13 / 12 / 2004


Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend. About a month ago we focused on Phrasal Verbs for Telephoning (Daily Vitamins October 20th and 21st, 2004). One of our readers, Vicky C., wrote to thank us for the expressions and to request more information about telephoning in English. She said: I sometimes have to pick up the phone in my workplace and so I'd like to know more. Over the next several days we're going to look at some basic expressions for Greeting, Taking a Message and Saying Goodbye on the telephone. Speaking on the telephone can be difficult, especially if you don't have the opportunity to do it very often. We often feel nervous because we don't have eye-to-eye contact with the other person. Luckily, Telephone English is very formulaic and has fixed expressions. By learning and memorising these expressions, you can reduce any feelings of nervousness that you have if you're the one who has to pick up the phone in the office! TELEPHONE GREETINGS - Formal (in the workplace) You can use any of the following vocabulary and phrases in combination, although we include some basic combinations: Option 1) Good morning -- Good Afternoon -- Good Evening -- COMPANY NAME -- Can I help you? Option 2) Good morning -- Good Afternoon -- Good Evening -- This is YOUR NAME -- How can I help you? Option 3) Good morning -- Good Afternoon -- Good Evening -- COMPANY NAME -- YOUR NAME speaking -- How can I help you? Example 1: Good morning, ABC International. Can I help you? Example 2: Good afternoon. This is Angela. How can I help you? Example 3: Good evening. Home Communications. James speaking. How can I help you?. (Notice that in this example we use good evening and NOT "good night." "Good night" is only used when you are saying good-bye to someone before going to bed.) These are not the only options, but remembering a few of these formulaic expressions will help you survive in your next English phone experience. Tomorrow we will look at some more informal greetings and on Wednesday we will look at formulas for asking to speak to others. If you have any questions so far, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope you have a good day!