In this vocabulary worksheet, we will deal with terms related to phone calls, and more precisely:

  • Vocabulary words related to phone calls.
  • Sample phrases for casual and professional phone calls.

Read on and start learning English on your own!

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Whether you wish to take the IELTSTOEICTOEFLCAEFCEBRIDGEBULATS (Linguaskill) or even the BRIGHT ENGLISH, you need to enhance your English vocabulary in order to prepare for your test. We have have made a long list of vocabulary worksheets:

Why Is It So Important to Be Able to Talk on the Phone?

It’s a fast means of communication that is worldwide. You can ring the opposite side of the world and talk as if the person you’re talking to were next door. In this swift interaction, it’s important to be able to understand each other and to leave a positive impression. That is why you have to select your words cautiously.

girl smiling and texting on her phone at a bar

Phone Vocabulary: List of Words and Terms From A to Z

WordDefinition
A
AndroïdA mobile operating system that can be installed on phones and other mobile devices, including smartphones with the Google operating system
Answering the phoneTalk to the person on the line after picking up the phone
Answering machineA recorder that takes the messages you leave on a phone
AntennaA device for transmitting, receiving which carries waves for mobile phone communication
Area codeA series of digits referring to a country’s specific region, which must be dialled before the phone number
B
BluetoothA standard which allows two devices to easily connect to each other. They’re accessories such as headphones connected bracelets often use Bluetooth
Busy (line)When the line you’re calling doesn’t answer because someone else is already online
C
CallIt’s the action of connecting a person with a phone to its contact
ChargerA device for storing an electric current and injecting it into a phone so that this latter can function
Country codeA short sequence of digits at the beginning of a phone number, which are used to identify the country of the user
Cut offA short or a long break in a telephone conversation due to a malfunction of the device
D
Dial a number (to)To press the digits on a telephone keypad to select a phone number
Dial toneIt’s a sound signal on a caller’s phone that puts him or her on hold until the call taker picks up
E
EmailAn electronic message one can send from an application on one’s phone
ETA‘Estimated time of arrival’, the length of time before the release of a new edition
F
Flash codeA device that allows to download files to a phone
FirmwareThis is the basic phone setting (like Windows) that serves as the hardware/user interface (OS)
FreemiumA free application at the start, but with in-app purchases
G
Google playGoogle’s online platform Shop to find applications, and products marketed by Google
GPSGlobal positioning system: A satellite-based geographic information system, allowing a device to locate a place
H
Hang up (to)Ending a telephone call
HeadsetA device in contact with the ear that delivers sound directly into it
Hold the line (to)Not to hang up the phone. To wait to be talked back to
HotspotFree access but unsecured Wi-Fi network
I
IMEIInternational mobile equipment identity, it’s an individually assigned identification number for each cell phone
IOSRefers to Apple’s branded operating system, such as iPhone, iPod, iPad
J
JITJust-in-time-compiler. Delivered since Android 2.2, it’s a technique for speeding up Android software apps
K
KeyA number, letter or sign on a press button on the keypad
KeypadIt’s a kind of keyboard on a phone used to dial numbers or signs
KitA set which requires only limited manual handling, making it easier to use a phone
L
Landline phoneThe old version of the phone that sticks to one place, usually in the household
Long-distance callIt’s the opposite of a local call, it’s made to or from a location outside a defined local calling area
Look up a number (to)Find a phone number
M
MMSMultimedia message service. A service that allows you to send pictures, multimedia messages from one mobile phone to another
Mobile phoneAn electronic phone, normally portable, as opposed to a landing phone
N
Nandroid backupA nandroid backup is a one-time backup that can be easily restored
O
OperatorAn agency that supplies mobile phone services to its customers. It provides the SIM card that enables the phone to be networked
P
PayphoneA public phone where one inserts a card or coins to make a call. They have mostly disappeared nowadays
Ping callIt’s a trick to get you to call back premium rate numbers without raising your suspicion
Q
QR codeAn usually square barcode which, when scanned, opens a web link, redirects to an application, etc.
R
RingtoneA ring signal from a phone to announce an incoming call
RobocallAn automatic message that talks back to you and directs you when you call
S
Sim cardOr a subscriber identity mobile, it’s an electronic chip card that enables identification, provides access to a chosen network operator, carries data and stores information
SmartphoneA device that, in addition to its phoning use, also allows you to connect to all the Internet’s functionalities.
SMSShort message service. A service that allows you to text and send one hundred and sixty characters at most
SpamAutomatic and repeated sending of unwanted electronic messages to a large number of Internet users for advertising purposes
Star keyA key marked with a star which the server is apparently using to check if it’s actually a human on the line
T
Text messageAn electronic message sent by a mobile phone application
TouchscreenA telephone monitor that reacts to the fingers’ touch
U
UIOr user interface. It’s a design that provides the best possible experience for the user. It facilitates access to perceptible elements such as graphic elements, buttons, navigation, typography...
V
WhatsappA messaging, audio and video communication service for Android, iOS and Windows Phone smartphones
VoicemailA device in a voice messaging system for recording and storing vocal messages, either received or to be transmitted, and which can be played back or forwarded to one or more recipients
W
WidgetA block displayed on the screen with the aim of quickly spreading information
Wi-fiA local area network that uses radio waves to wirelessly link together multiple computing devices to facilitate data transmission

