When it comes to learning English or any other language, a strong vocabulary and good sense of grammar are important. The best way to learn is to speak to other English speakers and observe how they use phrases and sentences. Learn to listen and listen to learn. To get a good understanding of the language, you must understand formal and informal speech and how it is used in different types of conversations. This is important, especially over the phone, because you cannot see the other person and vice versa.
A larger vocabulary means that you will have more expressions to work with. This will make your conversations more interesting and will let you express yourself clearly. Expressing yourself clearly is important to convey the exact meaning of what you are trying to say. Non-native speakers of English face the problem of a loss in translation. This is because they think in another language while speaking in English. To overcome this problem, it is important to think in English as well as be able to understand what others are saying.
Phrases that can be used in telephone conversations
While speaking on the phone, there are some common phrases and expressions that you can use to initiate conversations. Learning these simple expressions and applying them will make your phone conversations easier. You’ll find that speaking in English is not as difficult as it seems!
If you are introducing yourself informally, with say friends or family, you can say the following.
“Hello! This is Joe.”
If you wish to use a more formal way of introducing yourself, it is common to include your full name.
“Hello, this is Joseph Smith.”
“Joseph Smith speaking.”
If you are answering the phone for a business or a company, you can use the following phrases.
“Good morning, this is the Smith Company. How may I help you?”
“Smith Trading Company, my name is Joe. How may I assist you?”
Asking who is on the other line
Sometimes, you might have to ask who is speaking on the other line. Because you do not know who it is, it is best to be formal and ask them politely.
“May I know who’s calling, please?”
“Who might I say is calling?”
Asking how they are
A polite way of starting a conversation is trying to find out how the other person is. It shows that you are interested in them. Informally, you can do so like this.
“Hey Sally! How have you been?”
“So nice to hear from you Sally! How are you?”
If it is a business or work related call, you can use a more formal approach.
“Hello Mr. Dawkins. How are things with you?”
“Always a pleasure speaking to you, Mr. Dawkins. How is everything?”
Asking to speak to someone
Sometimes, the person who answers the call may not be the person you wish to speak to. In such cases, you must ask for the person you want. Informally, you can do so like this.
“Hi! Is Sally there?”
“Can I speak to Joe? Tell him Sally’s calling.”
If it is a more phone conversation, you can use the following. Remember that in the case of formal conversations, it is best to use your full name or your last name.
“Good morning, may I speak with Mr. Dawkins please? This is Joseph Smith.”
“Hello, is Mr. Dawkins available? Joseph Smith speaking.”
“Could you connect me to extension 349, please?”
Making a request
Sometimes, you might have to make a request of some sort. For example, asking someone to repeat something or getting an answer to a query. In such cases, you can use the following expressions.
“I’m sorry, my English is not very good. Could you repeat that, please?”
“May I know when Mr. Dawkins will be in?”
“Can you please let me know by when my order will be done?”
“Do you mind if I call you back by 4? I’m in a meeting right now.”
“Can you please pass this message over to Mr. Smith?”
Often, you will have to write messages to be passed on to other people. Some common phrases can be used if that is the case.
“I’m afraid Mr. Dawkins is not in at the moment. Can I take a message?”
“Would you like to leave a message?”
If you are taking down a message from a friend or family member, you can use a more informal approach.
“Joe’s not here right now, would you like to me tell him something?”
“I’ll ask him to call you back.”
Ending the conversation
Ending a conversation is as important as introducing yourself. Because you are on the phone, it is a less intimate means of communication and you must sound polite and approachable. In an informal conversation, you can use these phrases.
“I guess I’ve got to go now. Let’s speak soon.”
“Bye Sally, take care of yourself! I’ll see you soon.”
If you are putting an end to a formal conversation, you can use the following.
“Thank you for your call, Mr. Smith. It was a pleasure speaking with you.”
“Goodbye Mr. Dawkins. We look forward to working with you.”
By using these common phrases correctly, you will find that you can have proper conversations with all kinds of people. As you speak more and more, you will increase your vocabulary and use of grammar. This will make it easier for you to express yourself in the most efficient way possible. Remember that it is important that the meaning of what you are trying to say is expressed well by you and understood well by the other person.
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