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Conversation Skills – Understand PHONE conversations in English

Conversation Skills – Understand PHONE conversations in English


Hello. My name’s Benjamin. I’m a teacher on
this website, obviously, for engVid. And today we’re going to deal with talking on the phone
and trying to understand what they are saying. We’re going to ask them to raise their voices,
to slow down, we’re going to ask them to repeat themselves, and we’re going to cover what
to do when you just don’t understand. So, I’m hungry. I’ve been working all day. I
need to call a pizza. That’s it. Okay. Huh? I can’t hear them. They’re being too quiet.
They’re quiet as a mouse. So I need to say: “Could you speak a little louder please?”
Okay? So: “Could”, this is a polite way of asking a question. Okay? “Yeah, hang on. I’m…
Sorry. I’m just talking to my friends on the internet. Okay? Hang on. I’ll be a couple of
minutes.” So this is a polite way of speaking. “Could you speak a little louder?” A little,
a little louder. Okay? “Please? Could you speak a little louder please?” Or another way of saying this: “Sorry, what
did you say?” I didn’t hear what they said. So this is interesting. Look at the word order,
here. “What did you say?” I put my auxiliary verb “did”, “What did you say?” before the
subject, here. “Sorry, what did you say?” I’m asking them to repeat. Okay? Or, last one: “Please speak up.” Please. A
little louder. I need to hear. “Please speak up.” Speak up. Okay? If you don’t remember
anything else: “speak up” is more volume. Okay? “Please speak up. I can’t hear you very
well.” “I can’t”, so this obviously short for: “I cannot hear you very well.” I’ll just
tell him. “Sorry, please speak up. I can’t hear you very well.” Okay, he’s speaking
nice and loudly now, I can hear him. But now he’s talking too fast, he’s saying:
“Blablablablablablablablablablablablabla.” That’s no good. “Yeah. No, hang on. I need
to talk to them again. Sorry.” So, if I need to tell them to calm down, to slow down-okay?-I
could say: “I’m struggling to understand. Please could you speak slower?” Okay? I’ve
written… This is optional, this bit: “I’m struggling”. So struggling, that fight, I’m
fighting to understand. You’re just talking too fast. But if you want to keep it nice and
simple, just say: “Please could you speak slower?” Slower. Slow, a little bit more slow.
Okay? Got it? “I’m sorry. I’m struggling to understand. Please could
you speak slower?” Great, so now they’re talking nice and loudly
and they’re talking slowly, which is what we want. I can understand now. “Huh? What?
Huh?” They said something. I… I didn’t… I didn’t… I didn’t understand, so I say…
“Yeah. One minute.” “Sorry, would you mind repeating that?” Okay? This is another polite
way of phrasing: “Would you mind? Do you mind?” It’s a nice way of asking someone to do something.
Repeating, “repeat” with “ing” that, what they just said. Okay? We’ll try this. “Sorry.
Would you mind repeating that please?” Busy, oh they’re very busy at the moment.
Okay, that’s fine. This pizza company, I don’t understand what
they’re saying again. What’s going on? So… “Yeah, yeah, yeah. One sec. One sec.” So I
need to say: “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.” Okay? So: “I’m sorry”, so short for: “I
am sorry, I didn’t”-didn’t – did not-“quite” not quite, just a little bit… “I didn’t
quite catch”, catch, if I catch something, I understand, I get it. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…
I didn’t quite catch that.” Okay? “Catch” means to understand, to hear. “I’m
sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.” “Did you say that you…? Did you say that
you only do vegetarian pizzas?” Okay? “Did you say that…?” So I am… I am now repeating
what they said. “Did you say…?” okay? Past simple. You did. “Did you say…?” But with…
This is the auxiliary again. “Did you say that you only do vegetarian peache-, pizzas?”
Or I could say: “Let me just check that. You said that you only do vegetarian pizzas. Is
that right?” Okay? So I’m checking. “Is that right?” Is that what you said? Okay? “Yes.
Sorry, sir. We only do vegetarian pizzas.” Okay? And then I can choose vegetarian and
I say: “Yes”, or I say: “No”, and I choose someone else. Okay? So I hope that gives you a better idea of how to
really understand your telephone conversations. Okay? Just to recap: we got ways of asking
them to raise the volume a little, to slow down, to repeat themselves, and what to do if
you think they’d said something but you’re not quite sure. Okay, if this is in a business context and
you know the person, you could just write them an email to say: “Hello, Mr. Toogood.
We had a conversation yesterday. Did you say that you will come and see me tomorrow?” So
you could write an email to check the meaning of the conversation. Great. Thank you so much for watching today.
There is a quiz on the engVid website, so do have a go at that. And feel free to subscribe
to my YouTube channel; going to have lots of great videos on there. If you really want
to take your English to the next level, you might want to take some private tutoring with
me, so get involved with my Facebook website. It’s Exquisite English.
Should be a link here below. Thanks so much. Have a
good rest of your day.

