Start Conversations Over the Phone



Do you know how to make inquiries over the phone? Learn 5 phrases to get you started speaking over the phone. I know how scary this can be! Also, I share a personal story about something that happened recently… Enjoy today’s show! :)

Episodes mentioned

[036] Ask Questions Politely (Would, Could & May)
[038] Speak English Over the Phone
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Hello everyone, today’s episode is about starting conversations over the phone. I am going to share 5 phrases with you that will help you when you need to make inquiries over the phone.

[insert my awesome jingle]

Welcome to English Made Simple you are listening to episode number 177, number one hundred and seventy-seven, numero ciento setenta y siette.

So, hello again boys and girl, my name is Milena from, how’s it? Hope everyone is fine and dandy.

Actually let me ask you this, are you fine? I am not fine. I am not fine because I got a fine the other day.

Yes, the word FINE has 2 meanings. If you use it as a noun and you say A FINE, it means you got a TICKET or an INFRINGEMENT NOTICE. Meaning you’ve been penalized for breaking rules, or laws and you have to pay a fine.

So, let me tell you a quick story before we get into today’s show…

A police car pulled me over on Friday – I thought it was because of my bad singing – I tend to sing in the car – but it wasn’t that, thank goodness –the policewoman (there was a policeman and a policewoman) told me that my brake lights didn’t work. Brake lights like Stop lights. You know when you are driving and slowing down you have to push the brake pedal to slow down. Well, those lights didn’t work for me apparently.

The brake lights are located at the back of a vehicle… it’s at the BACK, I can’t see those lights, there is no way to see those lights until someone tells you: hey check your back lights, they are not working. Then you go and change those.

So back to my sad story, a police car pulled me over and said: hey did you know that your brake lights are not working? I said nope, I didn’t know that.

To cut the long story short, the policeman said Ok… so today I have to give you a ticket… It’s a ticket for Breaching vehicle standards.

I said, ok what does that mean?

She said, it means I have to fine you $468.

Guys, just so you know, this is in Australian Dollars, but still this is quite a lot of money. It’s almost a week’s worth of wages (it’s almost 1 weeks’ worth of wage in Australia!) Someone gets paid that much a week.

I could have travelled to Melbourne and Adelaide twice for this amount of money.

It’s shocking! I have to borrow money from someone to pay for this. Bloody hell.

And the whole time I was thinking “Fudge, I should’ve stayed at home today!”

Sorry guys I am just venting, I just wanted to share that story with you all, because I knew you guys would understand! You know what I am going through…

Now you understand why I am not feeling fine. Hahah I am still recovering. It happened a week ago.

Ok so today’s episode is not about fines.

Today’s episode is about Starting conversations over the phone, more specifically it’s about conversations when you are calling someone to make an inquiry about something.

I did an episode about Speaking English Over the phone – that was episode number #038 – that episode teaches you common phrasal verbs used when speaking over the phone such as Hold on, Hang up and so on. Hold on means, Wait. Hang up means to end the call.

So today, we go a bit deeper than that. How do you start a phone call with someone?

For example, let’s imagine you are looking for a place to rent. You are looking for accommodation, and you need a place to stay.

You want to call to organise an inspection of the property.

Most of the time properties look different from the photos online so sometimes you have to go and check it out in person. You can’t rely on the photos you see on the Internet.

Actually, you could probably organise the inspection online (on the Internet) but sometimes it’s better to call the person who is renting and visit the property in person. In Australia, when it comes to renting, we would deal with property agents most of the time.

Righto, how would you start your phone call then? Do you know what to say when the person on the other line picks up the phone?

Most of us would freeze or get confused about what to say. It’s scary to speak to someone on the phone when it’s not in your language.

I get it. I had the same fear when I moved to New Zealand. Let me tell you what I used to do whenever I found myself in that situation, unable to speak…. Well, what I used to do is write down exactly what I would say and just read it out. This helped me start conversations with that person.

Alrighty, so that was 1 tip for you today.

How do you know what to say in the situation I explained earlier, the situation with the property agent for example?

Here are some useful phrases to remember:

#1 Hi my name is Shakira, I am calling in regards to the property you have listed in Adelaide city. (As if Shakira would want to move to Adelaide haha No way jose!)

#2 Hi there, my name is Justin, as in Justin Bieber, I am calling regarding the property at Number 4, James Street.
#3 Hi, my name is Milena, I am calling about the property on James Street, I think it’s in the city. Let me give you the address, it’s Number 4, James street, in Adelaide.

Or if you don’t know the exact property you are inquiring about then you could ask the agent on the other line something like this…. The agent is called John.

#4 Hi John, my name is Blah, I am interested in rental properties you have close to the city. Have you got anything available for me to see this week?

So you can start your conversations with: I am interested in…

Or I am interested to know if you have any available properties for rent in the city?

Hope you are following me so far…

#5 Hi John, my name is James and I would like to know if you have any properties for rent close to the city?

Ok so the phrases I want you to remember are:

I am calling about the…
I am calling regarding the ….
I am calling in regards to… (this one is a bit informal, you can still use it)
I am in interested in…
I would like to know…

When you are speaking on the phone remember to be polite. Use words such as Please. Thank you. Those are the magic words. And words like Would, Could or May.

Could you please tell me about…

May I please know your name? Sorry I missed it earlier.

My advice is to choose 1 way you to ask for information and stick with it. Just use the same phrase when making inquiries about anything. If you are calling Movers, if you need to move houses. You could say: Hi I am calling regarding your house moving services. I am moving from A to Z and I would like to know how much that would cost me. Thanks.

So think about these 5 phrases that I shared with you today. They could be your catchphrases as I like to call them. These are the phrases you rely on every time you need to make a phone call.

Cool bananas, amigos y amigas! Today’s episode was short and sweet and to the point. I hope you got some useful tips from today’s episode.

Before we finish today’s show, let me send a greeting to Monika from Poland who found the EMS podcast by accident and who now listens to it twice per day! Woohoo! Hallo Monika. Or is it Cheshch in Polish?
Chesch and Hello to Monika!

And also a big hello to (let me see if I can pronounce this correctly) Tooggii – Tooggii is from Mongolia! Yup, that’s right all the way from Mongolia, I don’t know how to say hello in Mongolian. But Google does – is it Sayn uu? Well a big hello to Tooggii, thanks for listening to the EMS show and thanks for sharing you story with me.

Thanks everyone for tuning in to today’s episode and for listening to my sad story I shared with you at the beginning of the show. But I feel so much better after sharing it with you guys.

Guys, you’ve been an amazing audience, and you’ve been jamming with Milena from English Made Simple. Until next time. Hasta la proxima!

Milena Vujnic

Milena Vujnic

Podcast Host at English Made Simple Podcast


Milena is the host of the English Made Simple Podcast and is passionate about helping English learners break their fear of speaking English so they can confidently make conversation and be understood by other English-speakers.

Milena lives in Australia with her Chileno husband and loves anything podcasting and online coaching and is honoured to be supporting and guiding immigrants from all over the world with her products, programs and coaching services.

Click here to learn more about how you can work with Milena.


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