Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha and today, we're gonna talk about 10 phrases for talking on the phone. Let's go.
1. Hello?
The first word is "Hello?" Hello? Hello? Always in that upward intonation. Hello? Hello? So if you say hello when you answer the phone, it's like you're very excited to answer the phone. But usually, we do it with an upward intonation because, I guess, this isn't really the point these days, but before, like when we answered the phone, we didn't have caller ID, so we pick up the phone and we didn't know who was on the other end of the line, so it was a question. But now, I guess we could pick up the phone and say like, oh, it's… it's… you person in the corner whose name I will not say on the recording. But you know, now we know who's calling so we can just say, "Hi person in the corner. How is it going?" But before we didn't know who was calling because we did not have caller ID, though I imagine some people watching this will not remember a time for caller ID. Whe...whe…
Do you remember a time for caller ID?
Oh... whew. But anyway, we didn't know who was calling, so it was a question. Hello? Hello? Of course now, if there is like an unknown number, we can say, "Hello?" But in most cases, we know who's calling, so you can just say, "Hi!" But anyway, the most basic way to answer the phone is, Hello?"
2. It's [name]
The next expression is, it's blah, blah, blah, meaning it's [your name]. So, for example, if you were calling someone's office or you're calling maybe someone who is not expecting to hear from you, for example, you introduce yourself with this expression.
"It's Alisha!"
"It's Alisha from EnglishClass101.com."
"It's Alisha from your neighborhood."
"It's Alisha from your worst nightmare."
I don't even know, but you can introduce yourself and the place you represent or the place you come from, but yeah, the most basic form is just it's + [your name ].
In a sentence…
"Hi, it's Alisha! How are you?"
3. This is [name] from [company].
Okay, the next expression, "This is [name] from [company]." So, I talked a little bit about this in word number 2, so, "This is Alisha from EnglishClass101.com." So, instead of using "it's" like I talked about in word 2, "This is Alishha from [company]."
"This is Alisha from EnglishClass101.com."
"This is Steve Jobs from Apple."
"This is… Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones."
Let's continue.
"This is Alisha from Englishclass101.com and we're having trouble today."
Okay, let's go to word 4.
4. I just wanted to give you a call to…
The next expression is, "I just wanted to give you a call to…" I just wanted to give you a call to... Practice this one a little bit. This is a great expression to introduce the purpose of your phone call.
"I just wanted to give you a call to let you know about the project."
"I just wanted to give you a call to update you with the latest information."
"I just wanted to give you a call to say hi!"
"I just wanted to give you a call to tell you I'm thinking about you."
"I just wanted to give you a call to give you the results of your test."
So, "I just wanted to give you a call to…" practice this one. I just wanted to give you a call to blah, blah, blah, but make sure the /t/ sound, in particular, "I just wanted…" is not so clear, so I'm speaking very, very clearly right now, but "I just wanted…" the /t/ sound is very soft, I just wanted to give you a call to blah, blah, blah. It's very, very useful for introducing yourself and introducing your purpose. Of course, you can use this in an email too, "I just wanted to write to…" Mmm, it's fine too.
Okay, in one more sentence…
"I just wanted to give you a call to wish you a happy birthday!"
5. I'm calling to…
The next expression is "I'm calling to…" I'm calling too... I'm calling to… So, if the last expression, "I just wanted to give you a call to…" is, if that's too long, you can shorten it to, I'm calling to blah, blah, blah. So, you can use the same expressions I mentioned last time.
"I'm calling to give you an update."
"I'm calling to let you know the results."
"I'm calling to say hello."
"I'm calling to inform you that you've won a million dollars."
So, "I'm calling to…" introduces the purpose of your call. I'm calling to blah, blah, blah.
In another sentence,
"I'm calling to ask if I can make a reservation."