100 thoughts on “Conversation Skills – Understand PHONE conversations in English”

  1. Hello, it's the first lesson of yours I listen to and I enjoyed it. It seems to me you're a very good teacher. I have some questions to ask you. Is it also correct to say "what have you said?" instead of "what did you say"? And "could you speak more slowly?" instead of "could you speak slower"? And if not, why?

  2. You always have very interesting lesson. I'm enjoying to watch on you. Good job Benjamin. Basically you're teaching slow and understandably. I'll keep my eyes open on you.

  3. although I'm not a fan of British accents , I really like the way you teach , slowly , teaching the meaning of each word , very paciently.. thank youu, from Brazil!

  4. Hello Benjamin

    I've got a question in the second group of phrases there is one that says Please, could you speak slower? Is that OK? Isn't it correct to say Please could you speak more slowly?. could you help me to understand that, please?. Thanks in advance

  5. I really like your accent because it's very clear and easy to understand.
    Thank you for doing this useful video. : )
    From Bangkok, Thailand.

  6. Also in informal contexts you can say "come again" (same as 'what did you say?') when you don't hear someone. I heard this phrase in a movie and I found it really interesting. 😀

  7. Benjamin, did you say "soming" instead of "something"? is it a short way? cool! it is easier to pronounce!

  8. Very good lesson.
    This is what from what the learning of English have to be started: from the set of excuse phrases.
    BTW, who can explain why don't we ask: "Have you said… ? " instead "Did you say… ?"

  9. Ronnie my first teacher and youre 2nd Mister!!! Hey Im suscribed by your two channels here on Youtube…. :3 Youre so adorable Teacher

  10. hi,
    there are a lot of vidoes about how to talk with client on the phone.
    but there is not much videos how to talk with customer service.
    can you make a video about how to talk on the phone ? lets say you call to bank or a store and start from greeting how to use common expression correctly.

  11. Thankyou very much sir you are really eloquent ☺ and i like the way you explain your lessons by an amusing way and funny thisis why i love learning English from you , thankyou ☺

  12. mohmmed from yemen I studying elementary really I'm understand really it's nice thanks very much

  13. hi Ben my name aya I'm from Algeria , you are great teacher I learned many things from ur videos waw seriously u are wonderful , thanx too much

  14. Heaven forbid I ever have such an "attentive" co-talker. 🙂 To see it from the side is funny, although.
    This lesson is good not only because of being funny, but also because of the strong structure. Benjamin found out 4 situations which can happen during the conversation on phone, and gave the decisions for each one. For me, it's really convinient to learn in this way.
    Thank you, Benjamin, still fond of your smile.

  15. You are very funny! I love your face expressions and the ideas for teaching the english rules. Well done! Carry on

  16. It starts with Measles vaccines. There are a number of vaccines recommended by the Navajo tribe, these are conversation enhancers.

  17. Omg Benjamín, i am Mexican and i don’t sepa very well the English lenguaje , but I’d like to speak it or write it fine , your voice and pronunciation it’s very cool because I can understand you

  18. Your voice it’s easier than others British teachers , I am so happy to find you , I hope I could be better at English

  19. You see, if people just talked like you do, we would never struggle with English conversations by phone. I am a Portuguese native speaker with intermediate level of English, but talking by phone is just too hard when people start rushing the conversation. Thank you for the hints, by the way!

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