Important Vocabulary and Phrases for English Telephone Conversations

Phone Conversation: Most Commonly Used English Phrases on the Phone...


1. Vocabulary: Phones

  • Telephone/ phone

E.g. The telephone rang and interrupted my train of thought.

  • Cordless telephone

(A cordless telephone or portable telephone is a telephone in which the handset is portable and communicates with the body of the phone by radio, instead of being attached by a cord.)

  • Cell phone/ mobile

E.g. I talked to her on my cell phone.

  • Phone box

E.g. When the car broke down, I walked to the nearest phone box to call the garage.

  • Payphone

E.g. There's a public payphone in reception.

  • Top up card

E.g. He'll be able to buy all the penny chews and mobile phone top-up cards he wants.

  • Landline

E.g. Landline phones are an open channel.

  • Phone book

E.g. I picked up the phone book and glanced through it.

2. Vocabulary: Making a telephone call

  • To call

E.g. I'll call a taxi for you.

  • To phone

E.g. He phoned to invite me out for dinner.

  • To make a phone call

E.g. I'll just make a phone call while you finish the dishes.

  • To ring

E.g. I'll ring you up later.

  • To dial the number

E.g. You grab the phone and dial the number to your office.

  • To dial a wrong number

E.g. Today, though, I got a wrong number call, and I said (nicely) "I'm sorry, you have the wrong number

  • To pick up the phone

E.g. I went to pick up the phone/receiver, but it had stopped ringing.

  • To hang up

E.g. It's no use. Let's hang up and try for a better line.

  • To call back

E.g. I'll call back at a more convenient time.

  • To answer

E.g. I went downstairs to answer the phone.

  • To send a text message

E.g. If the software detects unusual activity on an account, it will send a text message to the mobile phone.

  • To text

E.g. Text me when you're on your way.

3. Useful vocabulary

- Line

- Engaged/busy

- Out of order

- Reverse-charge call

- Long distance call

- Local call

- National call

- International call

- Dialing code

- Number

- Wrong number

- Speed dial

- Enquiries

- Message

- Operator

- Answering machine

4. Phrases on the Phone

- David speaking!

- Excuse me, who’s speaking (Calling)?

- Could you put me through to Jane?

- Could I speak (I’d like to speak) to Jane?

- I can’t get through to Janes office.

- Where can I reach her?

- Sorry! I’ve got a wrong number/

- Can I leave a message?

- Can you hold the line?

- Hold the line/ Hold on.

- We were/ got cut off.

- I can’t get a signal here.

- My number is one four two nine six five…

5. English Telephone Conversations

FORMAL

  • Good Morning
  • This is … speaking
  • Could I speak to...please?
  • I’m trying to contact…
  • I’m calling on behalf of…
  • …speaking, how may I help you?
  • May I ask who’s calling, please?
  • Could I speak to someone who…?
  • I would like to make a reservation please
  • Could you hold on a moment, please
  • I’m sorry, he’s out of the office today
  • I’m afraid my English isn’t very strong, could you speak slowly please?
  • Can I leave a message please?
  • Thank you for calling

INFORMAL

  • Hi, it’s…here
  • Is…there?
  • I’m in the post office at the moment, and I just needed…
  • Hello, John’s phone
  • Who is it?
  • Just a minute
  • Okay, wait a moment please
  • …is out at the moment
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch that
  • I can’t hear you very well
  • I’ll ask him to ring you when…gets back
  • I’ll let…know that you rang
  • Bye
  • Talk soon
  • Speak to you again soon

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