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: 4.5 (349 votes)

Hello TeacherDavid89,

One simple game could be for your students to write the script for a similar situation using some of the language from the video.

You might also be interested in TeachingEnglish, where you can find lots of ideas for different lessons in general.

All the best,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Safe_Mode on Mon, 12/06/2023 - 10:26


This video was very useful. At the start of your learning you need to check your understanding very often

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Submitted by ali.elhanifi on Sat, 27/05/2023 - 23:12


Yes, The video is very useful.

Submitted by ferdinferdaws on Wed, 24/05/2023 - 15:18


The video problem;
He to BritishCoumcil.English learning team;
All of the videos do not play in my account, I live in Turkey, please solve this problem.
Tnx regards

Hello ferdinferdaws,

Can you play the videos now? They are working for me.

I expect it was a temporary problem, but if you still can't see the videos, I'd suggest trying a different browser or device. If that doesn't work, please let us know what browser and browser version you're using.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Hello ansyah,

Normally changing devices or using different up-to-date browsers resolves problems with our videos.

There are also some places in the world where our videos just don't play. If that is the case, we are very sorry, but unfortunately have no control over that.

If you can send us any more specific information about what you've tried, we'll try to help you.

All the best,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by cerisebrown on Sun, 21/05/2023 - 17:11


okay ... that's pretty clear tho I don't really understand Paul accent. And the other I am pretty confuse with task number 3

Submitted by marwahadi on Wed, 17/05/2023 - 07:26


yes i did .
I found the video very useful , because i learned some phrases which i can use it if i want checking my understanding , and that is very common phrases .