Typical Phonecall

  1. Phone rings
  2. Receiver answers
  3. Caller identifies and asks about wellbeing
  4. Receiver answers and asks about topic
  5. Caller presents topic
  6. End topic
  7. End call


A: Calls 

B: (picks up) Hello, Elizabeth speaking.

A: Hello Elizabeth, it’s Shen, how are you?

B. Fine, and you?

A: Good, thanks for asking!  Well, I’m calling about…


Before the phone call / Emails

Can I call you sometime?

Can we schedule a call to discuss this?

I’ll call / ring/ phone you tomorrow

I’ll give you a phone/ring/call tomorrow


Making a call

When you want to make a call, you dial or call a number

You are the caller, you make the call. The person you call is the receiver.

I’m calling him now

(uncommon) I’ll ring him up now

Can you call Johnny please, he’s expecting your call.

When you call, you do not speak first. They must answer.


Answering a call

If the telephone is ringing, you need to pick up/ answer the call!

*Phone is ringing*, excuse me I need to take this (call).


*Telephone is ringing*

Receiver: Hello? 


If they recognise your number or name: “Hello!” or “Hello John” or “Yeah / yes

If they don’t recognise or aren’t sure, they will answer with “Hello?” or “Who’s calling?“So you respond with:  it’s me /(your name) !If the receiver is confused about who is calling they will confirm with: Hello, is that John?


Is that you, Johnny?


Or silence, or use “er…… “ or “uh…….”

Or ask for more confirmationJohn? From accounting? From Ikari ltd?


*Phone is ringing*

B: Hello?

A: Hello Jack, it’s me, John! How are you?

B: Hello John, I’m well, and you?



(Receiver) Greeting + Company Name + Personal Name + Offer to help 

(Caller) Greeting + Company Name + Personal Name + ask about health


(Receiver) Good morning, Nests Pharmacy, this is John Smith speaking, how can I help you today?

(Caller) Good morning/ hello, this is John Smith calling from XX Company, how are you today?


Calling via another person / reception 


Hello, could I speak to John Smith, please?


Greeting + Company Name + Personal Name + Person needed


Good morning/ hello, this is John Smith calling from XX Company, could I speak to John Smith please?


Hello, John Smith please.


Identifying yourself


(casual) It’s John!


(More formal but friendly) Hello I’m xxx from ZZZ company


(formal) This is John


(formal) My name is John


Identifying the other




Is that (you) X?


(very casual – rude if this is not a friend) Who’s that?


Who’s calling (please)?


May I ask who’s calling/ speaking?


Sorry, wrong number! Goodbye.

I think you have the wrong number!

I’m afraid you have the wrong number.




Telephone Vocabulary Part 2