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 Moon Wathan on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 14:48

Yes, this video is useful for me.

Submitted by oetenorio on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 06:26

Excellent activity and very usefull Thanks

Submitted by Maria19 on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 22:16

Yes, very useful. Thank you for that.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 12:45

yes ,very useful the tasks also

Submitted by Brigitte Hogben on Sat, 03/10/2020 - 10:33

Is it possible to download the video for use in class?

Hello Brigitte Hogben,

I'm very sorry, but I'm afraid none of the videos on our site are available for download for legal reasons.

All of the audio on our site, however, can be downloaded, so if you find any that could be useful (see our Listening A1 section), please feel free to do so.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by mohamedtaher on Fri, 25/09/2020 - 18:56

Yes that's very useful practice.

Submitted by casse KC on Fri, 18/09/2020 - 13:25

The vidéo doesn't want to play. It still stay loading

Hello casse KC,

I'm sorry for the inconvenience! Can you see the videos on this Starting Out or this Video zone page? What about videos on YouTube? Knowing the answers to these questions might help me help you.

I'd also suggest trying a different web browser or even a different device if possible. Sometimes that will solve the problem.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

I can see video in the "video zone" but not in "starting out". What can you do for me?

Hello casse KC,

The videos in Starting Out, as well as many others on LearnEnglish, are delivered by a service called Viddler. Viddler works on the most recent versions of the most commonly used browsers in most regions of the world. As far as I know, if you are in Haiti and are using a browser that isn't too old, it should work for you.

If you let me know what browser version you are using (do an internet search for 'find browser version'), I can look into this a little more. Without that, I'm afraid there's nothing else I can do for you other than suggest you try a different browser or device.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk I thank you for all of your suggestions. For the browser, I use Chrome 85.0.4 183.101.
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Submitted by danisep on Sat, 12/09/2020 - 01:34

I'm taking all the language that I can, and these common phrases help me. I'm going to try to use it in a script or conversation but also it's important to me to make my own phrases using grammar.

Submitted by Lena on Fri, 11/09/2020 - 09:40

The video is great! It looks simple but it helped me a lot though I knew all these phrases before.

Submitted by Violeta2020 on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 04:29

I cannot see the video :-(

Hello Violeta2020,

Are you still unable to see the video? It's working for me and I don't see any problems with it, so I suspect it may have been a temporary technical problem.

If you still can't see it, could you please try using a different browser or device to see if it works there?

If not, please let us what browser version you are using and I'll investigate further.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the inconvenience.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by IsaacCanales001 on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 17:49

That was a good information. Thanks.

Submitted by Nidup on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 07:12

It is a useful video.
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Submitted by ashrafsdmp on Sat, 29/08/2020 - 19:19

The conversation is really awesome and I've learnt how to use them in a conversation though I knew them before. Thank you so much!

Submitted by JORGE SALDIVAR on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 22:07

I like practice

Submitted by Gilmar Anuncia… on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 17:59

Perfect, thanks!

Submitted by soylemezali42 on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 13:03

Very useful topics for beginner English learner just like me. I hope that I can learn English with britishcountcil at least.

Submitted by Bel on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 19:39

The vídeo is ver useful!

Submitted by Saron Resom on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 16:49

Very useful video. Thanks

Submitted by Carlos Cabrera on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 00:49

The video is great!! Thanks for this.

Submitted by edysonscott on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 01:57

it's simple and understanding

Submitted by bkananta on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 06:32

Yes, these are simple and helpful. I think it addressed the right topics.

Submitted by MammadovAnar on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 07:14

Yes, it is. I think, this video helps me to improve my listening and speaking skills.

Submitted by MOHAMMAD ISHAQ MOLLA on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 01:43

It is very useful to me.

Submitted by RomanVK on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 21:37

very nice web site! thank you!
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Submitted by Ivanox76 on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 01:43

Thank you for the lesson, It was easy for now, let's go for more.

Submitted by BIraqi on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 12:38

Of course, the video was very useful. I learned more English words and practiced about the phrases. Thank you for all that.

Submitted by Raza110 on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 09:42

thanks for providing such a gift, very useful

Submitted by Kham Leik on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 01:47

It's very useful lesson.

Submitted by ko ko lay on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 00:53

it is very nice lesson

Submitted by hangnt5 on Wed, 22/07/2020 - 04:25

It is very helpful to learn, it helps me to explain to someone what I need. It helps me to how I do when I don't understand someone say.

Submitted by Yin Wai Naing on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 16:01

very useful. Thanks

Submitted by Pavindu Rathnayaka on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 02:56

Yes, Thank you!

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Mon, 20/07/2020 - 19:08

I love it. very useful

Submitted by arora on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 17:43

this is useful for listening. but how this can be effective for speaking ?

Hello arora,

After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks -- words which are often used together in set phrases -- which you can use to communicate with less hesitation. 

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team