By Michael Cooper,2014-05-16 04:15
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    Telephone English - Important Phrases

    There are a number of phrases and idioms that are only used when telephoning. Let's first take a look at an example dialogue: Here are the most common:

    ; Operator: Hello, Coco’s Pharmaceutical

    Company. How can I help you?

    ; Peter: This is Peter Jackson. Can I have

    extension 3421 please?

    ; Operator: Certainly, hold on a minute, I'll

    put you through...

    ; Frank: Bob Peterson's office, Frank


    ; Peter: This is Peter Jackson calling, is Bob


    ; Frank: I'm afraid he's out at the moment.

    Can I take a message?

    ; Peter: Yes, Could you ask him to call me

    on 01334 870728, Ext 3467. I need to talk

    to him about the HuaLan product, it's


    ; Frank: Could you repeat the number


    ; Peter: Yes, that's 01334 870728, Ext 3467,

    and this is Peter Jackson.

    ; Frank: Thank you Mr. Jackson, I'll make

    sure Bob gets this ASAP.

    ; Peter: Thanks, bye.

    ; Frank: Bye.

    As you can see, the language is rather informal and there are some important differences to everyday English. Look at the chart below for key language and phrases used in telephone English:

    Introducing yourself:

    This is Ken.

    Ken speaking

    Asking who is on the telephone:

    Excuse me, who is this?

    Can I ask who is calling, please?

    Asking for Someone

    Can I have extension 321? (Extensions are internal

    numbers at a company)

Could I speak to...? ( May I - more formal Can I -

    more informal)

    Is Jack in? (Informal idiom meaning: Is Jack in the


    Connecting Someone

    I'll put you through (put through - phrasal verb

    meaning 'connect')

    Can you hold the line? Can you hold on a


    How to reply when someone is not available

    I'm afraid ... is not available at the moment

    The line is busy... (when the extension requested is

    being used)

    Mr. Jackson isn't in... Mr. Jackson is out at the


    Taking a Message

    Could (Can, May) I take a message?

    Could (Can, May) I tell him who is calling?

    Would you like to leave a message?

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