Dealing with a problem

In this video, Vanya goes to Yuna with a problem. Listen to the language they use for dealing with a problem 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 need to deal with a problem? Listen out for useful language for dealing with a problem. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Vanya: Yuna!

Yuna: Oh, morning!

Vanya: I've got a bit of a problem. 

Yuna: What's wrong?

Vanya: Can we talk in private?

Yuna: Of course.

Yuna: Right, so, what's the matter? 

Vanya: Well, I've made a mistake. A big mistake.

Yuna: OK. I'm sure we can work it out.

Vanya: It was such a silly thing to do! 

Yuna: I'm getting worried now. What's going on here? 

Vanya: OK. It was late last night and I was tired. I wasn't concentrating and I accidentally used my company credit card instead of my own to buy something! 

Yuna: Don't worry, these things happen. There's a procedure to deal with this. How much did you spend? 

Vanya: It was quite expensive.

Yuna: How expensive?

Vanya: It was very expensive.

Yuna: Vanya, how expensive?

Vanya: £3,782 … and 56 pence.

Yuna: What? You spent £3,782?! 

Vanya: … and 56 pence. 

Yuna: What was it? Vanya?

Vanya: Just a weekend break! I just like a really nice hotel!

Yuna: OK, I see. Thanks for letting me know.

Vanya: Ah! I feel so much better now I've told you. Please don't tell Noelia.

Yuna: Oh, I'm definitely going to tell her!

Noelia: Hi!

Vanya: Hi!


Ana: Hello again! Wow, that's a lot of money for a weekend break. So, did you notice the useful phrases used for dealing with a problem? Listen to me and then repeat. 


What's wrong?

I've got a bit of a problem.

Could we talk in private?

What's the matter?

I've made a mistake.

I'm sure we can work it out.

Don't worry, these things happen.

Thanks for letting me know.

I feel so much better now I've told you.

Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you need to deal with a problem in English. Bye for now!

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Worksheet103.03 KB

Language level

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Wed, 27/10/2021 - 13:08


it's been a long that time i am employee for a convenient store in campus of my university, on that day when i received goods for the store because i was too tired so i wrote number of items. The next morning i met and discussed that problem with HR i was so happy because the problem wasn't not too serious.

Submitted by M19 on Sun, 29/08/2021 - 12:21

Recently, a work colleague became sick and wasn't able to finish a project plan that was due for submission. I had to step in and ensure that it was handed in time. It wasn't much of an issue for me as I had some past experience and skills on project development.

Submitted by MikhailZatopliaev on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 04:19

1 hello, Mike 2 Hi Anna 1 Mike, I have a problem, can we talk in private? 2 Of course, what's the matter? 1 I made a mistake. Big mistake. 2 Ok, what's going on here? 1 I lost my key. 2 Oh, don't worry these things happen. I have extra. 1 Really? I am so happy. I feel so much better, that I've got told you. 2 Thank that you let me know.

Submitted by hany947b on Thu, 25/03/2021 - 00:20

honestly, 2 days ago i've helped one of my colleagues in her problen, she had a problem with her bank account, and she always do have such these problems ,eventually i did my best ,but eventually, i had to guide her to another colleague who is more perfect than me.

Submitted by Rano on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 12:49

Hello lam new here. some problem soluvie myself.

Submitted by Snow B on Thu, 04/03/2021 - 06:54

Nice lesson. I've learned new vocabulary.

Submitted by guitardude on Wed, 03/03/2021 - 11:56

hello. as I know ''a bit of'' is being used for uncoubtale, but in the sentence ''I've got a bit of a problem'' it is used with ''a problem'' which is countable I think because of ''a'' . Why there is such a difference in usage ? Could you explain the reason ?

Hi guitardude,

If you're talking about foods, it's true that a bit of is usually used with uncountable nouns (e.g. a bit of cake / a bit of carrot). But actually, it can be used with countable nouns too, especially outside the area of food. Here are some more examples:

  • The meeting was a bit of a waste of time.
  • My presentation went wrong. It was a bit of a nightmare.
  • I'm a bit of a perfectionist.
  • The news was a bit of a shock.

I hope that helps :)


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by German on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 01:06

The last time that I helped to someone with a problem in the work was when a workmate had to sent a report and he was delayed. I helped him with some things about the report and he achived to send the report in time

Submitted by Mustafa Ghreiri on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 17:32

Hi, I'm new here! I'm not that good at English, so trying to improve, by finding foreign friends. Any one interested in English conversation, I am too, so we can add each other on Skype: (************) Thanks.

