In this lesson, you will learn common English telephone phrases for different situations. You can see dialogues under many important topics and practice your conversational English. You can use these phrases for daily life, business English and secretary English telephone conversations.
You can also download this lesson as a PDF file.
Receiving communications on your mobile device
That’s my phone.
It’s my ring tone.
I’m being texted.
Do you mind if I take this call?
I need to take this call.
Sorry, do you mind if I take this?
I’ll just be a minute.
I just need to send a reply.
I need to text her back.
Answering the telephone – residential
Hello, Smith residence.
Hello, this is John Jones (speaking).
John Jones, may I help you?
John Jones, may I help you?
John. John, may I help you?
Answering the telephone – business
City Hall. What department please?
Smith Company, may I help you?
Smithco, how may I direct your call?
Making a request
Could you please repeat that?
Would you mind spelling that for me?
Could you speak up a little, please?
Can you speak a little slower, please. My English isn’t very good, I’m afraid.
Could you let me know when she’ll be in the office, please?
Would you mind calling back in an hour? I’m in a meeting just now.
Can you call again? I think we have a bad connection.
Please hold for just a minute. I have another call.
Please don’t call this number again.
Asking whom a telephone caller wants to talk to
Who do you want to talk to?
Who do you want to speak with?
Who do you wish to speak to?
Whom do you wish to speak to?
With whom do you wish to speak? (formal) Do you know her extension?
Screening someone’s telephone calls
May I tell her who’s calling?
May I ask who is calling?
Whom may I say is calling? (formal) Who shall I say is calling?
Whom shall I say is calling? (formal) Who’s calling?
Is she expecting your call?
Connecting or transferring a telephone caller
Do you wish me to page Mrs. Robins?
I will see if she’s in the building.
Let me page her.
Let me connect you with that department.
Putting a telephone caller on hold
He is on another line. Will you hold?
Would you care to hold? (formal) Would you like to hold?
Just a moment, please.
Hold the line. (informal)
Can you hold?
Interrupting a telephone call with other business
Just a moment; I have another call.
Hang on a moment.
to hang on = to wait
Hang on a second.
Taking a call off hold
For whom are you holding? (formal)
Whom are you holding for? (formal)
Who are you holding for?
Who’s on the line?
Are you being helped?
Have you been helped?
May I help you?
Can I help you?
Offering to take a message from a telephone caller
He’s not in; would you like to call back?
She is not available. Can I take a message?
She is away from her desk. Can I take a message?
May I take a message? (formal) Could I take a message?
Could I have someone call you?
Offering to help a telephone caller
Is there anyone else who could help you?
I would be happy to try to answer your question.
Would you care to talk to her secretary?
Could I help you?
Bringing a telephone call to an end
I have to get back to work before the boss sees me.
I have to get back to my work. I will call again later.
There’s someone on the other line. I must say good-bye now.
I really have to go now.
I’ll have to take your number and call you back.
Can I call you back? Something has come up.
Can we continue this later?
My other line is ringing.
The doorbell is ringing.
I’ll call you back.