Must-Have Phrases for Professional and Casual Telephone Calls

Making contact = picking up/hanging up:

  • Hello, I’m M. Smith, I would like to speak with…
  • Hello, I’m Ms……, could you please connect me with…
  • I didn’t hear the buzzer so I picked up late, please accept my apologies!
  • Don’t hang up please, I’ll put you through as soon as possible

Giving/taking information:

  • Hello, have I reached…?
  • Yes, You have reached (name) company.
  • I’m calling to inform you…
  • I’m calling to follow up on…
  • Your phone number please?
  • Can you give me your name and your phone number please?

Dealing with a connection issue:

  • Hello operator, my line is out of order, could you please help…
  • Sorry, I can’t hear you well, I have a bad connection.
  • I can’t hear you well, there’s no bars.
  • Sorry, I was cut off!
  • I’m sorry, I didn’t catch what you said…
  • I’m not sure I understand what you mean…
  • Do you mind repeating the last part just after?

Taking/Leaving a message:

  • Can I take a message?
  • Can she/he call me back?
  • Could you please forward a message to Ms. B…
  • Would you please leave a message? I will forward it to M. F.. , he’ll call you back as soon as possible.

Transfer a call / Put on hold:

  • The line is engaged/busy, could you recall later please or don’t you mind waiting?
  • I don’t mind waiting.
  • Please hold on the line, I’m forwarding your call to…
  • To reach the…, please press the star key.

Asking politely to repeat:

  • Let me read that back to you.
  • Was that B-R-A-D?
  • Do you mean… Are you referring to ?
  • Could we say that….?
  • How do you spell that?
  • Is that ‘I’ as in ‘i-phone’ or ‘E’ as in ‘e-mail’?
  • In other words, what you’re saying is…
  • Can you give me that again, one number at a time please?

Making a request/Refusing a request:

  • Hello, I am…., I would like to speak to Ms….
  • Hello, I am…., would you be so kind as to (do something) for me?
  • I’m afraid I can’t give you this information.
  • I am very sorry but I don’t have the information you’re asking for.
  • I’m sorry, she/he is in a meeting at the moment.

Small talk:

  • Hi guys, what’s up?
  • I’m okay, buddy, and what about you?
  • It’s going pretty well for me, how about a nice trip this week-end?
  • What’s in your mind?
  • Why not a beach party, the chicks are out!
  • I’m totally in, the perfect time for hooking up!
  • Come to my place then.
  • O.K., Saturday two p.m. ?

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