Business Phone Calls in English

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How to lead a phone call in English and what phrases to use? Lets sort them according to the situation they relate to.

ANSWERING THE PHONE

Introducing yourself

  • Jim Pearson
  • Lucy speaking.
  • This is Michael.
  • Hello, Finance Department, Eva speaking.
  • Good morning. National Theatre. Ali speaking.

Getting info about the caller

  • Who’s calling?

Getting the reason for the call

  • How can I help you?

Connecting people

  • I’ll put you through.
  • Can you hold on a moment?
  • Just a moment.
  • The line is engaged.
  • I had best directly connect you with…

Person not available

  • I am afraid his line is engaged.
  • I’m afraid he is not available at the moment.
  • Mrs Roberts is not in at the moment.

Taking the message

  • Can I take a message?

Ending a conversation

  • Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • Thank you for calling.

MAKING A PHONE CALL

Introduce yourself

  • It’s Mrs Scheider.

Wrong number

  • Hello is that Sarah Greenwood?

Ask to speak to someone

  • Could I speak to Mr Turner, please?
  • May I speak to Mr Turner, please?
  • Can I speak with Mr Turner, please?
  • May I help you?

Say the reason for the call

  • Mr Johnson rang me this morning, and I was asked to call him back.
  • I’m phoning to…

Leaving a message

  • Can I leave a message?
  • Could you ask him to call me?

Thanks and farewells

  • Thank you ever so much.
  • It’s been most kind of you to help me.

PROBLEMS WITH PHONE CALLS

We don’t understand or hear the other person

  • Could you speak a little slower, please?
  • Would you mind saying it again?
  • I am sorry I can’t hear you.
Clark: Good morning. Train Technology. Clark Gable speaking.
Pavla: It’s Pavla. Could I speak to Albert Cleese?
Clark: I’m sorry. He’s having a meeting and I can’t disturb him. Can I connect you with his colleague Mr Lorenc?
Pavla: No, thanks. When will be Mr Cleese available?
Clark: I’m not sure. They’ve just begun.
Pavla. OK. Could you ask him to call me?
Clark: Can I take your number?
Pavla: My phone number is 405 102 021. I need him to call me as soon as possible.
Clark: I’ll tell him.
Pavla: OK, fine. Well thanks. Goodbye.
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Gabriela Kašparová
Lector and language consultant. Studied English at the Faculty of Education. Having worked as an English tutor at nursery school, she got experience with working with children with learning disability. During her 8-year experience with teaching adults she has implemented her findings from learning children and has created simple and transparent explanations of complicated grammar features. Teaching both children and adults, she keeps encouraging them not to fear a foreign language and to learn with pleasure.

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