Don't hang up! Telephone calls in English

Do you know how to make and receive telephone calls in English? Talking on the phone is more difficult than speaking face-to-face, so improve your telephone tactics with these useful expressions.

Who’s calling please?

This is a polite way to ask the name of the caller.

I’d like to speak to…

Use this phrase to give the name of the person you want to speak to.


If you say “I’d like to speak to Shirley” and she is the one who answered the phone, she would reply_“Speaking!”_, meaning This is Shirley speaking’.

I’m sorry, the line’s busy

This means that the person is talking to someone else and the line is occupied.

Would you mind holding?

If the line is busy, you should ask if the caller is willing to wait for a few moments.

Would you like to leave a message?

If the person you wish to speak to is unavailable, the person answering the phone can offer to take a message (write down the message) for the caller.

Could you spell your name please?

When taking a message, you should check that the name is spelled correctly.

Extension number

You can use the extension number to get through to individuals within a company.

I’ll put you through to his office

Another way to say this is I’ll connect your call.

Sorry, you’ve dialed the wrong number

You might hear this if you make a mistake and get through to the wrong person.

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