How To Talk on Telephone In English?

Due to increased usage of telephones now almost everybody is dependant on them. With the advent of cell phones people like to remain in touch with their friends and families all the time. It won't be wrong if we say that telephones have become a most important part of our life.

You may like to consider following phrases :

1. Getting Through

If you are calling a person whom you don't know:
A: Can I speak to (Mr. Shami) please OR
Is (Mr. Shami) there please?
B: Who's calling? OR
May I ask who is calling?
A: Yes, this is Rashid speaking.

Another way to save time is that you give your identification first:

A: Hello, I'm Asad from Apex Digitalz, can I talk to Mr. Shami please?

Now other person is clear that who is calling and he can quickly respond to your question.

2. Leaving & Taking Messages

If the person you are calling is not available then you may like to leave a message:

a. Could I leave a message please?
b. Will you (please) inform him about my call?
c. Please tell him to call back me.
d. Could you ask him to call me back?
e. Could you ask him to return my call?
If you are the receiver of the call:
a. Would you like to leave a message?
b. I'm afraid Mr. Shami is not available/is sick/in a meeting, do you like to drop any message for him.

3. Social Talk

If the person you are calling or receiving a call from is known to you then of course your conversation will be somewhat informal:

A: Hello, this is Rashid, how are you?
B: Fine and yourself OR fine that you.
A: .......Well/anyway/right, ......I'm calling you because/for.......

It is absolutely wrong to get frank straightway even if the other person is known to you. Maybe he is busy and couldn't recognize your voice. Always give your name first and never leave it on his imagination. Usually you hear people starting their conversation on cell phones with, 'how are you', kia haal hai, pehchana hai?. If the other person says no then they feel bad. So always give your name first to avoid such frustration.

4. If You Can't Hear Properly

a. I'm sorry, I didn't get that.......
b. I'm sorry; I can't hear you very well........
c. I'm afraid I don't follow you..........
d. Could you repeat it please?.........
e. I couldn't understand, would you say it again?.............
f. I'm sorry, the line is bad, could you repeat please?....
g. Sorry, could you speak slowly please?...........
5. Ending Telephone Conversation
a. Okay thanks, I think everything is clear to you......
b. Right, I think I got all the details..............
c. So thank you, I'll see you soon...........
d. Thank you very much for your help, bye........

Note: Expressions from the lesson 'Saying Good Bye' can be used here.


a. Think about what you want to say before calling someone.
b. Try to speak clearly and slowly so that others can understand you properly.
c. Don't be afraid to ask your caller to repeat if you can't understand.
d. Try to make your conversation as short as possible, longer conversations may disturb others.
e. To the point, short and clear telephonic conversations are liked by everybody.


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