Answer the Telephone the Right Way in English

Jun 14, 2017 | Business Professional English, How To Develop Skills

Panic. Fear. Stress. Those are the words I felt when I had to answer the telephone in my second language.

I never knew if I was using the right expression. I felt stressed about my pronunciation. Would the other person understand me?

Many times I tried to translate common expressions for the phone from English to French. But I didn’t know if they were correct.

So when a student of mine recently asked me about how English-speakers answer the phone, I realized that maybe she had the same feelings. And I knew I could help.

Together in our small group, we discussed the common words, expressions, and intonation that native-speakers use that first moment when they answer the telephone.

What about you? Do you feel the same – panic, fear, stress – every time you answer the phone in English? If yes, then today you’ll learn exactly what my small group learned.

Today’s focus is on everyday life in English for the telephone. Not business English. I want you to know what to say when your English-speaking co-worker calls, when the doctor’s office calls, when your new yoga teacher calls, or when the principal at your child’s school calls.


Note: Here are links to additional lessons for speaking on the telephone in English:

Voicemails in English – Everything You Need to Know

9 Essential Tips for Speaking on the Telephone

Speaking on the Telephone in English at Work

Be ready for any phone call in English.

Lesson by Annemarie

After you’ve watched the video, I’d love to hear from you. 

  1. What is your greatest challenge or fear when talking on the telephone in English? What do you need the most to help you be more confident on the telephone?
  2. Or do you have a success story? If you do, please share with us so others can learn from you! Do you have a useful tip for communicating clearly on the phone? What helped you to be more successful?

I love to read and respond to your comments. And your feedback is wonderful for the whole Confident English Community, so don’t be afraid to share below.

Thank you for joining me this week. If you have a friend who might love this lesson or need help with English on the telephone, please feel free to share the Confident English love.

See you next week,


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