Unit 6: Telephoning | Vocabulary | A2
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Unit 6: Telephoning | Vocabulary | A2


Speaking on the telephone requires that we use certain words and phrases. Read the dialogue below and fill the gaps with the correct word or phrase to complete this telephone conversation:

A: Hello. 6523465.

B: 1._______________, can I speak to Joseph, please?

A: I'm not sure if he's here. 2._______________ a minute.

No, I'm 3._______________. He1 s just gone out.

Would you like to leave a 4._______________?

B: Yes, could you tell him Belinda called and ask him to ring me 5._______________?

A: Yes, of course. What's your 6._______________?

B: It's 6403221.

A: Right, I'll tell him.

B: Thanks. Goodbye,

A: Bye.

hang on      message      hello      sorry      back      number

This is how we say a telephone number:


two three four six five

If there is a 0 in the number, we say oh:


oh one


oh three two five

A double number is expressed as expected:


six double seven double four eight


Now write these numbers as you would say them on the phone:



Here are five ways to tell someone to wait on the phone. Which is the most formal and which is the most informal?

  • One moment, please.
  • Hang on.
  • Just a minute.
  • Just a second.
  • Hold the line, please.
most formal 1.
least formal 5.


Match these verbs with the appropriate noun to form expressions to do with telephoning:

1. spell A. the phone
2. leave B. a call
3. use C. a message
4. make D. the line
5. hold E. your name

Use these expressions to complete the following sentences:

1. There’s been an accident. Can I ______________ the ______________ to call an ambulance?

2. I' m afraid Miss Appleby isn't here at the moment; would you like to ______________ a ______________?

3. Can you ______________ your ______________ in English, please?

4. You’ll have to pay for every ______________ you ______________.

5. Please ______________ the ______________ while I find your file.


Phrasal verbs

Here are three common phrasal verbs and their meanings:

Phrasal Verb Meaning
pick up lift
put in insert
put down replace

Using these phrasal verbs, complete the following instructions:

If you are using a public telephone, or ‘payphone’, this is what you need to do:

1. ________________ the receiver and listen for the tone.

2. ________________ coins or phonecard ________________ the appropriate slot.

3. Dial number.

4. When you have finished your call, ________________ the receiver.

Your change or phonecard will be returned to you.


Choose the correct answer from the phrases below:

1. What you say when you haven't called the correct number

2. What you can use to find out somebody’s number

3. Where you would hear 'Leave your name and your number after the tone'

4. What you do if the person you want to speak to is not there

5. What you use if you don't have a telephone in your house or if you are calling from a public place

A. Call back later

C. The telephone directory

D. A phone box

E. Sorry, wrong number.


Fill the gaps in these sentences, selecting from the words given below:

1. tried to dial his number but the ____________ was busy.

2. Don't forget to select the right area ____________  before you make your call.

3. I was having trouble getting through so I phoned the ____________ for help.

4. I keep trying to reach him but all I get is this ____________ tone.

5. I can't hear you very well: we have a bad____________.

operator     code     line     connection     engaged