On the Phone

On the phone in French
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Au téléphone

Talking on the phone can be trickier than face-to-face conversations, for a couple of reasons. The lack of gestures and facial expressions means there are no visual hints to help you understand, plus there’s something about the phone that makes certain sounds more difficult to distinguish (e.g., voiced sounds like b and g are easily confused with unvoiced sounds like p and k – learn more).

So what can you do? The first step is to learn these standard phone formulas, which will help your brain fill in any comprehension gaps.

Hello? AllĂ´ ?
May I speak to ___? Pourrais-je parler Ă  ___ ?
I’d like to speak to ___. Je voudrais parler Ă  ___.
Who is calling? C’est de la part de qui ?
Qui est Ă  l’appareil ?
___ is calling. C’est de la part de ___.
C’est ___ Ă  l’appareil.
I’m transferring your call (to him/her) Je vous le (la) passe.
Please hold. Ne quittez pas.
He (She) is not here right now. Il (Elle) n’est pas lĂ  en ce moment.
The line is busy. La ligne est occupĂ©e.
He (She) is on the phone Il (Elle) est au tĂ©lĂ©phone
He (She) will call you back. Il (Elle) vous rappellera.
You’ve got the wrong number. Vous faites erreur.
Vous avez fait un faux numéro.
answering machine un rĂ©pondeur tĂ©lĂ©phonique  
cell phone un mobile
collect call un appel en P.C.V.
dial tone la tonalitĂ©
phone un tĂ©lĂ©phone
phone book un annuaire
phone booth une cabine tĂ©lĂ©phonique
phone call un appel
un coup de téléphone
un coup de fil (learn more)
phone number un numĂ©ro de tĂ©lĂ©phone
ringtone la sonnerie
voice mail la messagerie
Verbs (click for conjugation tables)
to be cut off ĂŞtre coupĂ©
to call appeler
téléphoner à
passer un coup de fil
to call back rappeler
to dial a number composer un numĂ©ro
to hang up raccrocher
to hear entendre
to leave a message laisser un message
to listen (to) Ă©couter
to pick up the phone dĂ©crocher
to ring sonner
Quiz: On the phone

 French listening comprehension

 Related lessons

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French phone phrases

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