Hello, This Is Luis.  Who Is This?

 Podcasts for Learners of English


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English grammar how to talk on the telephoneDo you get the jitters when you have to talk on the telephone and speak in English?  Not only is it difficult because you cannot see the person you are speaking to, but telephone conversations have their own grammar, and  this will be today's topic. 


When you make a telephone call and the other party answers by saying "Hello", you might think you should begin by saying something like this: "Hello, I'm Luis." Wrong!  What you want to say is, "Hello, this is Luis."

Are You Talking to Me?

Suppose I've answered the telephone and you think you've reached the ESL Help Desk, but you're not sure.  Maybe you ask something like this:  "Are you the ESL Help DESK?"   Wrong!  The best thing to ask is "Is this the ESL Help Desk?"

You've Reached the Right Number 

You have reached the right number, so I respond, "Yes, this is the ESL Help Desk.
Now, since this is a formal business call and I want to ask you a question, I do not ask, "Who are you?"   ("Who's calling?")

An Informal Call 

If you and I are personal friends and this is a more informal phone call, I could ask "Who is this, please?" ("Who's this, please?")

Back to You, Luis

Again, do not respond, "I'm Luis."  Respond by saying "This is Luis."

What's with "This"? 

Telephone conversations use the pronoun this very often.  You should practice this.  For example, if I call you and you then answer the telephone, I might say "Hello, this is the ESL Help Desk.  Is this the White House? "

In the box below, write how you should respond, beginning with "Yes".

What is 9 + 3? Please answer question in order to prevent spam. Thank you.

If you wrote, "Yes, this is the White House", congratulations!


Thanks for listening to us this week, and remember to email us your questions about English grammar to our blog.

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