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Capítulo 2:

 Everyday phone calls. Llamadas telefónicas en inglés

Nota: Para visualizar el vídeo que acompaña este capítulo, haz clic en el siguiente enñace http://www.mailxmail.com/curso-telephoning-ingles-telefono-negocios/everyday-phone-calls-llamadas-telefonicas-ingles

2.1 Leaving and taking messages

When leaving a phone message it is important to be very clear as to your reasons for the call and who you wish to speak to. Most receptionists are well trained at taking messages and they will prompt you to give all the information. A typical dialogue might run like this:

Remember that your message must be full and clear.

A: Good afternoon Contec services, how may I help?

B: Yes good afternoon, I’d like to speak with Mr Morris in accounts please.

A: One moment while I transfer you.


A: I’m afraid Mr Morris is not in at the moment, would you like to leave a message?

B: Yes I would. It’s Burt from Silkwood Electronics. I need to know when the order will be available.

A: Ok, could you tell me your last name?

B: Of course, it’s Lancaster.

A: Could you spell that for me?

B: Certainly, it’s L.A.N.C.A.S.T.E.R.

A: Has Mr Morris got your number?

B: I believe so, but here it is again; 09786775643

A: Do you have the order number?

B: Oh yes it’s 788890

A: When would be the best time for him to contact you?

B: This afternoon after 2pm.

A: Ok Mr Lancaster, I’ll tell him you called.

B: Thank you, goodbye.

Try to cover these points:

  • Full name
  • Clear reason for calling
  • Extra information such as order numbers
  • Your number
  • The best time to reach you

If you are the one taking the message, it will help you to write down all the information necessary to that call.  The basics are as follows:

  • Full name
  • Number
  • Company
  • Time of call
  • Message
  • The best time to call

Language tip

Here are some more useful phrases for messages:

Leaving a message

  • Could you ask (name) to call me back today regarding….
  • Could I leave a message for (name)?
  • Tell (name) to give me a call as soon as possible.

Offering to take a message

  • Would you like to leave a message?
  • Can I take a message?
  • Could you leave your name and number so (name) can call you back?

Promising action

  • I’ll give the message to ( name) as soon as he’s/she’s in.
  • I’ll tell (name) you called.

Activity 1.

Write the messages from these calls.

“Can you tell Mr. Jones that Ned Williamson from Hendeerson Electrical called for him.  I need to know when we will be available for a meeting this week.  It’s quite important.”

“I’m trying to reach Deborah Smart, I’ve called twice already, but she’s never in her office.  Can you tell her to get back to me as soon as possible? This is Harold Falcon.”

“Gerald Hallows called me when I was out of the office this morning.  I’m trying to reach him to update him on recent developments on the project.  Can you tell him to contact me? It’s Hannah Fielding. I’ll be in my office for the rest of the day.”

“Please tell Ms Beacon that I’ll be late for the meeting this afternoon.  I have to visit a client on the other side of town. Tell her it’s Kyle Silvas.”

“My name is Sandy Mythos. I’m calling from Solis eyewear about the faulty goods I received from your company.  I need to speak to Mr. Edwards.  I’ll be away from my desk until 4 o’clock, so tell him to contact me then.  Tell him we have been considering taking our business elsewhere!”

Activity 2.

Write in ask, tell or say in these sentences.

1. Can you________ him I need the figures for the fauna project?

2. Just________ that Arthur Miller called for him.

3. It’s only to ________them that the meeting at Fort Windsor will start half an hour later than planned.

4. Could you_______ her if she received the package yet?

5.  ________ him it’s urgent.

6. I just wanted to_______ that I really enjoyed his presentation yesterday.

7. This message is to_______ him if I could get some support at the next Rollins conference.

8. Can you_______ I’ll be in later today to discuss the design changes.

Activity 3.

Match the instructions with the phrases.

1. Find out the purpose for the call.                       a. Is there anything else?

2. Offer to take a message.                                    b. May I ask what it’s in connection with?

3. Ask the caller to wait and give a reason.          c. Can I take a message?

4. Say you’re ready to begin.                                 d. I’ll just read that back to you.

5. Ask for the spelling.                                    e. Sorry, one second, I’ll just get a pen.

6. Check the spelling.                                    f. Ok, go ahead.

7. Check unusual spelling.                                      g. Is that Sara as in S.A.R.A?

8. Re-check the message.                                      h. Sorry could you spell that?

9. Ask if that’s the end of the call.                            i. Is that D.U.C.H.A.M.P, ‘P’ as in Piano?

Answer here:


Your turn

[Audio track 4: Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba]

While you were out

(Prompt for taking messages)

2.2. Reasons for calling

When calling a company, you will be transferred to a different department depending on the reason for your call.

Look at these reasons for calling and the departments in a company.

Reasons for calling

Next, do you know the name of the person you need to speak to?

Hablar por telefono

Now, you may state your reasons for calling:

Reasons for calling

Activity 1.

Use the language tip above to correct these sentences, where necessary.

1. I’m phoning to placing an order.

2. I’m calling about to apply for the job.

3. I’d like to question an invoice.

4. I’m calling speak to the manager.

5. It’s with regard about Gerald.

6. I’m phoning because of requesting for an interview.

7. I’m calling about having a problem with the new catalogue.

Activity 2.

Listen to this message and circle the correct answer. [Audio track 5: Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba]

1. The caller has had trouble with an invoice / The caller has a problem with an order.

2. The caller is calling from a hospital / The caller is calling from a General Store.

3. The caller has had a lot of problems from a mix-up / The caller has had a horrible time.

4. The caller wants to complain / The caller wants to double check an invoice.

Your Turn

[Audio track 6: Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba]

2.3. Leaving Voicemail

If there is no one to take your call, you might get an automated message instead.  A lot of people get nervous at this point. Don’t Panic! If you choose to leave a message, make sure that you speak very clearly and leave all your details.

Follow these simple steps to leave the perfect voicemail message:

  • Introduce yourself and say how you got the contact if the person is unknown to you.

(my name is…/I work for…/It’s…./This is…/I got your name from a colleague…/My manager said I should speak to you about…)

  • Give the reason for your call.

(I’m calling about…/I need some information on…/I’m phoning because of…)

  • Contact details, even if you think the person has your number, leave it again to be sure.

(My number is…/You can contact me on…/Call me at…)

  • Availability, say when will be the best time for the person to contact you.

(I’ll be available after…/I’ll be in all day./Contact me tomorrow.)

  • Alternative, if you can call back, then let them know.

( I’ll try you again later./I’ll call tomorrow morning./I’ll get in touch with you later.)

  • Ending the call.  Say something nice to finish off with and they’ll get back to you sooner.

(I hope to speak to you soon./I look forward to hearing from you./Talk to you soon.)

Activity 1.

Put the message below in the right order.

“If you could please call me back on 5463210, I would really appreciate it.

Hello, this is Ruth Sorrel, from Spotlight Systems. 

Speak to you soon, bye!

I’ll be away from my desk this morning, but you can call me this afternoon. 

I got your number from Jerry, my manager,

Anyway, I’ll try you again later.

he said you were the best person to talk to regarding shipping costs on large items.”

Your Turn

[Audio track 7: Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba]

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