Submitted by Jonathan R on Sat, 16/01/2021 - 06:53

In reply to by Mustafa Ghreiri


Hi Mustafa and welcome to LearnEnglish :)

Finding friends to practise with is a great idea. Sorry, sharing personal details is not allowed on this site by the House rules - but you can interact with other users by writing comments and replies.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mustafa Ghreiri,

There's no need! But thanks for asking.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Hennadii on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 16:21

Honestly, it's absolutely no problem for me to help someone. Of course, I have my own work to do and I can't ignore it to do something else (not my tasks) by I think we have to help each other at work because we are a team. Sometimes your colleagues need to do what you've done before and you know exactly how to cope with it. Or you just need to connect two people at work so they can end their job together. Unfortunately, there are always some guys who just try to delegate their duty on you because they are lazy or don't what to take responsibility for the result. Well, I dealt with that crap before and these sly-asses don't bother my any more ))

Submitted by Riza on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 15:42

The last time when I had to help my manager was during quarantine. Our office was about to close, so we had to explore a totally new world by starting working online! I clearly remember the time when I was learing how to use Skype and other websites for online teaching! Right now it's my steady job and part of my life, however at that time it was a complete nightmare)))

Submitted by fariba on Mon, 28/12/2020 - 11:19

one years ago last time i help another person.

Submitted by Without user on Sun, 13/12/2020 - 21:02

I helped my workmates to survive in the spanish administration where we worked. We had terrible and bad bosses, and other workmates who worked really bad and very little and they also wasted time. At that time we had a lot of work to do... Terrible times for all of us! I was their head and I taught them to work out of that environment and to be focused on our tasks. Awful time, awful administration... But we are all out now!!!! :) Happy Christmas British friends!

Submitted by mamomamo on Thu, 19/11/2020 - 13:00

I always help my workmate these days, we've a new system, because I have been working in this system, I solved their problems.

Submitted by Momocompanyman on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 07:38

Last year, when my colleague made a mistake regarding the installation of the equipment, I assisted him to set it according to the supplier technical datasheet.

Submitted by tompunta on Thu, 05/11/2020 - 21:15

well, my cousin lost his phone in our trip to italy at the weekend so my aunt was worried about him. We are staying in different hostel, so I booked a room in the same hostel where I was staying and this case my cousin and my aunt were able to talk all weekend.

Submitted by vsanchez75 on Mon, 26/10/2020 - 14:33

The problem was I couldn find something but my former boss moved these things and he did not tell me. To me was disstresing

Submitted by habibao.medo on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 12:52

my sister she broke her hand and i helped her with her homework and her teacher start saying you didn't solve the homework by yourself then i interrupted her and said she has a broken hand and i wrote it for her

Submitted by TadyEriel on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 14:51

When was the last time you helped someone with a problem at work? Well, it was last year, I was teaching at classroom when I recieved a phone call, it was a collegue and she told me "I've got a bit of a problem",therefore I said "Wha's the matter". It turned out that,She was running of time and couldn't get in,so she wanted some help. I said "Don't worry, these things happen".Although, our boss told us if we arrieved late,we have to pay a fine. At the end,I had to open the auxiliary gate, Fortunately, nobody saw us.

Submitted by Denise on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 20:41

It was a three weeks ago when I called my friend to help me in my work which is cleaning birdnest (expensive Chinese food) but she was being very slow so I decided to put all the finished ones in the same bowl so my chief wouldn’t know who made what. But unfortunately she didn’t get better and he realised that she was being slow.

Submitted by danisep on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 04:17

I don't remember helped anybody at work, but I have helped my sister and her classmates with some tasks and they pay me to solve his issues. They are working and studying at a time so they need help with tests and assignments. It is good to me because I can go over some topics and earn some money.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 24/09/2020 - 15:48

In the last three years I helped my niece, because she had a child one year old and she had having evident troubles studying for passing the academic exams. Therefore I wrote the summaries of the books which she would have to study and she easily passed all the exams.

Submitted by Asni on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 22:55

Sorry, I didn't realize the comment was so long before submitting it! Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for your efforts too. All the material you provide is very useful. It is helping me a lot in my English learning and you, the LearnEnglish Team, are just great; your attention and all the explanations you give are really helpful! Best regards

Hello Asni,

Thank you for saying so! It's nice to know we're helping people.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Asni on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 22:53

It wasn't at work. I helped my brother to deal with a problem he had. He failed to pass a subject for the second time. In Canada, studies are expensive and a quite big amount of my parent's money was going towards his university fees. The problem was that engineering students were not allowed to fail twice the same subject, otherwise, they had to leave or to change to some other study program different from engineering. My brother was really worried, frustrated and a bit depressed because of that. So first, I had to talk to him several times and try to convince him that the problem was not as big as it seemed to be and there had to be some way to work it out. After a couple of days, he could calm down and contacted the departement responsible for that kind of issues inside the university. As he'd always been brilliant and got good marks, he finally was able to deal with this by following an alternative procedure for students that had been progressing well in their program. Afterwards, I had to talk to my parents and explain the whole situation, I also tried to make them understand that these things happened and they didn't have to worry as that was only an exception and everything was already solved.

Submitted by Betty Corado on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 19:39

Once, in the office, I lost some bank vouchers, in a confusing case, I told to my boss what happened and He told me that I had to pay for these, so I paid for those vouchers and I was more careful with the vouchers.

Submitted by macevedosalas on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 00:38

This morning my coworkers and I we had a bit of a problem trying to solve an authentication problem in a servers' farm. Several users could not login those servers and at the end we involved other teams to work out the problem. It took us around 4 hours reading some logs and investigating how to fix it. We could not solve it today and we will continue tomorrow.