On the Telephone - Practice English with Dialogues

Man on the Telephone
Speaking on the Telephone. Dougal Waters / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Practice speaking on the telephone with these short telephone dialogues. Notice that certain phrases such as "I am..." are replaced with "This is..." introducing yourself in English.

Calling Someone at Work

Kenneth: Hello. This is Kenneth Beare. May I speak to Ms. Sunshine, please?

Receptionist: Hold the line a moment, I'll check if she is in her office.

Kenneth: Thank you.

Receptionist: (after a moment) Yes, Ms.

Sunshine is in. I'll put you through.

Ms. Sunshine: Hello, this is Ms. Sunshine. How can I help you?

Kenneth: Hello, my name is Kenneth Beare and I'm calling to enquire about the position advertised in Sunday's Times.

Ms. Sunshine: Yes, the position is still open. Could I have your name and number, please?

Receptionist: Certainly, My name is Kenneth Beare...

Leaving a Message

Fred: Hello. Could I speak to Jack Parkins, please?

Who's calling, please?

Fred: This is Fred Blinkingham. I'm a friend of Jack's.

Receptionist: Hold the line, please. I'll put your call through. (after a moment) - I'm afraid he's out at the moment. Can I take a message?

Fred:  Yes. Can you ask him to give me a call? My number is 345-8965

Receptionist: Could you repeat that, please?

Fred:  Certainly. That's 345-8965

Receptionist: OK. I'll make sure Mr. Parkins gets your message.

Fred: Thank you. Goodbye.

Receptionist: Goodbye.

Key Vocabulary

  • This is ...
  • May (Can, Could) I speak to...?
  • I'm calling ...
  • Hold the line a moment...
  • put someone through...
  • Who's calling...?
  • take a message
  • call, ring, phone

Note: On the telephone, use 'this is...' instead of 'I am'.

Telephone Tips

Speaking on the telephone can be a challenge to all students. There are many reasons for this:

  • There is no body language.
  • Students are often nervous when speaking on the phone.
  • People might speak quickly and be difficult to understand.

Ask the speaker to repeat names and numbers to make sure you get the right information. Repeating names and numbers will help slow speakers down.

Telephone Exercises

  1. Practice with Friends: Practice each dialogue with a friend or classmate a few times. Next, write your own telephone dialogues. Go into another room and use your smartphone to call your partner. Practice speaking on the phone ON THE PHONE, it will make future conversations with native speakers much easier!
  2. Call Local Businesses: The best way to get better is by practicing calling various stores or businesses. Write down a few notes on the information you would like to find out. Once you have your notes, you can call stores and feel more confident when you speak.
  3. Call Yourself: To practice leaving messages, call yourself and leave a message. Listen to the message to see if you can understand the words clearly. Play the recording for a native speaking friend to see if they understand the message you have left. 

More Intermediate Level Dialogues

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "On the Telephone - Practice English with Dialogues." ThoughtCo, Mar. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/telephone-practice-english-with-dialogues-1211307. Beare, Kenneth. (2017, March 29). On the Telephone - Practice English with Dialogues. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/telephone-practice-english-with-dialogues-1211307 Beare, Kenneth. "On the Telephone - Practice English with Dialogues." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/telephone-practice-english-with-dialogues-1211307 (accessed November 19, 2017).