This chapter presents the basic principles of consecutive interpreting. Interpreters must accept that there are times when they do not know a word or an expression, can neither avoid it nor deduce its meaning from context, and are consequently stuck. The three basic stages of a consecutive interpreter's work are understanding, analyzing, and re-expressing. The 'understanding' refers to here is not of words but of ideas, for it is ideas that have to be interpreted. Obviously, we cannot understand ideas if you do not know the words the speaker is using to express them, or if we are not acquainted sufficiently with the grammar and syntax of the speaker's language to follow the ideas. The interpreter, in analyzing a speech, must therefore identify the main ideas, and know they are the main ideas. Having understood and analyzed the consecutive interpreter must move on to re-expressing the speech they have just heard.