Talking to someone on the phone
"Hello? Who is speaking?" That's what you might be hearing from the other side of the line when a phone call is commenced in English. A non-native speaker might quickly start stuttering and lose himself in intricate explanations and paraphrases during the conversation.
In the following, some helpful exemplary dialogues as well as basic idioms for phone calls are given.
Mary is calling her friend Michael. Since he's not home, his brother Tom is answering the phone.
Hello, Tom speaking.
Hi Tom, this is Mary. Is your brother in?
No, he’s at the cinema. Can I take a message?
Yes, could you tell him to call me back, please?
Making a business call
Gerhard Maier is calling Mr. Brown's office. Since he's not in, Robert Smith is answering the call.
Good morning. Robert Smith speaking.
Good morning. This is Gerhard Maier. I would like to speak to Mr. Brown.
Oh, sorry. Mr. Brown is not here, yet.
Can you tell me when he will be in?
Probably around 4 pm.
Alright, I will call again later then. Thank you.
You’re welcome. Bye.
Additional helpful phrases
Making an emergency call
Difficulties of understanding
You can find further important phrases for talking on the phone as well as useful tips for preparing a phone call in the Short Guide Telephoning of the University of Leipzig.