Lesson 1 – Telephone English Phrases

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Lesson 1 – Telephone English PhrasesFirst let's learn some essential telephone vocabulary, and then you’ll hear examplesof formal and informal telephone conversations.There are different types of phones: cell phones or mobile phones(a cell phone with more advanced capabilities is called a smartphone) pay phones or public phones the regular telephone you have in your house is called a landline - todifferentiate it from a cell phone. The phone on the right is called a cordlessphone because it is not connected by a cord.www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

When someone calls you, the phone makes a sound – we say the phone is ringing. Ifyou're available, you pick up the telephone or answer the telephone, in order totalk to the person.If there's nobody to answer the phone, then the caller will have to leave a messageon an answering machine or voicemail. Later, you can call back or return thecall.When you want to make a phone call, you start by dialing the number. Let'simagine that you call your friend, but she's already on the phone with someone else.You'll hear a busy signal - a beeping sound that tells you the other person iscurrently using the phone.Sometimes, when you call a company, they put you on hold. This is when you waitfor your call to be answered - usually while listening to music.Finally, when you're finished with the conversation, you hang up.Now you know the basic telephone vocabulary. In the next part of the lesson, you’regoing to hear some conversations to learn some useful English phrases for talkingon the phone.#1 – Formal Telephone ConversationHelen: Midtown Computer Solutions, Helen speaking. How can I help you?Ryan: Hello, this is Ryan Bardos. May I speak with Natalie Jones, please?Helen: One moment please - I'll put you through.Helen: Mr. Bardos? I'm sorry, Natalie's in a meeting at the moment. Would you liketo leave a message?Ryan: Yes, could you ask her to call me back as soon as possible? It's pretty urgent.Helen: Of course. Does she have your number?Ryan: She has my office number, but let me also give you my cell - it's 472-5558901.Helen: Let me read that back to you - 472-555-8901.www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

Ryan: That's right.Helen: And could you spell your last name for me?Ryan: B as in Boston - A - R - D as in dog - O - S as in SeptemberHelen: Okay, Mr. Bardos. I'll give her the message.Ryan: Thanks a lot. Bye.Now let’s listen to the second part of the conversation, when Natalie calls Ryanback.Ryan: Hello?Natalie: Hi, Ryan, this is Natalie returning your call.Ryan: Hi Natalie, thanks for getting back to me. I was calling about the shipment ofkeyboards for our office - we haven't gotten them yet.Natalie: Oh, that's not good - they were supposed to be delivered three days ago.Ryan: Exactly, and we have a new group of employees starting on Monday, so wereally need those keyboards as soon as possible.Natalie: Okay, I'll look into it right away - if necessary, we can send you anemergency overnight shipment.Ryan: Thanks, Natalie, I appreciate it.Natalie: No problem, Ryan. I'll call you back a little later, as soon as I have moreinformation.Ryan: Sounds good – talk to you soon.Natalie: Bye.Telephone English Phrases – Formal ConversationFrom these conversations, we can learn phrases for beginning a phone call, takingand leaving messages, checking and clarifying information, and finishing a phonecall.www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

BEGINNING A CALLWhen Helen answers the phone, she says, "Midtown Computer Solutions, Helenspeaking. How can I help you?" This is a common way for a receptionist at acompany or organization to answer the phone. Here are a couple alternatives: "Thank you for calling Midtown Computer Solutions. How may I directyour call?" "Midtown Computer Solutions - good afternoon."To introduce yourself, you can say: "Hello, this is." and if you want, you can addyour company name: "Hello, this is Ryan Bardos." "Hello, this is Ryan Bardos from Paramount Publishing."Then, ask to speak to somebody by using the phrases "May I speak with.?" "Could I speak with.?"You can also add the phrase “I’m calling about ” or "I'm calling to." in order to givea reason for your call. Use “I'm calling about.” to introduce a topic, and "I'm callingto " to introduce an action: "I'm calling about the job opening I saw in the newspaper." "I'm calling to register for the upcoming conference."To connect or transfer the call, the receptionist says, "One moment please - I'll putyou through." A few other phrases for transferring a call are: “Please hold.” “I'll transfer you.” “May I ask who's calling?” / “Who’s calling, please?”If you forgot to identify yourself at the beginning of the call, the receptionist willsometimes use this phrase to ask for your name.www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

