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On the phone

15.6.2018, , Zdroj: Verlag Dashöfer

701
On the phone

Edward Thomas

1. ON THE PHONE

Look at the phrases below which involve making enquiries on the phone. Can you match them with the responses?

A) Hello, is that Charles?

B) Hello, can I speak to Simon Jones please?

C) Hello, this is Mr Anderson, can you put me through to William?

D) Hi John, this is Tom.

E) Hello, I am calling about an advert in the classified section...

F) Hello, I'd like to register a complaint.

1. Of course. Can you give me your name and address please?

2. Wow, man! How are you?

3. Yes, which section are you interested in?

4. Yes, but I think he's just popped out at the moment? Can you hold the line a moment?

5. No, this is David, but I can take a message.

6. Of course. Just a moment.

Correct answers are here1

2. MAKING ARRANGEMENTS - AN INVOLVED CONVERSATION

Look at the conversation below between Jim and Ed. Don't worry about the highlighted words at the moment but answer Qs 1-8 following it.

E/ a) „Hi Jim, this is b) Ed here.”

J/ „Oh, hello”

E/ c) „I was wondering whether we could find a time for meeting this week?”

J/ d) „Right. e) I guess so. f) Just a second while I get my diary”

„Got it. g) How about Wednesday?”

E/ h) „Can't do Wednesday, i) sorry. j) Are you free Tuesday?”

J/ „Well, Tuesday I only have an hour free.”

E/ „Which one?”

J/ „Between one and two...”

E/ k) „No good, sorry. How about Friday then?”

J/ l) „Friday, well, let me see... mmm, m) looks ok. Afternoon?”

E/ „Afternoon's ok. n) What time suits you?”

J/ „For me, o) the later the better. p) Is 5pm ok?”

E/ „Ok, after work then, more or less. q) Whereabouts shall we meet?”

J/ r) „What about the pub on the corner of main street?”

E/ „The Hanged Socialist s) you mean?”

J/ t) „Yes, that's the one!”

E/ u) „Great, v) that's fixed then. Friday at 5 at the Hanged Socialist?”

J/ „Yes, w) see you then. Cheers”

E/ x) „Cheers

Questions:

1. How does Jim ask Ed to wait for a moment?
2. Is Jim positive, negative, or neutral about the idea of meeting?
3. Does Jim have any time on Tuesday?
4. How does Jim slow the conversation while he looks in his diary?
5. How does Ed ask what time is best for Jim?
6. How does Jim say later is better?
7. How does Ed say that they have agreed a time together?
8. How do they say goodbye to each other (British English)?

Correct answers are here2

3. SUGGESTING, AGREEING, DISAGREEING AND SOCIAL LANGUAGE ON THE PHONE

Look at the table below. Take the highlighted sections from exercise Making Agreements and fit them into the four categories given. If you don't know, put „social” as it is the most general. The first on is done for you.

Suggesting Disagreeing Agreeing Social
                                                                  
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   

Correct answers are here3

Now try to fill the gaps in these mini-dialogues:

A) „How about 7pm?”

B) „Let ………………………. ……………………….. Yes, looks ok.”

Correct answers are here4

A) „Can we meet tomorrow?”

B) „Just ………………………. ………………………. ………………………. ………………………. I get my diary.

Correct answers are here5

A) How ………………………. going for a drink tonight.

B) What time?

A) What ………………………. 7pm?

B) ………………………., too early.

A) Well, what time then?

B) The later, ………………………. ………………………..

A) ………………………. about 10pm?

B) Sounds ………………………..

A) Great, that's ………………………. ………………………..

Correct answers are here6

4. FORMAL TO INFORMAL

Can you match the formal phrases on the left of the following chart to the informal ones on the right:

Formal Informal
A) Can you hold the line please… 1. Hello, can I speak to John Jones please?
B) Excuse me while I look in my diary 2. Hi Clare, is John Jones around?
C) Would you mind waiting a moment, please… 3. Sorry he's busy just now.
D) Hello, I'd like to speak to Mr Jones, please… 4. Hi, John here…
E) Can you put me through to Mr Jones… 5. Just a second…
F) I'm sorry he's not available at the moment 6. Can you get him to call back?
G) Hello, this is Mr Jones speaking… 7. Can I take a message?
H) Hello, I'd like to talk to you about… 8. Can you hold on a moment...?
I) Would you like to leave a message? 9. Hi, about…
J) Would you mind asking him to return my call? 10. Just let me look in my diary.

