Common Telephone Vocabulary and Phrases in English

Important Words and Expressions for English Telephone Conversations

Useful English Phrases on the Phone

  • To run out of credit

Meaning: To use all of the credit in your phone

E.g. I’m running out of credit

  • To have credit/ no credit

Meaning: To be with/ without credit

E.g. I don’t have any credit. Sorry!

  • To check your balance

Meaning: To check how much credit you have

E.g. One sec. I’ll check my balance.

  • To top up your phone

Meaning: To add credit to your phone

E.g. I need to top up my phone today.

  • To text sby

Meaning: To tend somebody a message

E.g. I’ll text you later. OK?

  • To leave a voicemail

Meaning: To leave a voice message

E.g. I never leave voicemails.

  • To call sby back

Meaning: To return a phone call.

E.g. Call me back when you have time.

  • To pick up

Meaning: To answer a phone call.

E.g. Please pick up the phone!

  • To hang up

Meaning: To end a phone call.

E.g. Ok. I have to hang up now.

  • To hang up on sby

Meaning: To angrily terminate a phone call. 

E.g. Oh my God! She hung up on me!

  • To give sby a missed call

Meaning: To call sby and hang up

E.g. Give me a missed call when you arrive.

  • To have reception

Meaning: To have a good signal.

E.g. I don’t have reception here.

  • To charge your phone

Meaning: To charge your phone battery

E.g. I have to charge my phone.

  • To have low battery

Meaning: When your battery is low.

E.g. I can’t talk. I have low battery.

Important Telephone Words

  • A missed call

Meaning: A call that you didn’t hear/ couldn’t answer

E.g. I have 10 missed calls! Uh-oh!

  • Dead (adj)

Meaning: When your phone has no battery.

E.g. My phone is dead so I can’t call.

  • Engaged (adj)

Meaning: When a phone line is busy

E.g. His phone is always engaged.

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Common Telephone Vocabulary and Phrases in English

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