TAKING / LEAVING MESSAGESUnfortunately the person Ryan wants to speak to is not available, and thereceptionist says, "I'm sorry, Natalie's in a meeting at the moment." Here are someadditional phrases to use when another person can't answer a telephone call: “I'm sorry, she's on another call.”“I'm sorry, Natalie has left for the day.”“I'm sorry, Natalie's not in her office right now.”“I'm sorry, she's out of town at the moment.”“I'm sorry, she's not available at the moment.”Then, there are two common phrases that are used for offering to take a message: “Would you like to leave a message?” “Can I take a message?”If you don’t want to leave a message, you can say: “No thanks, I’ll call back later.”There are two polite ways to leave a message. You can make a statement startingwith “Please” or a question starting with "Could you " - usually followed by theverbs ask, tell, or remind and then “him” (if the message is for a man) or “her” (ifthe message is for a woman). “Could you ask her to call me back?”“Please ask him to call me back.”“Please tell him/her that the documents are ready.”“Please remind him/her that he/she has a dentist appointment tomorrow.”CLARIFYING/CONFIRMING INFORMATIONWhile taking the message, the receptionist used two phrases for checking andconfirming information: “Let me read that back to you.” “Could you spell your last name for me?”www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

The verb “spell” means to say the letters of the word. Ryan replies: “B as in Boston - A - R - D as in dog - O - S as in September.”It’s common to use phrases like “B as in Boston” and “S as in September” with lettersthat can be frequently confused with others, such as B and D, S and F, or M and N.FINISHING A CALLWhen you want to finish the conversation, you can use “signal phrases” – these arephrases indicating that the conversation is coming to an end: “Well, it was nice talking with you.” “Thanks for calling.” “Anyway I should let you go / I should get going.”If you want to promise future contact, you can use one of the phrases from thesecond conversation: “I'll get in touch in a couple of days.”(get in touch contact you) "I'll call you back a little later" “Talk to you soon.”Then you can finish the conversation with one of these “final phrases”: “Bye.” “Take care.” “Have a nice day.”Response: “You too. Bye.”#2 – Informal Telephone ConversationLet’s listen to an informal telephone conversation, after Ryan gets home from work.Linda: Hello?Ryan: Hi Linda, it's Ryan. How's it going?Linda: Pretty good, thanks. How about you?www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

Ryan: I’m fine. Sure glad it’s Friday. Hey, is Peter there?Linda: Yeah, hold on, I’ll get him. Peter! Ryan’s on the phone.Peter: Hey Ryan, what’s up?Ryan: Not much. Are you up for going fishing this weekend?Peter: What? There’s a lot of background noise – I can barely hear you.Ryan: Sorry about that – I’m at the train station. I was wondering if you wanted togo fishing this weekend. I’m heading up to Mountain Lake with some friends earlytomorrow morning.Peter: Uh, hang on a sec, let me just check with my wife to make sure we have noother plans.Ryan: Sure.Peter: Okay, she’s given me the green light!Ryan: Sweet! We’ll pick you up at 6 tomorrow morning, is that OK?Peter: Yup. Do you need directions to my place?Ryan: Uh, you still living on Willow Street, near the community center?Peter: Yeah, that’s right. The yellow house, number 30.Ryan: Gotcha. I know how to get there.Peter: All right – see you tomorrow, then.Ryan: Take care.Peter: Bye.Telephone English Phrases – Informal ConversationLet’s learn some of the different phrases used in an informal telephoneconversation. In informal phone calls, most people answer the phone by saying"Hello?" and the introduction is also different:www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

