Having a Telephone Conversation in English

Conversations in English Image - ALCC American LanguageIn the beginning, virtually any conversation in English will be challenging for a student. Slowly and with practice, speaking and listening to a partner gradually becomes easier. Being able to see the person you are speaking with and read facial expressions or gestures is an important part of a verbal exchange. When you eliminate the visual contact, a discussion can become more difficult. This is the reason that many people struggle when talking on the telephone, at least at first. With effort, this type of chat won’t be so difficult.

Using Common Phrases

With the lack of visual cues in a phone conversation in English, it may help to create a few common phrases that you will use repeatedly. These phrases can enable you to ask for more information or ask someone to repeat what was said.

– When calling on the phone and someone answers, one of the first things you will say is, “Hi, may I speak with (name) please?” If you answer the phone, you would answer with, “Hello?” or “This is (name).”

– To find out why someone is calling, you might say, “What can I do for you?” or “How can I help you?” Listen carefully to the person’s response so you know how to respond.

– If you don’t hear or understand a phrase spoken in a phone conversation in English, you might say, “Pardon me?” or “Could you repeat that?” Again, listen carefully to the person’s response to help you respond correctly.

– When wrapping up the call, you might say, “Thanks for taking my call.” Or “Speak with you soon!” Before hanging up, say, “Good bye” or “Talk to you later.”

Anyone striving to learn a new language will have challenges, but with effort and patience, conversation skills will gradually build to the point where you are speaking fluently and comfortably.

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