Business English Phone-Message Storage


Learn about phrases that are often used in the "message storage" scene when answering English calls.


Minami Aoyama who works for ABC Co., Ltd.
One afternoon, when I answered the incoming call, the other person spoke English.

The call was made to my colleague Smith, but because Smith was absent, Aoyama kept the message. At this time, confirm the other party's phone number at the end of the call. Which response is most appropriate?

  • A.What is your telephone number?
  • B.Give me your telephone number.
  • C.I want your telephone number.
  • D.Could I have your telephone number, please?

Correct answer D

Question formats that use auxiliary verbs that ask for the permission of the other person, such as “Could I ..., please?” And “May I ..., please?”, Are polite expressions suitable for business. Remember, it's a fixed format.

Explanation of other options

  • A: It's okay to use it in everyday conversation, but it's not usually used in business situations.
  • B / C: It is not suitable for the business scene because it is not a direct expression and polite.
As introduced in the explanation of Vol.3, "Would you like to leave a message?" And "Could I take a message?" Are used as expressions when keeping a message. After checking the content of the other party's story, you need to check again if there are any missing items when you make a message.
Here are some examples of common items needed to make a message. If you haven't confirmed it yet, enter the name of the item you haven't confirmed in the "telephone number" part of the D sentence and confirm it with the other party.
  • name
  • company name
  • account number
  • email address
  • telephone number
  • fax number

Let's Practice! Learn different Closing

Here are some examples of conversations from when you receive a message to when you finish the call.

: I am sorry, but Mr. Smith is away from his desk at the moment.
Could I take a message?
The other party on the phone
: Yes. Could you please ask him to call me back?
: Sure. May I have your telephone number, please?
The other party on the phone
: Yes, it is XX-XXX-XXXX.
: Thank you. May I ask what this is regarding?
The other party on the phone
: Yes, it is regarding my order.
: Thank you. Anything else?
The other party on the phone
: No, thank you.
: Okay. Thank you for calling. Good-bye.
  • *Anything else ?:
    An expression that checks if there is anything else to do. Use “Is there anything else?” To speak more politely. It is appropriate to use it after the conversation is over. If the other party has no other requirements, say thank you and say goodbye and end the call.