11/2020 - 14:10

Yes, I do, I was born and raised in a small village by the sea and I'm still living in this village, so I'm used to see the sea everyday.

Soumis par Sana Omar le dim 22/11/2020 - 12:55

No, fortunately. I don't live near the sea; I used to live in the mountains. But now I'm living near the Nile river.

Soumis par O'Prata le dim 15/11/2020 - 05:18

Yes, I do. I live near the sea, but it's been more than 8 years I don't touch that water. LOL! Actually, the people who usually come to see the sea live far away from the district I live in.
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Soumis par Mr.hanymabrok le jeu 12/11/2020 - 05:43

I have suggestion, if any body need to connect me to practice this conversations lessons together I think that will be more useful, I hope to find class mate for that. Thanks for all
Hi, Mr Hanymabrok. I'm Farhad from Azerbaijan. I'll be happy. Actually I wanted to write this and i seen your comment. This is my whatsapp ---------------

Soumis par Ceci Almeida le sam 07/11/2020 - 13:49

I live near the sea, about ten minutes walking, but I rarely go to the beach because the sun is very strong here. But I like the landscape and being able to see the sea.

Soumis par Momocompanyman le ven 06/11/2020 - 17:33

Yes, I live near the sea, I'm from Maghnia

Soumis par fahri le mar 20/10/2020 - 10:22

Dear team. From the lesson above. What's the difference from 'by the way' and 'any way' ??? Thank you very much for your answer

Hello fahri,

We use by the way in conversation when we want to say something that has just occurred to us (something we have just thought of or remembered) which is not directly connected to what we have been saying.

We use anyway (one word) as a conversational marker to show that we want to change the subject. For example, you might start a conversation with a little small talk and then use anyway to shift the subject to something else:

So how are you?

Fine, and you?

Not too bad. I've been busy, you know. Anyway, I wanted to ask you for some advice. You see...



The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par fahri le lun 19/10/2020 - 17:20

Dear team. how are things? informal (also how's everything?); (also how's it going?) All of the words are informal. What's the formal word then??? The second question: What's up? Informal (also wassup?, whassup?) What's the formal word then??? Thank you very much for your answer.

Hello fahri,

When you meet a person for the first time the formal greeting is 'How do you do?', often accompanied with a handshake. For subsequent meetings you can say 'Hello again. How are you?' or 'Nice to see you again. How are things?'

Note that societies change and in the modern world it is normal to assume a lower degree of formality than we would have in the past. People move much more quickly to a relatively relaxed form of interaction these days.


'What's up?' is very informal but it has the same meaning as the phrases in your first question, so the formal equivalent would be the same.



The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par cittàutopica le mar 15/09/2020 - 15:57

I was born in a little town, distant about fifteen km. from the sea and I used to go on holiday in a big home near the sea, with my numerous relatives. Now I live in a bigger town which lies on the coast and has a large and big beach, near my home.

Soumis par abudo93 le lun 07/09/2020 - 19:58

No, I don't live near the sea, but I living between two rivers.

Soumis par Fsh le jeu 03/09/2020 - 20:43

I live now a few miles from the sea. In fact I do not like that ,because the weather in general is very humid in the summer,in addition to the high temperature where I live.
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Soumis par danisep le jeu 27/08/2020 - 00:43

No, I don’t live near the sea. I prefer the cold weather and if the weather is cold there is no sea close. I would like to have the sea close because it would be a great see the view and for hot days will be perfect.

Soumis par Eldorado le mer 26/08/2020 - 15:29

No, I don't, but I would love to live near the sea. It will be an amazing sight and a wonderful feeling to see the waters and feel the cool breeze.
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Soumis par Hennadii le mar 25/08/2020 - 16:47

Unfortunately I live far from the sea. Yes, we have a wide river in our city with spectacular banks and lovely beaches and even the man-made lake higher up the river but, you know, it's not the same as the real sea. Nothing compares at all. It's clear that people who live near the sea don't have that feeling when you, after the long journey, you finally can see the great water surface and smell the sea air. They have it every day and, I think, maybe don't pay attention to that. But we, who can see the sea only on TV for most of the year, become excited with the very first moment at the seaboard. As for me, I would like to live near the sea. Near the warm one, of course )) The friend of mine lives in Sweden near the Baltic sea and he says it's beautiful but cold all the time. I prefer that kind of sea where you can walk in shorts and T-shirts, not in sweaters and parka jackets ))
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Soumis par davicovalencia79 le lun 24/08/2020 - 14:32

I don't live near the sea, but really I would like it, I think would be amazing to get up every morning, look to the sea, It would be comfortable...

Soumis par Saish le lun 24/08/2020 - 11:51

Yes, I live in the province of my country which is famous for its scenic beaches. I leave a stone throw away distance from a beautiful beach. I love it here, I like to jog on this beach and stroll on the beach to clear my head sometimes. Many tourists from around the world visit this beach. We also have a restaurant near the beach so in case you visit this beach you will find me nearby.

Soumis par IKEDA le ven 21/08/2020 - 15:56

Yeah, I was born and grew up in a city near the sea. I like seaside towns because I think the atmosphere in the towns is open and people living by the sea are kind. Of course, just in my opinion and only by my own experience.

Soumis par Suane Alves le jeu 13/08/2020 - 21:48

I don't know if is near or not but I would say not, the sea is two hours from where I live.

Soumis par Andy_lotr le jeu 30/07/2020 - 18:48

I live in Manaus, wich stays in the middle of Amazon Rain Forest, so we don't have sea; but, in the other hand, we live by the biggest river in the world: Amazonas.

Soumis par Phan Bao Dung le ven 24/07/2020 - 17:55

I don't live near the sea but the beach is just far about 50 km from my house. And sometimes my family spend 2 days to go to the beach to have the rest, usually at the weekend. on the first day, we usually swim, sunbathe, built sandcastles, flew kites, and eat a lot of seafood. In the morning on the next day, we get up early to stroll along the beach, breathe in the fresh sea air, and enjoy the sunrise across the water. Beaches are always the best places to be, and a vacation by the beach can help me regain energy and give me an unforgettable experience.
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Soumis par Fredd le jeu 23/07/2020 - 22:05

I´m afraid not. Instead of enjoy the beach, people from here (Yucatán, Mexico) prefer to go to "Cenotes". Cenotes means a deep natural well or sinkhole, especially in Central America, formed by the collapse of surface limestone that exposes ground water underneath, and sometimes used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings.

Soumis par Asni le dim 19/07/2020 - 22:36

No, I don't but my husband was born and grew up near the sea. He's madly in love with the sea and talks a lot about those years. I wish I had a house near the sea where I can go now and then to renew my energy.