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07 / 04 / 2005

TELEPHONE NUMBER vs. TELEPHONE: meaning and examples

Good morning. Back in December we sent several Daily Vitamins about Telephone English. Today's topic is a small addition to those Daily Vitamins. How would you translate the following Spanish sentence into English? Me dio su teléfono para que la pudiera llamar. a) She gave me her telephone so that I could call her. b) She gave me her telephone number so that I could call her. c) Both (a) and (b) The correct answer is (b). The word phone (or telephone) refers to the actual object or apparatus that we use to call somebody, NOT their telephone number. If you are too lazy to say telephone number or phone number then you can simply say number. So, another possible translation to the Spanish sentence above would be: d) She gave me her number so that I could call her. If you erroneously ask someone for their telephone instead of their telephone number, they may think you want to use their mobile phone (mobile phone = cell phone in US English). If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please don't hesitate to contact me. You can also call me. My phone number is 654279723. I hope you have a good day!