Scenarios and phrases for talking on the phone

Contents

Any telephone conversation can be divided into categories. We have tried to analyze a typical telephone conversation from start to finish and give you the most popular phrases in English for talking on the phone.

Answering a call
How to introduce
yourself How to ask to speak to someone
How to ask to wait
How to ask for something on the phone
How to ask to leave a message
How to leave a message
How to confirm something
How to listen to a message on the answering machine
How to leave a message on the answering machine
How to end a conversation
Glossary of terms to talk on the phone

Call answer

Table 1. How to answer a phone call in English

Hello?

Hello?

Thank you for calling ____. ____ speaking. How can I help you?

Thank you for calling _____. ______ speaks to you. How can I help?

doctor's office.

Doctor's office.

How to introduce yourself

Table 2. How to introduce yourself on the phone in English

Hey George. It's Lisa calling.

Hi, George. It's Lisa calling.

Hello, this is Julie Madison calling.

Hello, this is Julie Madison calling.

Hi, it's Gerry from the dentist's office here.

Hi, this is Gerry from Dentistry.

This is she.

This is what she says.

speaking.

It's me

How to ask to speak to someone

Table 3. How to call to the phone in English

Is Fred in?

Is Fred at home?

Is Jackson there, please?

Is Jackson at home?

Can I talk to your sister?

May I speak to your sister?

May I speak with Mr. Green, please?

May I speak to Mr Green, please?

Would the doctor be in/available?

May I speak to the doctor?

How to ask to wait

Table 4. How to ask to wait in English

Just a sec. I'll get him.

Give me a sec. I will call him.

Hang on one second.

Wait a second.

Please hold and I'll put you through to his office.

Please wait and I will connect you to his office.

One moment please.

A moment please.

All of our operators are busy at this time. Please hold for the next available person.

At the moment all our operators are busy. Please wait for an answer.

How to ask for something on the phone

Table 5. How to ask by phone in English

Could you please repeat that?

Could you repeat that?

Would you mind spelling that for me?

Could you spell it out?

Could you speak up a little please?

Could you speak louder?

Can you speak a little slower please. My English isn't very strong.

Could you speak more slowly? I don't speak English very well.

Can you call me back? I think we have a bad connection.

You won't call back? We seem to have a bad connection.

Can you please hold for a minute? I have another call.

Would you wait a minute? They call me.

How to ask to leave a message

Table 6. How to ask to leave a message in English

Sammy's not in. Who's this?

Sammy is not at home. And who is calling?

I'm sorry, Lisa's not here at the moment. Can I ask who's calling?

Sorry, Lisa isn't home right now. May I know who is calling?

I'm afraid he's stepped out. Would you like to leave a message?

I'm afraid he's gone. Don't want to leave a message?

He's on lunch right now. Who's calling please?

He's at lunch now. And who asks him?

He's busy right now. Can you call again later?

He is busy now. Could you call back later?

I'll let him know you called.

I'll let him know you called.

I'll make sure she gets the message.

Rest assured, I will pass on your message to him.

How to leave a message

Table 7. How to leave a message in English

Yes, can you tell him his wife called, please.

Could you tell him that his wife is calling.

No, that's okay, I'll call back later.

It's OK. I'll call back later.

Yes, it's James from ____ here. When do you expect her back in the office?

James is calling from _____. When will she return to work?

Thanks, could you ask him to call Brian when he gets in?

Thank you. Why don't you ask him to call Brian back when he gets back?

thanks. My number is 222-3456, extension 12.

Thank you. My number is 222-3456, extension 12.

How to confirm something

Table 8. How to confirm in English

Okay, I've got it all down.

Okay, I wrote everything down.

Let me repeat that just to make sure.

I will repeat to make sure.

Did you say 555 Charles St.?

Did you say 555 Charles Street?

You said your name was John, right?

Did you say your name is John?

I'll make sure he gets the message.

I will give him a message.

How to listen to a message on the answering machine

Table 9. How to listen to a message in English

Hello. You've reached 222-6789. Please leave a detailed message after the beep. thank you.

Hello, you have reached 222-6789. Please leave a detailed message after the beep. Thank you.

Hey, this is Elizabeth. I'm sorry I'm not available to take your call at this time. Leave me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Hi, this is Elizabeth. I'm sorry I can't take your call right now. Leave a message and I'll call you back as soon as I can.

Thank you for calling Mindin's office. Our hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Please call back during these hours, or leave a message after the tone. If this is an emergency please call the hospital at 503-7896.

Thank you for calling Dr. Mindin's office. Our hours of operation are from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Please call back at this time or leave a message after the beep. If you have an emergency, call the hospital at 503-7896.

How to leave a message on the answering machine

Table 10. How to leave a message on the answering machine in English

Hey Danny. It's Alice. call me!

Hey Danny. This is Alice. Call me back!

Hello, this is Ricardo calling for Luke. Could you please return my call as soon as possible. My number is 504-5689. thank you.

Hello, this is Ricardo. I need Luke. Could you call back as soon as possible? My number is 504-5689.

Hello John. This is Marina from the doctor's office calling. I just wanted to let you know that you're due for a check-up this month. Please give us a ring/buzz whenever it's convenient.

Hello John. Marina is calling you from the clinic. I wanted to let you know that you need to have a check-up this month. Please call back at your convenience.

How to end a conversation

Table 11. How to end a telephone conversation in English

Well, I guess I better get going. Talk to you soon.

Well, it's time for me to run. Let's chat somehow.

Thanks for calling. Bye for now.

Thank you for the call. Till.

I have to let you go now.

Well, it's time for you to go.

I have another call coming through. I better run.

I have another call. I ran.

I'm afraid that's my other line.

I have a second line.

I'll talk to you again soon. Bye.

We'll chat soon. Till.

Glossary of terms for talking on the phone

Table 12. English vocabulary for talking on the phone

to answer

[tu'ɑːn(t)sə]

answering machine

[ˈænsərɪŋ məˈʃiːn]

busy signal

[ˈbɪzi ˈsɪgn(ə)l]

to call

[tu kɔ:l]

caller

[ˈkɔ:lə]

to call back/phone back

[tu kɔ:l bæk / 'fəun bæk]

call display

[kɔ:l dis'plei]

cellular phone/cell phone

[ˈseljulə 'fəun sel ˈfəun]

cordless phone

[kɔ:dləs ˈfəun]

to dial

[tu'daɪəl]

directory/phone book

[dɪ'rekt(ə)rɪ / ˈfəun buk]

to hang up

[tu hæŋʌp]

operator

['ɔp(ə)reɪtə]

phone

[ˈfəun]

phone booth/pay phone

[ˈfəun buːð / pei ˈfəun]

international dial code

[ˌɪntə'næʃ(ə)n(ə)l 'daɪəl kəud]

to pick up

[tu pikʌp]

receiver

[rɪ'siːvə]

ring

[rɪŋ]

ringer

['rɪŋə]

phone call

[ˈfəun kɔ:l]

phone guide

[ˈfəun gaid]