Telephone call in English

English for Telephone Calls

Nowadays, it’s vital that you express and articulate yourself properly and effectively when making a telephone call.

Telephone conversations always begin with small introductions so make sure you practise the following phrases.

It’s important for the person you are calling to know who you are and where you are calling from.



  1. ‘This is [your name] speaking’
  2. ‘I would like to speak to’…
  3. ‘Could I speak to…please?’
  4. ‘I’m calling from’…
  5. ‘I’m calling on behalf of’…

Need Clarification

Sometimes though, thigs may not be clear enough, you may not be able to hear very well, the line might be bad or the person may be speaking too quickly, causing some confusion. So, the following phrases are important to use:

  1. ‘Could you repeat that please?’
  2. ‘I’m sorry it’s difficult to hear you, the line is really bad’
  3. ‘Would you mind spelling that for me please?’
  4. ‘Could you speak a little more slowly please?’

Asking for More Information

It is quite normal to ask for a detailed or more specific information or to request something, so the English below is essential:

  1. ‘May I speak to someone who’…
  2. ‘Where are you calling from?’
  3. ‘Can I ask, who is speaking please?’
  4. ‘Could you please put me through to…?’
  5. ‘Could I please speak to someone who…?’

Transferring the Call / Putting the Caller on Hold

When transferring someone, or asking them to wait on the line, it is important for them to know what is going to happen, so the sentences below are perfect for this:

  1. ‘Hold the line please’
  2. ‘Just a moment please’
  3. ‘I’ll transfer you now’
  4. ‘Just putting you through now’

Unable to Help the Caller

Sometimes you have to give negative information to the caller for different reasons such as the person they wat to speak to is busy, or you simply are just not able to help them:

  1. ‘I’m sorry but the line is busy’
  2. ‘Could you call back later please?’
  3. ‘I’m afraid he/she is out of the office now’
  4. ‘I’m afraid that [NAME] is busy right now, can I take/leave a message?’
  5. ‘I think you have dialled the wrong number.’
  6. ‘I’m afraid there is nobody here by that that name’

Taking and Leaving a Message

  1. ‘Can I leave a message?’
  2. ‘Can I take your details please?’
  3. ‘Can I please take your name and number?’
  4. ‘Could you ask [NAME] to call me back asap?’
  5. ‘Could you spell that for me please?’


Being polite and formal over the telephone is paramount in professional situations. So always remember to use words such as may, could, would, please, thank you.


Please comment about your experience on the phone at your work

Comment in the comment box below


-Share this page-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit