Talking on the Phone: 35+ Useful Phrases for Speaking on the Phone

Talking on the phone can be intimidating, especially if English is not your first language. However, it is an essential skill for both personal and professional communication. In this article, we will share some useful phrases for talking on the phone in English.

Whether you are making a business call or catching up with a friend, knowing the right phrases can help you communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings. We will cover both formal and informal phrases, as well as common expressions for starting and ending a conversation.

Useful Phrases for Talking on the Phone

Here are some of the common phrases used when telephoning in English including answering, transferring calls, and taking a message.

Talking on the Phone

Formal Phrases

Here are some common phrases that can be useful when speaking politely on the telephone:

  • Good morning.
  • Could you hold on a moment, please?
  • I’m sorry, she is out of the Office today.
  • Thank you for calling.
  • May I ask who is calling, please?
  • I’m trying to contact, please wait…
  • I’m afraid my English not good, please…
  • I’m afraid he’s in a meeting.
  • He’s free in the afternoon after about two.
  • I would like to make a reservation, please.
  • Excuse me, who is this?
  • May I speak to…?
  • I’m afraid she is not available at the moment.
  • May I take a message?
  • Would you like to leave a message?
  • I’d like to talk to…
  • Can I put you on hold for a moment, please?
  • Would you mind holding for just a moment?
  • Would you like me to connect you to his voicemail?

When talking on the phone in a formal setting, it’s important to use professional and polite language. It’s good to apologize if necessary and be patient when the caller is asking or providing information. Be attentive and take notes if necessary. Remember to always thank the caller for their call and be sure to follow up with them if you said you would.

Informal Phrases

  • Is … there?
  • This is Harry.
  • Hello, Ken speaking.
  • Hello, George’s phone.
  • Who is it?
  • I’II ask her to ring you when she gets back.
  • Hang on a second.
  • I can’t hear you very well.
  • Who’s calling, please?
  • I’II let him/ her know that you rang.
  • Just a minute!
  • Okay, wait a moment, please.
  • Speak to you again soon.
  • I’ll put you through.
  • Is … free?
  • Is …available?
  • Can I talk to …?
  • Hold on a sec.
  • Just a moment.

It’s important to note that the informal approach may not be appropriate in all situations, such as in a professional or business setting. Also, it’s important to be aware of the relationship you have with the person you are calling, as some might appreciate a more casual approach while others may prefer a more formal one.

When using informal language, it’s important to use a friendly tone and to be respectful of the person you are speaking with. Also, you still should ask for and give information clearly. Just make sure that you are adapting to the situation, person, and context you are in.

Introducing Yourself

Here are some phrases you can use when introducing yourself when speaking on the telephone:

  • Hi, my name is … and I’m calling from …
  • Good morning/afternoon, this is …, how may I assist you?
  • Hello, this is …. May I speak with …?
  • I hope you’re doing well today. My name is …, who am I speaking with, please?
  • My name is …, and I’m the … of … How may I help you today?
  • This is … speaking, how can I help you?
  • Hi, my name is …, I’m calling to follow up on [Reason for call]
  • Hello, I’m …, how can I assist you?
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When introducing yourself on the phone, it’s important to be clear and confident in your greeting. Also, mention your company and the role you play in it if it’s relevant to the call. Remember that a friendly and professional tone can help to build rapport with the person you are speaking with.

Asking to Speak with Someone

Here are some phrases you can use when asking to speak with someone when talking on the telephone:

  • May I speak with … please?
  • I’d like to speak with …, is he/she available?
  • Could you connect me with …, please?
  • I’m trying to reach …, could you tell me if he/she is available?
  • Could you please transfer my call to …?
  • I’m interested in speaking with… Is he/she available at the moment?
  • I’m trying to get ahold of …, could you tell me if they are in?
  • I would like to speak with …. Can you please put me through to their extension/line?

When asking to speak with someone on the phone, it’s important to be clear and specific about who you are looking to speak with. Be polite and make sure to confirm if the person is available or not, if not you can leave a message for them or ask for a time that you can call back. Also, don’t forget to ask for the correct spelling of the name if you are unsure of the exact spelling.

Connecting Someone

Here are some phrases you can use when connecting someone when speaking on the phone:

  • Can you please hold while I transfer you to …?
  • Let me connect you with … One moment, please.
  • I’ll put you through to … Please hold.
  • I’ll pass you over to … Please hold while I make the connection.
  • I’ll connect you with … Just a moment.
  • I’ll transfer the call to … Please bear with me.
  • I’ll put you in touch with … Please hold.
  • I’ll connect you with … right away. Can you hold for just a moment?

When connecting someone on the phone, it’s important to be clear and polite. Inform the caller that you are transferring their call and make sure to do it in a timely manner. Also, check if the person is available or has a moment to take the call before you transfer the call. And, make sure to check if the call was transferred correctly by asking both sides.

