engvid: Speaking English: How to answer the phone
Practice speaking on the phone with me, Emma! Do you know how to speak on the phone? Do you feel nervous talking on the phone? In this survival English video, I teach you common expressions to use on a phone call. By learning these expressions, your telephone conversations will become clearer and you will understand more. You can practice these expressions by taking our quiz.
Hello. My name is Emma. And in today's lesson, we are going to be learning some important telephone expressions. Okay?
I know a lot of students get very scared when they have to talk on the phone, and it's understandable; it can be very scary when you can't see the person's face when you're talking to them. So one great idea if you're afraid of talking on the phone in English is to memorize key expressions that we use all the time. This way, it will improve your listening, you will know what people will probably say on the phone, and your speaking will improve too. All right?
Now, in this video, we're actually going to practice these expressions together. In my pocket, I have my cellphone. All right? So what is going to happen is I will teach you an expression, and then I will pretend to be on the phone, you can pretend to be on the phone too. I will say something, and you say the correct expression to me. All right? So, if you don't understand, that's okay - you will in a moment. Let's get started.
Now, when somebody calls you... "Ring, ring, ring, ring" First thing you say is: "Hello?" As in a question. "Hello?" All right? And then what happens?
The person who's calling asks a question. They can do this in different ways. I've listed four different ways, the most common. Sometimes they'll say:
"Is __________ there, please?"
"Is Emma there, please?", "Is Daniella there, please?" "Is Yvonne there, please?"
Okay? A very common way. And notice: "please", very important to be polite.
You can also say:
"This is __________" - Emma - "calling for _________."
Whoever you're calling. So, if I'm calling you, I might say: "Oh, hello. This is Emma calling for Daniel", "This is Emma calling for Joseph.", "This is Emma calling for Pete." Okay? So this is a common expression, especially if you're at work, this is the one we would use a lot at work. This one is a little more informal; you'd probably use this one more if you're calling your friends or calling someone in not a business situation.
This is also another informal one:
"Is __________ in?"
So all of these blanks are the name of the person who the caller wants to speak to. "Is Emma in?", "Is John in?", "Is Mary in?" Okay. So, again: "Hello. Is Mary in?" Informal.
"May I please speak to __________?" Emma.
"May I please speak to Mary?", "May I please speak to the doctor?" All right? This one is more formal. So we have sort of formal/informal, formal, informal, and last one, formal.
All right, so let's get your phone out. All right? Whether you have a real cellphone or your hand, and let's practice a statement. So you're going to be calling me. You're going to use one of these expressions. Pick whichever one you want and practice it. All right? Let's get started.
"Ring, ring, ring, ring."
Perfect. All right? So you can watch this video again and again; practice, practice, practice until you have it memorized, until it is easy for you.
All right, now how do I respond or how..? How does the person you're calling respond?
If you say: "Is Emma there, please?" I would say: "Speaking." Which means: "Yes, it's me, it's Emma." I wouldn't say that, I would just say: "Speaking."
Or I could say:
"__________ speaking. How can I help you?" [SM1]"Emma speaking.", "Emma speaking. How can I help you?"
"This is __________." [SM2]"This is Emma." Or: "This is he.", "This is she."
All right? So again, these represents the... The name of the person. This... These blanks are names. All right?
So let's try one. I want you to pick any of these. All right? Now, I'm sorry - there are so many of you, I probably will not pick your name when I ask this question. So today, I am going to call you all "Bob". I'm sorry if that's a problem, but today, you are Bob. All right? So I want you to either say: "Speaking.", "Bob speaking.", "This is Bob." Just for practice. All right. So get your phone ready.
"Ring, ring, ring, ring"
So you say: "Hello?"
And I say: "Is Bob there, please?"
What do you say?
Good, very good.
All right, so let's learn some more expressions.
Okay, great. So we've gone through the first part of a phone call. -
"Hello, is Emma there, please?" -"Speaking."
All right? Now what? What if someone calls you and you pick up, but they're not looking for you; they're looking for your brother, they're looking for your mother, they're looking for someone else - what do you say?