This video exercise is designed to help you improve your American English accent. This is video 1 out of 2 on how to answer the phone. Here is part 2 .


Today I'm going to go over vocabulary for answering the phone. When I've lived abroad, for me it's been one of the most intimidating things to answer the phone and to speak on the phone because of course you don't have the benefit of seeing the person's mouth, seeing their face, and having all that communication that happens without the voice. So let's start with the most common way to answer a phone in the United States, hello? You can see the voice goes up - hello? This is because we're asking a question, inviting the person to say the next thing. Hello? So, simply, the word hello has the H consonant sound, hh, the 'eh' as in 'bed' vowel sound, the light L and the 'oh' as in 'no'. He-llo?

Although simply saying hello is the most common greeting, you might sometimes do something different, especially at work. For example, if your desk phone is ringing and say "This is Rachel." Just say 'this is' and your name. This is Rachel. So, this is, the TH is voiced, th, so you make sound with your vocal cords. Then the 'ih' as in 'sit' vowel, thi-, and the unvoiced S sound. This. For the word 'is', you have the 'ih' as in 'sit' and here the s is voiced, so it is the Z sound. Is. This is. This is Rachel.

Another important thing that you might do when answering the phone is to say, How can I help you? This is Rachel, how can I help you? How begins with the hh H consonant sound, and has the 'ow' as in 'now' diphthong , how. Now the word can here, how can I help you? is not as important as the word help, and so can in this case gets reduced to cn, cn. The K sound squished in together with the N consonant sound, without aa, the 'aa' as in 'bat' sound. How cn, How cn I, with the 'ai' as in 'buy' diphthong. How can I help - Help begins with the H consonant sound and has the 'eh' as in 'bed' vowel sound, he- ul. It then has the dark L sound, and the P sound. pp. How can I help - how can I help you? You has the Y consonant sound, yy, and the 'oo' as in 'boo' vowel sound, you, so it is the 'ew' as in 'few' diphthong. How can I help you? Now let's notice here, the words, I said can is reduced and help is important. How can I help you? How can I help you?

Perhaps you've answered the phone without giving your name just by simply saying hello? and the person has asked for you. Is Rachel there? Then you want to let that person know that it's you that's speaking. For that you can say This is she or This is he. It begins just like 'This is Rachel' but instead of your name you would say she or he. This is she. This is he. Also, sometimes you might just say speaking. That is to say, this is me speaking, but it gets shortened into just the word 'speaking'. Is Rachel there? Speaking. Speaking begins with the unvoiced S consonant sound, ss. It has the P consonant sound, the 'ee' as in 'she' vowel sound, kk, the K sound, speak-, and the 'ih' as in 'sit' with the NG sound. Speaking.

Maybe the person on the other end of the line has asked not for you but for someone you live with or work with that you can go get and let them know, someone's calling. Then you can say Hold on, or, Yes, hold on. Hold on has the H consonant sound and the 'oh' as in 'no' diphthong. It's followed by the L which is coming at the end of the syllable here, so it is a dark L. That means that the 'oh' as in 'no' diphthong is no ho but hol, so the lip position is a little different as it is moving into the dark L. Hold on, hold on. The D consonant sound, the 'ah' as in 'father' sound and the N sound. Now the D consonant sound is really linked here to the 'ah' as in 'father' sound even though it's the next word, hold on, as it is part of one idea. Yes, hold on, or, hold on. It also would be very appropriate to go ahead and add the 'please'. Hold on please. Please has the pp consonant sound, the light L, pl, pl, 'ee' as in 'she', plea- plea-, and the zz Z consonant sound. Please. Hold on please.

Visit Rachel's Channel for more.

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