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A few common expressions are enough for most telephone conversations. Practice these telephone expressions by completing the following dialogues using the words listed below.

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  1. A clutch centre holding tool can easily be made using two strips of steel bent over at the ends and bolted together in the middle
  2. A Discuss these questions as a class.
  3. A phrase or sentence built by (tiresome) repetition of the same words or sounds.
  4. A Read the text. Discuss these questions with a partner.
  5. A Telephone Call
  6. A telephone number - номер телефона

Dialogue 1.

SwitchboardConglomerate Group; can I help you?

YouCould I _________ _________ Mr Pardee, please?

SwitchboardPutting your _________.

SecretaryHello, Mr Pardee’s _________. _________ I help you?

You_________, can you hear me? It’s a _________ line. Could

you _________ up, please?

SecretaryIS THAT BETTER? Who’s _________, please?

You(your name) from (your company).

SecretaryOh, hello. How nice to hear from you again. We haven’t

seen you for ages. How are you?

YouFine, thanks. Could you _________ me _________ to Mr

Pardee, please?

Secretary_________ the line a moment. I’ll see if he’s in. I’m so sorry.

I’m afraid he’s not in the _________ at the _________.

Could you give me your _________, and I’ll ask him to

_________ you _________?

YouI’m _________ 347 8621. That’s London.

SecretaryWould you like to leave any _________ for him?

YouNo, thanks. Just tell him I _________.

SecretaryCertainly. Nice to hear from you again.

YouI’ll expect him to ________ me this afternoon, then. Thanks.

SecretaryYou’re welcome. Goodbye.

on speak to message bad put through number call back ring secretary through office speak speaking can hello rang hold moment through

Dialogue 2.

Mr. BrownCan I leave a message for Natalia Barkova?

SecretaryCertainly, Mr.Brown.

Mr. BrownPlease, tell her I am arriving in Moscow on 14th May, and I’d like her

to book me a hotel in the city centre.

SecretarySorry, I didn’t _________ that. Could you _________ _________

_________, please.

Mr. BrownOh, I’m sorry. The message is that I am arriving in Moscow on 14th

May, and I’d like her to book me a hotel in the city centre.

SecretaryRight, I’ve got that. How are you getting here?

Mr. BrownBy plane, as usual. The flight is BA557.

SecretarySorry, I _________ that. Could you _________ _________ again,


Mr. BrownBA557. it arrives at 5.30 p.m.

Secretary_________ _________ _________ _________?

Mr. Brown5.30 p.m. Oh, and one more thing … Could you ask her to send me

the conference program, so that I can prepare for my talk?

SecretarySorry, Mr Brown, I don’t quite _________ what you mean. Could

you _________ _________ _________, please?

Mr. BrownI’m talking about the university conference where I’m giving a talk

on modern English literature.

SecretaryThat’s clear now. I’ll give Natalia Barkova the message as soon as she

comes in.

Mr. BrownThank you very much. Bye.

SecretaryThank you for calling.


be a bit more specific when did you say missed speak more slowly catch say it understand

NOTEIf you do not hear or understand the other person, say: I’m sorry? or I’m sorry, I don’t understand, could you repeat that, please?It is not polite to say: Please repeat?

3. DATAFILE: THE TELEPHONE This data file gives you many of the terms and phrases commonly used in making telephone calls.  
The phone book Look up their number in the phone book (or directory). I’ll look up the number in the telephone book. (US) The number is ex-directory. (UK) The number is unlisted. (US) I’ll ring Directory Enquiries for the number. (UK) I’ll call information. (US)  


The line He’s on the other line. Would you like to hold he line? The line is engaged. (UK) The line is busy. (US)   The receiver Can I help you? Putting you through. I’m afraid he’s not available at the moment. (UK) I’m afraid he’s tied up at the moment. (US) You are welcome. Good bye.


The operator Dial 100 for the operator. (UK) Dial 0 for the operator. (US) I’d like to make a reverse charge (or transfer charge) call. (UK) I’d like to make a collect call. (US)   A message pad Can I tell him who called? Can I give her a message? Could I take your number?


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