Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

American Business English | Telephone Vocabulary

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Sep 06, 2011 @ 04:23 PM

American business English telephone VocabularyHow do you feel when you have to speak English on the telephone at work?

Are you afraid that you won't understand everything that the other person says?

Do you ever panic and feel scared that you will lose the person's respect?

If you work in an office in New York or Boston and you are not completely confident about your English at work yet, speaking on the telephone is probably one of your most challenging daily tasks.

In today's American business English lesson, we will learn a few of the phrases and vocabulary words that you can use during a professional phone conversation at work.

Remember, the best way to improve your telephone English skills for business is to practice, so ask your tutor to help you practice these phrases plus many others in a role play during your next English lesson.


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Speaker A- Answering the Call:


  • Good afternoon, this is (name of company)
  • Hello, this is (name of speaker) at (name of company)
  • Thank you for calling (name of company). How can I help you?



 Speaker B- Greeting:


  • Hello. May I speak with _____?
  • Hi, is ________ available?
  • Hello, can I please speak with _______?



Speaker A- Getting More Information/Transferring the Call


  • Yes, can I ask who's calling?
  • Sure, I will transfer you to (name of person). Can I tell him/her who's calling?
  • Of course, I will put you through to him (transfer the call) right away.



Speaker A- Taking a Message:


  • I'm sorry, (name of person) is not available right now. Can I take a message?
  • Unfortunately he is out for lunch, shall I have him call you when he returns?
  • She is in a meeting at the moment, would you like to leave a message on her voicemail?
  • He should be back in the office around 3pm. Would you like to try calling back then?


Speaker B- Leaving a Message:


  • Ok, please tell her (message) and I will try to get in touch with her later this week. Thank you very much.
  • Yes, please ask him to call me when he gets back from lunch.
  • Thank you, I will leave her a voicemail.
  • Ok, I will try calling back after 3pm to see if I can get a hold of him. Thanks so much.


 Speaker A- Ending the call:


  • Great, I will make sure she gets the message. Have a wonderful day.
  • Ok I will ask him to call you when he gets in. Thank you very much and have a nice day.
  • Sure, I will transfer you through to her voicemail. Thank you.
  • Ok I will tell him to expect your call. Thank you.

  Speak English with Confidence NOW



photo credit: Philippe Put

Topics: English Lessons, Business English Vocabulary

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