How to speak by phone in English? Part ii -

How to speak by phone in English? Part ii

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How to speak on the phone in English ? Part ii

For those who defend themselves well in English when reading the title of this article, they may think that they do not need to read it because their command of the language allows them to get out of a telephone conversation. But you may be wrong because one thing is very sure: answering the phone in English is not easy!

For those who speak English makes them nervous, we will say that using a means of communication such as the telephone really makes conversation quite difficult. Of course, once with the phone in hand, you cannot prepare the answers in due time, you must also have perfect pronunciation and you will not be able to count on the body language of Latinos to help you in the conversation.

Improvisation won’t help you

It is not always known how to calibrate the peculiarities of talking on the phone and answering a call may seem trivial, but it is not, and what is worse it can generate embarrassment and anxiety for many Spaniards. It must be borne in mind that given the experiences, it is not possible to improvise, and also it is necessary to use the most appropriate expressions to the context of the conversation.

The fundamental thing is to know what terms to use at each moment or call , depending on who calls us and where the call takes us. If, for example, the phone call in English arrives when you are in the office or at home in intellectual work mode, you will necessarily have to use a more formal and professional language. But, if, on the other hand, a family member or friend calls you from abroad, naturally, you can easily use a more relaxed and conversational language without much concern.

However, the question that arises is the following: which expressions belong to the formal categories and which to the informal ones?

How to answer the phone in English

Logically, the first thing to do to talk to someone on the phone is to introduce yourself. The presentation is more than a formal formula of education and formality to respect in formal contexts, but it is also useful in informal situations, with the purpose of facilitating the understanding of the interlocutor with whom he is speaking.

Here are some very useful phrases to use the next time you need to answer the phone in English!

Formal responses

  • Hello. This is [your name]:

Hi. I am [your name]

  • This is [your name] from [company name]:

(I am [name] from [company])

  • Hello / Good morning / afternoon / evening, thank you for calling [name of the company]. This is [your name]. How can I help you ?:

(Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening, thank you for calling [company name]. I am [your name]. How can I help you? (Informal answer)

  • Hello:


  • [Your name] speaking :

(Say [your name] to speak)

  • Hi. It’s [your name]:

(Hi. I’m [your name])

You ask to be able to talk to someone

Whether you are making a phone call or have answered it, you need to know these expressions to be able to say them or simply understand them.

In fact, it happens that the person who answered the phone call is not the one you want to talk to . For this reason it is necessary to specify who you are looking for.

Below you will find these requests that are addressed both formally and informally.

Formal requests

  • Is [name / the + job title] available ?:

([Name / manager] is available)

  • I’d like to talk with [name / the + job title]:

(I would like to speak with [name / manager])

  • May I speak to [name / the + job title] ?:

May I speak to [name / manager]?

Informal requests

  • Is [name / the + job title] free ?:

([Name / manager] is free?)

  • Can I talk to [name / the + job title] ?:

(May I speak to [name / manager]?)

Hand someone the phone

If you are not the recipient of the call in English, you will have to pass the call to the person in question.

However, before doing so, you may want to research who the person on the other end of the phone is to avoid passing unwanted phone calls that only waste time. The call transfer may take some time. In this case, it will be necessary to notify the other party that they could wait a few minutes.

Here are some phrases that will be helpful in this situation.

Formal expressions

  • Please wait while I put you through to [name]:

(Please wait while I give you [name])

  • Yes, I’ll put you through to [name]:

(Yes, I give you [name])

  • I’m sorry. He / She isn’t available at the moment: My dispiace .

(Currently not available)

  • He / She is away at the moment. May I ask who is calling ?:

(He’s out right now. May I ask who called?)

  • Would you like to leave a message ?:

(Do you want to leave a message?)

  • Please, could you call back later ?:

(Could you call back later?)

Informal expressions

  • I’ll let you speak to [name]:

(I’ll pass [name] to you)

  • Who’s calling, please ?:

(Excuse me, who called?)

  • I’ll put you through to [name]:

(I’ll pass [name] to you)

  • I’ll let him / her know that you called:

(I’ll let him know you called.)

Put someone on hold

You don’t always have the opportunity to be on the phone for a long time or have an immediate response. In some cases, the recipient of the call may be in another part of the office and it may be necessary to verify their availability.

In these situations, it is best to take time to do the immediate task or calmly process the response. Next, you’ll need to put the person on the other end of the phone on hold.

With these phrases you can put your interlocutor on hold in an appropriate and polite way.


  • Can I put you on hold for a moment, please ?:

(Can I put her on hold for a moment, please?)

  • Would you mind holding for just a moment ?:

(Can I put her on hold for a moment, please?)

  • If it is ok with you, I am going to put you on hold for a moment. I will see if he / she is available:

(If you agree with her, I’ll put her on hold for a moment. I’ll see if she’s available.)


  • Hold on a second / moment:

(Wait a second / a moment)

  • Just a second / moment:

(Just a second / a moment).

Question to clarify

In conversations, especially telephone conversations in English, everything is not always perfectly clear. Many times it will happen that you have to ask for clarification about what has been commented, to avoid having misinterpreted or misread a message.

Even the speaker’s pronunciation or the phone’s audio may not be the best, so you may need spelling.

Through these expressions you can make such requests and request the necessary clarifications


  • I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you please repeat yourself ?:

(Excuse me, I don’t understand. Could you repeat?)

  • Just to clarify, you said [sentence]:

(Just to clarify, said [sentence])

  • Would you mind speaking a little more slowly ?:

(Would you mind speaking a little slower?)

  • Would you mind spelling that for me ?:

(Would you mind spelling me out?)


  • I’m sorry, could you repeat that ?:

(Sorry, can you repeat?)

  • Could you slow down ?:

(Could you slow down?)

  • Could you spell that, please ?:

(Could you spell it please?)

Say hello at the end of the call

If you don’t want to pass for a rude person, never forget, in the end, to thank and say hello to your interlocutor! The end is the part of the conversation that is usually most impressed, so it is necessary to conclude flawlessly.

Don’t frustrate all the efforts made thus far to support a perfect English phone call, with a hasty and rude ending!

Use these formal or informal conclusions and you will leave a good memory of yourself with the interlocutor.

Formal conclusion

  • It’s been nice talking to you. Goodbye:

(It was nice talking to her. See you later).

  • Thank you for calling. I will make sure to give him the message:

(Thanks for calling. I’ll make sure you get the message).

  • Thank you very much for calling. Bye:

(Excuse me, I have another call, so I have to say hi. See you later)

  • Thanks for calling. Sorry, I have another phone call so I will need to let you go. Bye: Grazie per aver chiamato.

(Excuse me, I have another call, so I have to say hi. See you later)

  • Thanks for calling, have a nice day:

(Thanks for calling, have a nice day.)

Informal conclusion

  • It was great to chat. I’ll talk to you again soon:

(It was nice chatting with you. See you soon)

  • Sorry, I need to let you go. Bye:

(Sorry, I have to leave you. Hi.)

From now on, answering the phone in English should no longer be a problem for you!

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