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.
- 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.*
*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?
- 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.
- 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.