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This topic will get you some Telephoning phrases

This overview of telephoning phrases can help you to improve your overall telephoning style.

Remember to speak slowly and to take your time. It can also help to write down what you want to say before you make the call and don’t be afraid to ask the other person to repeat themsleves or to slow down if you don’t understand something.

Don’t worry about making mistakes – a slight accent and a few grammar errors can be charming!


Starting a telephone conversation

taking a call

tolingo translations, Sarah Martin speaking, how can I help you?
(Company name) (your name) speaking, how can I help you?
tolingo translations, Sarah Martin speaking.
(Company name) (Your name) speaking.
Hello, tolingo translations, Sarah Martin speaking.
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon (Company name) (your name)

making a call

Hello, this is (your name) from (company).      formal
Hello, this is Ross Smith from tolingo translations.      
Hi, it’s Sarah Walters from tolingo translations.      friendly
Hi, it’s Sarah      very familiar, more suitable for personal conversations

asking for somebody
May I speak to (name) please?      formal
Please could I speak to (name)?      
I’d like to speak to Mr Green, please.      
Is Fred there?      very familiar
Can I speak to Fred please?

answering the phone and confirming that you are speaking.

e.g. Hello is that Fred Barber? yes, speaking.

reasons for calling

I am calling about…
I’m calling to…
could you tell me…
I was wondering if you could tell me…
Could you tell me…
I was wondering if you could help me, I have (a problem) (a question)
I need…
I just wanted to ask…
Just a quick question…
Just a quick word…
Just a quick one…

small talk

Hi Fred, How are you?
It’s nice to hear from you.
How are things?
How did you get on with…?
How are you getting on with…?
How was the…
How are you getting on with…?

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Asking to be called back, leaving or taking a message
taking a message

I’m sorry but Fred isn’t at his desk right now, can I take a message?
Mr Green is in a meeting, would you like me to take a message?
I’m afraid Ms Jackson is away this week, would you like to leave a message?
He/She is unavailable at the moment, can I take a message?

asking the caller to call back

I’m afraid she is busy right now, would you mind calling back later?

asking to leave a message

Would you mind taking a message?
I’d like to leave (him/her) a message.

leaving a message

Please tell (name) that…
Please let (name) know that…
(I called) (I need to discuss X with (him/her)
(I’d like to re-arrange x)
Please ask (him/her) to call me back.
Please ask him her/him to contact me about….
My telephone/mobile number is…

passing on the message

I will tell him/her you called
I will pass that on to him/her
I will let him/her know
I’ll make sure he/she gets your message

calling back

Ok I’ll call back later
Ok I’ll try again tomorrow/later



Could you spell that please?
How do you spell that, please?
I’m sorry I didn’t catch that.
I’m sorry, could you repeat that please?
I’m sorry, I can’t hear you, could you please speak up a little?
Would you mind speaking a little slower?
asking for the name/company
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.
Could you please repeat you name?
What was the name of the company please?
Can I just check your name? I’ll spell it.
asking when somebody is available
When will he be back/available?
When is a good time to call?
asking somebody if they can call back later
I’m a little busy at the moment, would you mind calling me back later?
I’m afraid I can’t talk right now, would you please call me back later?
Could I call you back later? I’m a bit tied up right now.

connecting the caller and asking to be connected

asking someone to hold
Wait a moment please.
I’ll just put you on hold for moment.
asking to be connected
Could you please put me through to (Fred Samson) (the sales department)?
Could you please connect me with (the finance department) (Ms Louis)
connecting someone
Just a moment, I’ll put you through
One moment please, I’ll connect you
saying the line is busy
I’m afraid the line is busy
I’m afraid his phone is engaged.


ending the call
Give my regards to…
Thank you very much for your help
Thanks for calling
Thank you for calling
It was great to hear from you
Speak to you soon
Take care, bye bye
Thank you for your time
Cheers, then bye
Cheers, then bye

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