I. Making a call.

  1. Combs and comb making in Viking Age and Middle Ages. Dan Carlsson
  2. He went West, and he found All-the-Beaver-there-was making a beaver-dam across the mouths of broad rivers that had been got ready for him.
  3. Law Making
  4. Law making by the judges
  5. Making a Pass at Martha
  6. Making appointments
  7. Nor sudden call.
  8. Organization, to adopt, carefully, change, input, condition, service, decision making, harmony, turbulent, adapt, output.
  9. U-13 Making excuses.

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

Switchboard: Continental Equipment. Can I help you?

You: Could I_________ __________ Mr. Wilson, please?

Switchboard: Putting you __________

Secretary: Hello, Mr. Wilsons secretary. __________ I help you?

You: __________, can you hear me? Its a __________ line. Could you __________ up, please?

Secretary: IS THAT BETTER? Whos __________, please?

You: (your name) from (your company)

Secretary: Oh, hello. How nice to hear from you again. We havent seen you for ages. How are you?

You: Fine, thanks. Could you__________ me___________ to Mr. Wilson, please?

Secretary: __________the line a moment. Ill see if hes in. Im so sorry, Im afraid he isnt in the__________ at the__________. Could you give me your __________, and Ill ask him to__________you__________?

You: Im__________ 495 3840. Thats London.

Secretary: Would you like to leave any__________ for him?

You: No, thanks. Just tell him I__________.

Secretary: Certainly. Nice to hear from you again.

You: Ill expect him to__________me this afternoon, then. Thanks.


Secretary: Youre welcome. Goodbye. on number office rang speak to call back hello   speak hold message ring speaking moment   bad secretary can through put through through  


Note:If you do not hear or understand the other person, say: Im sorry? or Im sorry, I dont understand, could you repeat that, please? It is not polite to say: Please repeat?


II. Now make the telephone call yourself, using the words above. Try not to use the notes.

III. It is not always possible to follow your original plans. You, or your contact, may want to change an appointment. Study the expressions below.

To apologize, say: Im afraid that

Im sorry but

Example: I m afraid that I cant manage Thursday.

Im sorry but Im going to Boston on Friday.

To suggest another time, say: Could I suggest?

What about?


Could we fix another time?

Responding: Thatll be fine.

Thats OK.

No, sorry, I cant make it then.

My diarys rather full that day/week.

Sorry, Ive already got an appointment at that time.


Below is a schedule for your week in Sidney. Before you leave for Sidney you receive some telephone calls from people you are going to visit. They want to change their appointments. You would prefer not to meet them on the day they want, suggest a different time on the original day. Role play the dialogue.


Monday, 12 November

Morning: arrive Sydney airport 8.30 a.m.

Afternoon 3. p.m: meet Tim Brown (agent) at hotel


Tuesday, 13 November

Morning 10 a.m: Mr. Whitley



Wednesday, 14 November


Afternoon 2 p.m: Lund & Lund Associates (Mr. William Lund)


Thursday, 15 November


Afternoon 3 p. m: Jenny Kinn+colleagues (B.I.G. Distribution)


Friday, 16 November

Morning 11 a.m: Tim Brown

Afternoon: Flight 390, depart Sidney 6 p.m.


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