Making a phone call in a language that is not your mother tongue can be quite nerve-racking! For this month's newsletter, we'll look some phrases that are commonly used in both formal and informal phone conversations.
People generally answer the phone “Hello?” on their private line, with “[Last name] residence” on a family home phone number, or more formally by using the word “speaking.”
Hi, this is the Irish Press, Daniel speaking.
Caption 44, Business English: Starting on a new job
When you make a call, you will first need to introduce yourself.
Hello, this is Daniel. -Hi Daniel, this is Julia from Phonez and More.
Caption 10, Business English: Difficulties with coworkers and contracts
Uh, hi, Jonathan. It's Julia Smith for the marketing department interview.
Caption 7, Business English: The job interview
You might then need to ask if the person you want to speak to is available. The informal version is “Is [name] there?”, but for formal calls it’s better to use the following:
May I please speak to Daniel in advertising sales?
Caption 9, Business English: Difficulties with coworkers and contracts
Sometimes you might want to state the purpose of your call right away, so that the person answering can re-direct your call to someone who can help you.
The formal way to conclude a phone conversation might involve thanking the person or setting up a next time to talk.
Have a good day and I'll talk to you soon. 'Bye. -Goodbye.
Caption 56, Business English: Difficulties with coworkers and contracts
Of course, between friends, even if they are cartoon characters, much more informal goodbyes are possible:
I'll talk to ya later, Mick. I gotta go.
Caption 32, A Mickey Mouse Cartoon: Goofy's Grandma
Watch the business English videos linked above on Yabla English to hear the sentences in the full context of a formal conversation. This helpful webpage provides additional telephone conversations with both audio and a transcription available.