Telephone English: Emma’s top tips


No. 1, one of the main problems students have when they’re on the telephone, is they’re very direct. What does “direct” mean? Maybe they’ll say something like, “I want to talk to Mr. Bob.” Okay? “I want to talk to Mr. Smith.” This is very direct English. Why is it direct? “Want.” It’s not the most polite way to speak. When you say “I want. I want.” It’s better, when you’re on the phone — especially to someone you don’t know that well — to use polite English, such as “could, would, may.” “May I speak to Mr. Bob? May I speak to Mr. Smith?” “Could you hold on a minute, please?” Okay? It sounds a lot nicer. So remember your “could, would, may”. Try not to use “want”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s