Making a Request

Here are some phrases you can use when making a request when speaking on the phone:

  • I was wondering if you could [request]
  • Could you please [request]?
  • I was hoping you could help me with [request]
  • I was hoping to request [request]
  • Can you [request] for me?
  • I would greatly appreciate it if you could [request]
  • Is it possible for you to [request]?
  • I was inquiring about the possibility of [request]

When making a request over the phone, it’s important to be clear and specific about what you are asking for. Avoid being vague or overly general. Also, try to be polite and considerate, using words like “please” and “thank you”. Additionally, you should make an effort to understand the other person’s perspective and position, while also being respectful of their time and responsibilities. And be sure to listen to their answer or potential counter-offer and respond to it appropriately.

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Taking a Message

Here are some phrases you can use when taking a message when speaking on the phone:

  • Can I take a message for you?
  • I’d be happy to take a message for you, who should I say is calling?
  • What’s the name of the person you’re trying to reach?
  • Can you please leave your name and number and a brief message and I’ll make sure they get it?
  • Can you tell me what this call is regarding, I’ll make sure they get the message.
  • I’m sorry they’re not available. Can I have your name and phone number and I’ll pass the message along?
  • I’ll let them know you called and take a message, what would you like me to tell them?
  • I apologize for any inconvenience, I’ll make sure to pass the message along, who would you like me to say is calling?
  • They are not able to answer the phone at the moment, can you please leave a message including your name and number, and I will make sure they get back to you as soon as they can?
  • I’ll let them know you called and take a message, could you please provide me your name and phone number so they can reach back to you?

When taking a message for someone on the phone, it’s important to be clear and attentive, making sure to get all the relevant information such as the caller’s name, phone number, message, and reason for calling. Also, it’s good to confirm the spelling of names or other important information, and let the person know when the message will be passed along to the intended recipient.

Leaving a Message

Here are some phrases you can use when leaving a message when speaking on the phone:

  • Could you please leave a message after the beep?
  • Would you mind giving … a message?
  • Could you tell … called?
  • Please leave a message, and I’ll make sure they receive it.
  • I don’t think he has my number. Do you have a pen handy?
  • Can I leave a message?
  • Please leave your name, number, and a brief message, and they will return your call as soon as possible.

When leaving a message on the phone, it’s important to clearly state who you are and the reason for the call, in addition to providing your contact information. It’s also important to be polite and professional. Additionally, you should inform the caller when they can expect a return call or when the message will be passed along, if possible.

Confirming a Message

Here are some phrases you can use when confirming a message when speaking on the phone:

  • I understand, thank you for the information.
  • Got it, I’ll take care of that.
  • Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
  • I appreciate you letting me know.
  • I’ll make sure to take care of that right away.
  • I confirm that I received your message and will take appropriate action.
  • I received your message, thanks for letting me know.
  • I just wanted to confirm that I understand your request.
  • Thanks for the update, I’ll follow up on that.
  • Just to clarify, you’re asking me to [repeat request].
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It’s important to confirm a message when speaking on the phone to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what the other person is saying, and to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

Ending a Conversation

Here are a few phrases you can use to end a conversation when speaking on the phone:

  • It was nice talking to you. Have a good day.
  • I need to go now, but it was great chatting with you.
  • I have to run, but let’s catch up again soon.
  • Thanks for taking the time to talk, I’ll speak with you soon.
  • It’s been a pleasure talking with you, have a good rest of your day.
  • I have to get back to my task. Let’s talk later.
  • I’ll let you go now. Talk to you soon.
  • We should wrap up for now, take care.
  • It was a great conversation, I’ll talk to you later.
  • I’m glad we were able to chat, have a great day.

It’s always polite to thank the person for calling and to express your desire to talk again in the future. That way, the conversation ends on a positive note and leaves the door open for future communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you answer the phone professionally?

Answering the phone professionally is crucial in leaving a good impression on the person on the other end of the line. To answer the phone professionally, start with a greeting such as “Hello” or “Good morning/afternoon/evening”. Then, state the name of yourself and/or your organization. For example, “This is John from ABC Company. How may I assist you?”

What are some common phrases used to start a phone conversation?

Starting a phone conversation with a friendly and professional tone can set the tone for the rest of the call. Some common phrases to start a phone conversation include “Hi, how are you doing today?” or “Good morning/afternoon/evening, thank you for calling ABC Company. How may I assist you?”

How do you politely ask to speak to someone on the phone?

Asking to speak to someone on the phone politely is important to show respect and professionalism. Start with a greeting and then ask to speak to the person you wish to talk to. For example, “Hello, may I please speak to Jane Smith?” or “Good morning, could I be connected to the sales department please?”

What are some phrases you can use to ask for clarification during a phone call?

Asking for clarification during a phone call can help avoid misunderstandings. Some phrases you can use to ask for clarification include “I’m sorry, could you please repeat that?” or “Could you please explain that in more detail?”

How do you end a phone conversation politely?

Ending a phone conversation politely is just as important as starting it. Some common phrases to end a phone conversation politely include “Thank you for calling. Have a great day!” or “It was nice speaking with you. Goodbye!”

What are some phrases you can use to apologize for any inconvenience during a phone call?

Apologizing for any inconvenience during a phone call shows empathy and professionalism. Some phrases you can use include “I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused” or “I’m sorry for the trouble. Let me see what I can do to help.”

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

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