Correct answers are here7

Can you put the language from the exercise above into the four categories below? Sometimes something which looks like a request can actually be a kind of delaying or „playing for time” (trying to make the other person wait while you become organised).

 

Requesting Delaying Informing Offering
                                                                                  
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                   

Correct answers are here8

5. THE CONFERENCE CALL

Conference calls are special types of phone call that may involve many people. They may involve many of the usual skills for making telephone calls, and also a lot of skills required for ordinary meetings. Many people find them very difficult.

Here is an example of the opening of a conference call. Your task is to reorganise the boxes with speakers' comments so that the dialogue is logical and makes sense. The highlighted phrases are for use in next exercise.

A) Yes, Julia. 1.Phillip speaking - I have heard about this and I'm going to speak to our Embassy people about it. Thanks for raising that valuable point. Right, now I'd like 2.to turn to other business…

B) Certainly Phillip. I'll begin by quoting from the report summary then. 3.Just a moment, 4. I am just looking for my place. Ah, 5.here it is. Ok then...(time passes)

C) Just 6.to be clear, it was one - two - oh, €120 million Euros.

D) 7.Go ahead Julia, 8.we're all listening...

E) Good. Then if we can all 9.speak clearly for the benefit of Johann, I think 10.we can begin. Natalie, would you like to kick off by summarising the report on the new investment planned for Russia?

F) Er, if I can be first here, 11.this is Johann. 12.The line's not so good here. You'll all have 13.to speak up a bit. 14.Can you all hear me ok?

G) 15.If I could come in here, Johann here - 16.could you just go over the bit from the summary about the earnings forecast for next year? Was it €120 million or 112?

H) Well, 17.I can hear you plainly. 18.Loud and clear. No problems 19.this end. This is Julia speaking by the way.

I) Excuse me, 20.Julia here - could I just say something Phillip?

J) Right then everybody. Phillip here, speaking. 21.I'd just like to begin by checking that everyone can hear me ok. 22.Everything ok?

K) And this is Natalie. I don't have any problems 23.on my side either.

L) Well, it's something from the Financial Times actually about the Russian authorities' approach to investors in their economy. It seems that they will try to make us pay many additional costs for being 90% located outside Russia. 24.Does anyone know about that?

Correct answers are here9

6. EXPLAINING YOURSELF, UNDERSTANDING OTHERS

Compared with ordinary conversation, phone conversation has some unusual features and language because you cannot see the person you are talking to.

In the following table some of these features, taken from the conference call („confcall”) in last exercise, can be analysed. There are three categories below which are listed with definitions that are in the wrong places. Can you match them correctly, then fill in the table that follows.

A) Asking for assurance, inviting response 1. This means telling someone where you are, whether it is convenient, and whether what they are saying is useful to the situation you are in.
B) Stating the situation 2. This means telling a person what you are doing at the time, and what you are going to do - they cannot see you and need extra information about your actions. For example, if you needed time to think, you would say „let me just think for a second” to explain why the phone was silent.
C) Signposting action 3. This involves asking a person or persons if they can hear properly, if they are able to listen effectively, and if they would like to interact in some way in the conversation.

Correct answers are here10

Now fill in the columns with the underlined language from The Conference Call. Use all the language that is highlighted - choosing the column that fits best.

 

Asking for assurance, inviting response Stating the situation Signposting action
                                                                                        
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                         

Correct answers are here11

7. CASUAL COMMUNICATIONS

Look at the following phrases / sentences. Can you fill in the missing words with language from Making Arrangements? About half the words you need are listed below. For the others you'll have to look back to Making Arrangements :-).

1. I was ……………………….. …

2. Just a ………………………..!

3. Can't d_ Wednesday, ………………………...

4. Are you ……………………….. Tuesday?

5. Let me ………………………...

6. What time ……………………….. you best?

7. The later ……………………….. ………………………...

8. Where ……………………….. we ………………………..? (arranging place)

9. What ……………………….....? (suggesting)

10. The pub on the corner, ……………………….. ………………………..? (clarifying)

11. Good, that's ……………………….. then.

suits, fixed, second, do, you mean, see, better

Correct answers are here12

 
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