Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to answer the phone in English

Do you know how to answer the phone clearly and politely in English?

Do you avoid picking up the phone?

What happens if you need to make a phone call?

Are you able to communicate your message effectively?

Don’t forget! You can now listen to these episodes inside our new iOS app.

Go here to get the app and leave us a rating and review.

We publish fun, new bonus video lessons every week inside the app and they expire within 2- 3 days so keep checking back for new ones!


Let’s start today with a question from a listener:

Hi Lindsay, Hi Michelle,

Nice to talking with you here , I have been listening your podcast for an half of year kind of new listener, now listening your guys podcast is my morning routine 2018, it is really amazing and inspiring, thanks for your good efforts.

Now I have an question, I worked in American Company, normally I get contact coworker with Email, but some emergency , we need to set up a phone call. but when I am calling them, what should I say, Are you Mr XXX, or is this Mr XXX?  Is there have a normal or casual response?

when received the phone , I saw movie before , they response ,” this is she” , I think it should be this is Michelle(my English name). am I  also right? waiting for soonest reply. thank you very much.

Best Regards, Michelle Wang


Great question!

The way that you speak on the phone is important when you want to make a good impression.

This is a business skill.

In this episode we’re going to show you how to make a call and receive a call.


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How to make a call:

What can you say if you are calling for Marcia, but you aren’t sure if the person who just answered is Marcia or her secretary?

Here are some options:

  • Hi, I’m looking for Marcia Brown.
  • Is this Marcia?
  • Hello, I was hoping to speak with Marcia Brown.
  • Hi is Marcia Brown available? (professional)
  • Is Marcia there? (casual)
  • Hi I’m calling for Marcia Brown.
  • Would it be possible to speak with Marcia Brown?
  • Could I please speak with Marcia Brown?


How to receive a call:

If someone calls looking for Michelle and you are Michelle you can say:

  • This is she (why not “this is her”? read more here)
  • Speaking. 
  • Yes, speaking.
  • Yep this is Michelle 



Practice your phone skills.

This year in the Urban Immersion Adventure we had a challenge where we practiced our phone skills with the natives.

This summer we will extend that activity and go even deeper with it.

Go here now to apply for the program in summer 2018.

Don’t shy away from the phone.

It’s a key skill for connection.

Find a way to build those skills.


What questions do you have today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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