Check Our Latest Update

A Lot Of, Many, Or Much?

What's in this post? I. "A lot of" II. "Many" and "much" III. "A lot", "many" and &qu...

October 11, 2021

Making And Handling Telephone Calls

A. Useful Expressions
Receiving a call
  • Hello / good morning / good afternoon.
  • Good morning, ...(your institution)....
  • Hello. Dea speaking.
  • Yes, can I help you?
  • Oh, hi! It's been a long time. How are you?
Starting a call (caller)
  • Hello / good morning / good afternoon.
  • May I speak to ...(someone)..., please?
  • Could I speak to ...(someone)..., please?
  • I'd like to speak to ...(someone)....
Telling identity
  • This is ...(your name)... speaking.
  • ...(your name)... speaking.
  • I'm calling on behalf of ...(company)....
  • ...(someone)... told me to contact you.
Asking identity
  • Who's calling, please?
  • Who's speaking?
  • May I have your name?
  • Who am I speaking to?
  • Is that ...(someone)...?
  • Can I ask who’s calling?
Note:
We don’t use "Are you ...?"to find out who is on the other end of the phone.
We can ask "Is that Anne?", not "Are you Anne?"

Asking to wait
  • Hold the line, please.
  • Could you hold on?
  • Just a moment, please.
  • Please wait a minute.
Connecting
  • The line is free now. I'll put you through.
  • Thank you for holding.
Giving information
  • I'm sorry. He/she is not available at the moment.
  • I'm afraid the line is engaged. Could you call back later?
  • I'm afraid he's still in a meeting.
  • I'm sorry. He's out of the office today.
  • I'm sorry. There's nobody here by that name.
  • Sorry. I think you have dialled the wrong number.
Leaving a message
  • I'd like to leave a message.
  • Please tell him that I will meet him next week.
  • Please tell him that I called.
  • That's alright. I'll call back later.
  • Yes. Please tell him to contact me.
Taking a message
  • Would you like to leave a message?
  • Do you have a message?
  • May I take a message?
  • May I have your number?
  • Let me repeat your message. ...(repeat the message and confirm the details, e.g. place, time, telephone number, etc.)
Asking to repeat
  • I'm sorry. Could you speak up, please?
  • Could you repeat that, please?
  • I'm afraid I can't hear you.
  • I'm sorry. I didn't catch that. Come again?
  • I beg your pardon. The line is very bad.
Closing a call
  • Thank you. Bye.
B. Example Dialogues
Dialogue 1
Dave phones Vicki’s number to see if Nigel’s there.
DAVE: Hello, could I speak to Vicki?
VICKI: Speaking.
DAVE: Oh, hello Vicki – I didn’t recognise your voice. It’s Dave.
VICKI: Hi, Dave. How’s things?
DAVE: Not bad, thanks. Listen, I don’t suppose Nigel’s there, is he?
VICKI: No – but I’m expecting him round later on.
DAVE: OK – could you get him to ring me back?
VICKI: Of course. Can you give me your number?
DAVE: I think he’s got it, but let me give you it now just in case.
VICKI: Hang on – let me get a pen . . . OK.
DAVE: Six-seven-nine-oh-four-oh-four. Got that?
VICKI: Got it!

Dialogue 2
Handling Telephone Calls
Julie’s phone rings, and she answers.
JULIE: 247649.
TERRY: Ah, hello. Could I speak to Jim, please?
JULIE: Jim?
TERRY: Yes, Jim Fife. Is he there?
JULIE: I’m afraid there isn’t anyone here by that name. Who am I speaking to?
TERRY: This is Terry Smith. Isn’t that Marilyn’s house?
JULIE: No – you’ve got the wrong number.
TERRY: Ah – I’m sorry.
JULIE: Quite all right.

Dialogue 3
Cynthia phones to speak to Bob at work. But she gets through to his secretary.
CYNTHIA: Hello, it’s Cynthia Palmer here. Can I speak to Bob Watford please?
SECRETARY: Hold on, I’ll see if he’s available .... Hello? I’m afraid Mr Watford’s in a meeting at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?
CYNTHIA: Yes – could you ask him to get back to me as soon as possible?
SECRETARY: Yes – has he got your number?
CYNTHIA: Yes, he has.
SECRETARY: Fine – I’ll make sure he calls you as soon as he gets out of the meeting.
CYNTHIA: Thanks.

Source: Colloquial English: A Course for Non-Native Speakers by Gareth King

Recommended

Mister Guru

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. – Mark Twain

  • Newsletter

    Send me new articles by email