Telephone Vocabulary

Telephone Vocabulary


Key Expressions:


get through (can’t get through), pick up, hang up, break up, call (someone) back, cut off, on hold, hold on, put (me) through.





1. To return or make again a telephone call to somebody, is…

2. When you are waiting for somebody to start speaking to you again (and normally hear music) on a telephone call, you are…

3. When a telephone call suddenly ends because of a problem with the line/connection, you are…

4. When somebody transfers your call to another phone/extension, you are…

5. When somebody ends a phone call (probably because they are angry) when the other person is still speaking or listening, is…

6. When you tell somebody that you will wait on the telephone for either somebody to become available or until they finish doing something, is…

7. A different way to say ‘answer’ a call on a landline phone, is…

8. When there is a problem on a phone call where you can’t hear everything the other person is saying, is…

9. When you are unable to contact somebody by phone, you say you…


To check the answers click here






Useful Phrases Talking Business


Telephone: Connecting

How can I help?
Can I speak to …, please?
Who’s calling, please?
Please hold
I’ll just put you through
Could I speak to……please?
Who shall I say is calling?
Just a second
I’ll see if he’s in
I’ve got ……..on the phone for you
Hang on a moment
Telephone: Messages

Can I speak to …, please?
I’m afraid he’s in a meeting
Can I help?
Can you call back later?
Can I take a message?
Could you tell him that…
Can I take your number, please?
OK, I’ll make sure he gets the message




Practice these ‘telephone’ scenarios in twos:
– Calling an office to ask for Steven, then connect the two people.
– Calling the office to ask for Steven, he’s not in.
– Returning a phone call to Steven.


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