6. Can I call you back?
The next expression is very useful. The next expression is, "Can I call you back?" Can I call you back? Can I call you back? Can I call you back? That "you," you hear the "you" sounds like "yah." Can I call yah back? Can I call you back? This is an expression that is used when someone is busy. So, like right now if my phone rings, I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I'm filming this episode of Top Words. I can't talk to you right now." I can pick up the phone and say, "Can I call you back?" So "call you back" means return your call. So, I'll hang up the phone, I'll put the phone down, but when I'm finished with whatever I'm doing now, I will return your call, I will call you back, call you back. Can I call you back? Is it okay? So, can I call you back? Very, very useful expression when you are busy and you may hear this expression a lot. Can I call you back?
In a sentence…
"Sorry, I'm in a meeting. Can I call you back?"
7. He/She is not available at the moment.
The next word or the next expression rather is, "He/She is not available at the moment." He/She is not available at the moment. So, if you are answering the phone for someone else, so you are maybe picking up the phone in an office or you're picking up the phone for your friend or what… I don't know, someone calls, asking for a different person in your office, for example, but they're busy, they're in a meeting, they're away from their desk, they can't talk is the point, use the expression, "He/She is unavailable at the moment." Unavailable, so un- is our prefix, available means able to do something or just… there's access to that person, un- means not, so we cannot access that person or we cannot talk to that person right now. He/she is unavailable at the moment.
So you can follow this expression with…
"Can I have them call you back?"
"Can I have him call you back?"
"Can I have her call you back?"
You can use this expression to follow this statement.
In a sentence…
"Sorry, the manager is not available at the moment."
8. You're breaking up.
So, the next expression is, "You're breaking up." You're breaking up. You are, you're, you're breaking up. So, this is an expression we use when sometimes there's like signal trouble with your phone, especially with mobile phones, with cell phones. Maybe, you are in a location where the connection is very bad or it's hard to hear the other person, we use in American English, "You're breaking up." So meaning, your words are breaking up. We can't hear all your words, that's sort of the image. Your words, your connection is breaking up.
So, to break up means to, like, become separate, yeah? Like in relationships, to break up means to become separate. So, your words, in this case, you, your connection is breaking up. All these pieces are coming up, yeah? So, if you are on a phone call, to try to communicate this to the other person…
"I'm sorry, I can't hear you. You're breaking up. You're breaking up."
Very useful expression. You can use this on like Skype too, that's fine. Video calls are also fine, "Sorry, you're breaking up."
Okay, in a sentence…
"I can't hear you very well. You're breaking up."
9. There's not a good connection.
The next word is, "There's not a good connection." There's not a good connection. Similar to "you're breaking up," we use, "there's not a good connection," if there's a poor mobile phone connection or a poor internet connection, some kind of communication is not working, it's not a good connection, you can't communicate very well, there's not a good connection.
On Skype, "Ah, I can't see you there's not a good connection."
Or "I can't hear you, there's not a good connection."
So it means that there's some connection problem between you and the other person.
In a sentence…
"I can't hear you. I don't think there's a good connection."
10. Bye!
The next word is or the last word, "Bye!" So when you're finished with your conversation, it's fine just to say bye to end the conversation very clearly. This is something I've noticed which is actually very strange like if you watch TV shows like… drama like police dramas or whatever, the characters will often, I don't know if you ever notice this, they'll have their conversation on the phone and then they'll be like, "Okay yeah, great, great, great." Peep and then that's it. They don't say goodbye in TV shows. They just like shut their phone. It's like we say goodbye like when you finish a phone call with somebody, you say, "Bye!" But for whatever reason, I guess it just looks cool, I don't know. A lot of characters in TV shows don't say goodbye at the end of phone calls, but you should, so it shows the listener like the call is finished, your conversation is finished. So say "bye" or if you want, you can use the more formal "goodbye" at the end of your conversation. But in general, "okay, bye" is fine to end the conversation.
In more formal phone calls, you can say, okay, thanks very mu… or thank you very much for your time, goodbye, if you like or "Thank you very much, buh-bye." Buh-bye is a little more casual, but it's fairly common in phone calls to end phone calls. So, give all of them a try.
In a sentence…
"Talk to you later! Bye!"
Duh! That's how I end videos too! Sounds like you can use it for everything.
So those are 10 phrases for talking on the phone. I hope that those are useful for you. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments or of course, if you want to try out a different sentence too, that's great. Thanks very much for watching this episode and I'll see you again soon. Bye!