Telephone Idioms in English From Happy English NY

MichaelADIdioms & Slang, Phrasal Verbs Leave a Comment


There are a number of idioms and phrasal verbs used regarding the telephone and telephone calls. These phrases can be used in business or in everyday English situations. Let’s check them out!

Most people these days have cellular telephone. This hand-held portable telephone is called a mobile phone in many parts of the world, but in the USA, in American English, we call it a cell phone. Most people these days have cell phones like the iPhone and Android, which are called smart phones.

  • I have a cell phone.
  • Brad just got a new cell phone.

When you want to speak with someone, you call them. (British English also uses “ring”)

  • Call me on my cell phone tomorrow after 5:30.
  • Jack calls his mother once a week.

When someone calls you, your phone rings and you answer it.

  • My phone is ringing. (The phone makes a sound because of an incoming call )
  • The phone is ringing, can someone answer it?
  • Is that the phone ringing? I’ll get it. (I’ll get it means I’ll answer it)

While you are having a telephone conversation, you are on the phone.

  • Angelina was on the phone with Brad for over an hour.
  • It looks like everyone in the office is on the phone.

At the end of the phone call, you hang up the phone. Keep in mind, hang is an irregular verb: hang, hung, hung.

  • Bill! Hang up the phone, you’ve been talking for two hours.
  • After I hung up with Jane, Tony called me. (You can also hang up with someone)

These days, more and more people in the USA are trading their home phones for cell phones. How about in your county? Do you have a house phone, or just a cell phone, or both?
Leave a comment and let us know!

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