Telephone Conversations: 45 Essential Phrases To Speak On The Phone in English

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

Learn 45 Essential Telephone Phrases for successful phone conversations in English!

This lesson about English Telephone Conversations is PART 2. It includes:

  • How to Interrupt Politely
  • Ask someone to wait (put on hold)
  • Show appreciation in English
  • How to end a phone call in English

PART 1 of this lesson is here!
It includes:

  • Phrases to answering a call (& starting a phone conversation)
  • Phrases to request information
  • Phrases to check you understood

⭐️ Learn all 45 English phrases on the phone and take the fear out of making (or taking) a phone call for your job!

Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish!

Have you been wondering how you can improve your telephone skills and have better, more successful phone calls in English? This lesson is for you.

I’m going to help you to speak confidently in English on the phone. I’ll teach you the exact expressions and the phrases that you need to make really great calls in English.

Today I’m going to teach you how to interrupt someone politely, ask someone to wait, to show your appreciation and to wrap up or to end your phone call.

I’ve made you a fantastic pdf worksheet that includes all of the phrases that you’ll learn in this lesson today. It’s down in the description below, follow the link that I’ve shared there. If you watch my last lesson about fantastic phrases that you can use when you’re starting a conversation on the phone in English, this worksheet is the same one. It includes all of the phrases from this lesson and my last lesson so make sure you download it and check it out.

Okay so are you ready to practise phone talk with me? Let’s do it!

Lately, I’ve been making a few different lessons to help you practise making phone calls in English. And in part one which I’ll link here, I taught you how to start a phone call and to introduce yourself clearly. I taught you how to request information or help and to check that you heard someone correctly or ask for clarification if you need it.

In this lesson, we’re going to pick up exactly where we left off.

So since we were talking about asking for clarification, sometimes you need to interrupt the other person in order to do that right? To check that you heard something correctly.

So I’ve got a few phrases that will help you to interrupt someone politely. Knowing how to interrupt someone politely is an essential skill to have in a professional context or even just in a life context. We need to do it right? So we might need to say something simple just like:

  • Sorry to interrupt.

And if you want to soften it a little or make it extra polite, you could say:

  • I’m so sorry for interrupting but I really want to make sure that I understood you correctly.

You could also try one of these.

  • Sorry, can I jump in here?
  • May I add something?

So these last two are especially good on a work call or a conference call when you feel like you’re just about to miss the opportunity to say something or to add something and you need to kind of jump in and say it before the conversation moves along.

Often when you’re on the phone you actually need time to do something like find some information or maybe ask a colleague or a manager for some assistance.

In that instance, you need to ask the other person to wait. But here’s a little tip.

You can also ask someone to wait when you need a little bit more time or you need to think about your answer right? So you could say something like:

  • Just bear with me a moment.

This expression literally just means please be patient with me. I need a little bit more time. But in a more casual setting you could say something like:

  • Hang on a second or hold on a sec.

A sec is just short for second.

But if you need to sound a little bit more formal, then you can also say:

  • Just give me a moment, please.

And then when you return to the call you just need to say:

  • Sorry to keep you waiting.

This phrase is really great in both casual or professional settings and it really shows the other person that you value their time so it’s a really nice gesture for you to say:

  • I’m sorry to keep you waiting.

On the other hand, there are some phrases that you’re really likely to hear from the person that you’re speaking to if you’re calling a call center or a doctor’s office or something like that.

You’re likely to hear:

  • Can I put you on hold?
  • Do you mind holding?

When you’re on hold or you get put on hold, it means that either you’re waiting to be connected to the person or to the department that you called to speak to or it’s kind of like being paused, your call is being paused right while something else happens.

So you can put someone on hold when you need to go and ask your manager or your colleague a question.

  • I’m just gonna put you on hold for a few moments okay?

A great way to build good rapport over the phone is to show appreciation for the person that you’re talking to if they’ve helped you or they’re doing some work for you and you just want to say thank you, right?

It’s really satisfying to hear someone say thank you.

  • Thank you for your time.
  • Thank you for the work that you’re doing.

It’s nice to feel appreciated so it’s a nice thing to do over the phone. And there are some different expressions that you can use to do this.

  • Thanks so much for your help!
  • Thanks a million.

Saying thanks instead of thank you is definitely a little bit more casual and thanks a million is the most casual out of these. I probably only use that with my friends or close colleagues.

And here in Australia, you’ll also hear people say cheers a lot. It’s pretty informal but you can always round it out by saying:

  • Cheers, I appreciate it.

It’s almost like a double thank you. And appreciate is another fantastic way to say thank you, as well. I want you to practise it with me because it’s a tricky word.


  • I really appreciate your help.

Grateful is a synonym of thank you as well so you can keep it in mind and maybe try and switch out some of these expressions. We can say:

  • I’m thankful for your understanding.

But we can also say

  • I’m grateful for your understanding.
  • I’m grateful that we’ve been able to sort this out.

And by saying grateful, it’s definitely a little bit more meaningful, it adds emphasis to this idea of saying thank you. It helps us to really express gratitude.

So now we’re coming to the end of our call, it’s been really successful so far but we’re starting to think okay how am I going to wrap this up? How am I going to end it?

And there are a couple of really great and really simple phrases that will help you to signal to the other person that you want to wrap things up.

Now when someone else has called you and you want to end that call early, then you can say something like:

  • I really appreciate the call, thank you.
  • Thank you for calling.
  • Thanks for your call, I hope you have a really nice day.

Now these phrases can all be used in a professional context but when you’re talking to someone that you know a little better you might say something more like:

  • Okay, I’d better let you go.

It’s kind of like saying I don’t want to take up any more of your time or maybe you can explain that you’ve run out of time by saying:

  • Okay I’ve got to run I’ve got a million things to do today.

I’ve gotta is the contracted form of have got to which means I need to do something in this example.

  • I need to go.

It would sound a little bit stiff, like way too stiff if you said I have got to run which is why it’s really important that you learn how to pronounce and how to say this phrase naturally with me, okay?

I’ve gotta.

Say it with me.

  • I’ve gotta run.
  • I’ve gotta go.

Another great way to end a phone call is to say:

  • Well, it was great chatting. I’ll talk to you again soon.

Well done!

If you watched the first part and this lesson, you’ve actually just learned 45 phrases for clear, easy successful telephone conversations in English. Don’t forget to go and grab that free pdf worksheet that I made you. The link is down in the description below. I want you to print it out and I want you to have it beside you on your desk, beside your phone whenever you make a phone call, that way you’ve got all of the phrases and the expressions that you need right there to refer to and over time as you practise using them, you’ll build confidence and you won’t need the sheet anymore. You’ll just build these phrases and expressions into your fluent, natural English.

Now if you want to practise a phone call dialogue with me, you and me practise speaking together on the phone. I want you to come check out this lesson right here, you’re gonna love it!

Links mentioned in the video

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