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Telephone Language

Here are some typical phrases that you can use in a telephone conversation.

Answering the phone
  • Hello? (informal)
  • Thank you for calling Boyz Autobody. Jody speaking. How can I help you?
  • Doctor's office.
Introducing yourself
  • Hey George. It's Lisa calling. (informal)
  • Hello, this is Julie Madison calling.
  • Hi, it's Gerry from the dentist's office here.
  • This is she.*
  • Speaking.*
*The person answering says this if the caller does not recognize their voice.
Asking to speak with someone
  • Is Fred in? (informal)
  • Is Jackson there, please? (informal)
  • Can I talk to your sister? (informal)
  • May I speak with Mr. Green, please?
  • Would the doctor be in/available?
Connecting someone
  • Just a sec. I'll get him. (informal)
  • Hang on one second. (informal)
  • Please hold and I'll put you through to his office.
  • One moment please.
  • All of our operators are busy at this time. Please hold for the next available person.
Making special requests
  • Could you please repeat that?
  • Would you mind spelling that for me?
  • Could you speak up a little please?
  • Can you speak a little slower please. My English isn't very strong.
  • Can you call me back? I think we have a bad connection.
  • Can you please hold for a minute? I have another call.
Taking a message for someone
  • Sammy's not in. Who's this? (informal)
  • I'm sorry, Lisa's not here at the moment. Can I ask who's calling?
  • I'm afraid he's stepped out. Would you like to leave a message?
  • He's on lunch right now.Who's calling please?
  • He's busy right now. Can you call again later?
  • I'll let him know you called.
  • I'll make sure she gets the message.
Leaving a message with someone
  • Yes, can you tell him his wife called, please.
  • No, that's okay, I'll call back later.
  • Yes, it's James from CompInc. here. When do you expect her back in the office?
  • Thanks, could you ask him to call Brian when he gets in?
  • Do you have a pen handy. I don't think he has my number.
  • Thanks. My number is 222-3456, extension 12.
Confirming information
  • Okay, I've got it all down.
  • Let me repeat that just to make sure.
  • Did you say 555 Charles St.?
  • You said your name was John, right?
  • I'll make sure he gets the message.
Listening to an answering machine
  • Hello. You've reached 222-6789. Please leave a detailed message after the beep.Thank you.
  • Hi, 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.
  • Thank you for calling Dr. 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 333-7896.
Leaving a message on an answering machine
  • Hey Mikako. It's Yuka. Call me! (informal)
  • Hello, this is Ricardo calling for Luke. Could you please return my call as soon as possible. My number is 334-5689. Thank you.
  • Hello Maxwell. 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.
Finishing a conversation
  • Well, I guess I better get going. Talk to you soon.
  • Thanks for calling. Bye for now.
  • I have to let you go now.
  • I have another call coming through. I better run.
  • I'm afraid that's my other line.
  • I'll talk to you again soon. Bye.
Sometimes it is necessary to spell something over the telephone (for example a postal code or name). Native English speakers often use a special alphabet when they spell over the phone. Example: postal code B2V 3A8 = B as in Bravo, 2, V as in Victor, 3, A as in Alpha, 8. Click here to learn English Phonetic Spelling.

Telephone Tips >>

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