Telephoning vocabulary, part 2

Englisch ist die "Lingua Franca" der Geschäftswelt. Auch in vielen deutschen, international tätigen Unternehmen ist Englisch längst "corporate language". Hier finden Sie viele Satzbausteine, damit Sie souverän auf Englisch telefonieren können.

Telephoning vocabulary, part 2

For your English phone calls, you need to know the standard phrases because the more you try to formulate sentences on your own, the more you realise that what you know is not enough as same sentences or idioms cannot just be translated 1:1.


When you have a scheduled phone call to make, this is how you should prepare: 

  • First you should try to find a book that gives you an overview of "telephoning in English".

  • Make a list of the subjects you want to discuss or questions you want to ask.

  • Read the list and spontaneously say the first sentence that comes into your mind aloud – don’t think about phrases or what to say for too long.

  • When you cannot think of a suitable sentence at once, search the book and find the vocabulary and idioms that fit and then say them aloud until they are clear in your mind.

  • As soon as you can say these idioms freely and with comfort, try to speak longer sequences and allow your voice to rise and fall naturally with the words.

  • Make a list of the phrases and vocabulary you frequently need and spend a short time thinking of ways to blend them neatly into the conversation.

Here are the main rules for your first English phone calls:


 1. At the beginning, try to use as few idioms and phrases as possible. Later when you have built up enough confidence in your ability to make calls in English, choose alternative phrases and try them out. 
 2. Select simple phrases containing words you can easily pronounce.
 3. Learn off by heart  the most important phrases and relax your voice when you practice them.
 4. Remember that the person you’re speaking to may be more nervous than you when they discover they must speak with someone from another country!
 5. When your call is over, take a moment to enjoy the achievement of communicating successfully in another language.
 6. Then calmly run through the call in your mind and if you believe you can improve in any way, write these thoughts down immediately and find solutions so that next time, your confidence level and your belief in your ability will be higher.



Here are some more important phrases for your phone call in English:


 Doing some small talk  Asking for a person

  •  "How are you Ms Meyer?" "I´m very well, thank you, and you?"

  • "How are you doing?" "I´m fine. And you?"

  • "How are you keeping?" "Not too bad. And yourself?"

  • "How are things?" "Can´t complain. How about you?"

  • "Can I speak to … please?"

  • "I´d like to speak to … , please."

  • "Could you please put me through to …?"

  • "Is Michael there, please?"

  • "Could I please speak to someone who deals with the deliveries, please?"



Weitere wichtige Phrasen für's Telefonieren auf Englisch finden Sie in "telephone vocabulary, part 1".


Saholy Nanahary-Robertson, M.A., ist Leiterin von Three Lions English und bietet Kurse und Workshops für Englisch an.

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