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?   Allô ?
May I speak to ___?   Pourrais-je parler à ___ ?
I’d like to speak to ___.   Je voudrais parler à ___.
Who is calling?   C’est de la part de qui ?
Qui est à l’appareil ?
___ is calling.   C’est de la part de ___.
C’est ___ à 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 là en ce moment.
The line is busy.   La ligne est occupée.
He (She) is on the phone   Il (Elle) est au téléphone
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 répondeur téléphonique  
cell phone   un mobile
collect call   un appel en P.C.V.
dial tone   la tonalité
phone   un téléphone
phone book   un annuaire
phone booth   une cabine téléphonique
phone call   un appel
un coup de téléphone
un coup de fil (learn more)
phone number   un numéro de téléphone
ringtone   la sonnerie
voice mail   la messagerie
     
Verbs (click for conjugation tables)
to be cut off   être coupé
to call   appeler
téléphoner à
to call back   rappeler
to dial a number   composer un numéro
to hang up   raccrocher
to leave a message   laisser un message
to pick up the phone   décrocher
to ring   sonner
   
Quiz: On the phone

 French listening comprehension

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

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On the phone in French
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