Formal: "Hello, this is ." Informal: "Hi / Hey , it's ."We see two different greetings in this conversation: "How's it going?" and "What'sup?" These greetings require different answers. You can answer “How’s it going?”(or the similar question “How are you doing?”) with: “Great!” “Pretty good, thanks.” “Not so good.”And the typical answers to "What's up?" are: “Not much.” “Nothing much.”The phrase "How about you?" is used to ask the same question to the other person.Notice that it is spoken like this: "Howbout you?"In the formal conversation, Ryan used the phrase “May I speak with ” – but in aninformal conversation, you can use these phrases: "Is Peter there?" "Is Peter around?" “Can I talk to Peter?”If the person is not available, some informal responses are: "Sorry - he's not home right now.""He's not here.""He's still at work.""He's at the gym."This conversation also contains some expressions for asking someone to wait: "Hold on." "Hang on a sec." “Just a minute” / “Just a sec”www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

The formal equivalent of these phrases would be "One moment please" or "Pleasehold."At one point, Peter can't hear or understand Ryan. Here are some phrases to use ifyou’re having difficulty hearing the other person on the phone. "There's a lot of background noise - I can barely hear you." “You’re breaking up. Could you call me back?”(breaking up you can only hear parts of what the other person is saying) “We have a bad connection.” “Sorry – I didn’t catch what you just said.” “Could you speak a little louder?”(say this if the person is speaking too quietly) “Could you speak a little more slowly?”(say this if the person is speaking too fast) “What did you say?” (informal) “Could you repeat that?” / “Could you say that again?” (more formal)If the bad connection causes the call to fail, you can call the other person back andsay this: “Hi, it’s Ryan again. Apparently we got cut off.”“Cut off” is a phrasal verb that means the call failed or disconnected.Towards the end of the conversation, Ryan uses the expression "Gotcha" - this is avery informal phrase that means "I understand." Another option is "Got it." or"Right."Now, take the quiz to test your memory of the telephone phrases from this lesson.www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

Quiz – Lesson 11) "Greentree Financial Services. How may I your call?A. connectB. directC. hold2) "I'm calling a problem with a product I bought yesterday."A. aboutB. toC. with3) "I'm sorry, John's not in his office right now. Would you like to amessage?"A. giveB. haveC. leave4) "May I speak with Mrs. Black?""Yes, of course. Please ."A. hangB. holdC. pause5) "I'm sorry, the director has for the day. You can call back in the morning."A. leftB. outC. went6) " , I should get going. Talk to you later."A. AlthoughB. AnywayC. However7) "I'm calling find out more about your English courses."A. aboutB. forC. to8) "I'll get in later this week."A. backB. careC. touchwww.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

9)"How's it going?"A. Great!B. Nothing much.C. Take care!10) "Hey Bob, is Karen ?"A. hereB. presentC. there11) "Actually, she's still at . You can call her at the office."A. jobB. occupationC. work12) "We have a bad connection. You're up."A. breakingB. catchingC. speaking13) " did you say?"A. HowB. WhatC. Which14) "Could you speak a little ?"A. louderB. noisierC. stronger15) "Can I talk to Henry?""Sure - just a ."A. bitB. minC. secwww.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

Lesson 1 Quiz - Answers1.B 2.A 3.C 4.B 5.A 6.B 7.C 8.C 9.A 10.C 11.C 12.A 13.B 14.A 15.CThis is a free sample lesson from theEveryday English Speaking Course – Level 1www.espressoenglish.net Shayna Oliveira 2013

Lesson 1 – Telephone English Phrases First let's learn some essential telephone vocabulary, and then you’ll hear examples of formal and informal telephone conversations. There are different types of phones: cell phones or mobile phones (a cell phone with more advanced capabilities is called a smartphone) pay phones or public phones

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