Choose one of the boxes below that you know the meaning of and explain which one you are thinking of without using any of the words written there until your partner guesses which one it is. Do they agree with your definition?
|hold (the line)||hold on||extension (number)||wrong number|
|hands-free||(international) dialling code||area code||Skype|
|(video) conference call||pass your message on||get in touch with/ contact||(prepaid) mobile/ cell(phone)|
|receptionist||directory enquiries||telephone directory/ Yellow Pages||999/911/ emergency services|
|automatic redial||ansaphone/ answering machine||voicemail||engaged/ busy (tone)|
|dialling tone||low/ flat battery||bad/ low signal||cut off|
|transfer your call||put you through/ connect you||new word||underline/ underscore|
|dash/ hyphen||(forward) slash||dot||double oh|
|treble||read it back/ check it back||take/ leave a message||unattainable|
|phone/ call someone back||phone/ call again||in a meeting||away from his/ her desk|
|out of the office||out of the country||on another line||dial|
|off (of work)||a text/ SMS||a bad line/ bad connection||not catch something|
|call centre/ helpline||freephone/ toll free (number)||off the hook||hang up/ put the phone down|
|answer/ pick up||get through||call waiting||a (Post It) note|
|(public) phone box/ payphone/ phone booth||recharger (cradle)||handset/ receiver||headset|
|local rate call||0898 number/ premium rate number||landline/ home phone/ office phone||phone bill|
|automatic switchboard||collect call/ reverse the charges||telesales/ cold calling||hash (key)/ pound (key)|
|star/ asterisk (key)||dictate||take down||give someone a ring|
|keypad||keypad lock||smart phone||recorded message|
Ask your teacher about any that you are not sure about the meaning of or how to use
What’s the difference between “hold (the line)” and “hold on”?
What’s the difference between a note and a memo?
What’s the difference between “call back” and “call again”?
What’s the difference between “cut off” and “hang up”?
What’s the difference between “nine one one” and “nine eleven”?
What’s the opposite of:
– freephone number
– pick up
– local call?
Each time, start the phone call from the beginning
Dictate a name and address to your partner, saying it really quickly the first time
Dictate a complex website address to your partner, saying it really quickly the first time
Dictate a complex email address to your partner, saying it really quickly the first time
You get a ringing tone but no one answers, so phone someone else in the same office to find out why
You can’t find a pen and paper, so try to persuade your partner to phone back rather than leaving a message
Think of different reasons why your partner can’t talk to the person they want to every time they phone
Think of different reasons to cut a conversation short every time your partner phones
Keep on phoning the same wrong number
Keep on putting your partner on hold for different reasons
Complain about all the problems you had getting through to someone
Exchange stories with your partner about finding it difficult to make a phone call or get through to someone (they can be made up stories if you like)
Phone the phone company and argue about your bill
Pretend to be an automatic switchboard that makes your partner go through many many stages until they finally speak to a real person
PDF version for easy printing: PhoneLanguageDefnsAndRoleplays