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


Perhaps the person who's being asked for is not available. Then you could say, I'm sorry she's not here, or available, or she's busy. I'm sorry, she's busy. Then you can say, can I take a message? You ask the person if they want to leave information that you can give to that person, to let them know that there was a call. So, I'm sorry. The 'ai' as in 'buy' diphthong followed by the M consonant sound. I'm. Sss, the unvoiced S sound, the 'aw' as in 'law' followed by the R sound, ee, and the 'ee' as in 'she'. I'm sorry. She, or of course he, she's not here. So the SH sound or the H sound, the 'ee' as in 'she' and the zz, Z consonant sound, she's not, the N consonant sound. We don't actually - tt- make that sound but the tongue does move up, she's not here, and stops the sound before we continue on: the H consonant sound, the 'ee' as in 'she', and the R sound, here. I'm sorry, she's not here.

A note here about the IPA. This line after the T symbolizes that the T here is a stop, it is not, tt, released.

Can I take a message? The word can here is reduced to cn, can I? The N is then linked to the 'ai' as in 'buy' diphthong, can I? Take, the T sound followed by the 'ay' as in 'say' diphthong. Take, kk, the K consonant sound. The word 'a' here is pronounced as a schwa, uh, take a, take a. Can I take a message? The M consonant sound, the 'eh' as in 'bed'. The S consonant sound, the schwa, and finally the 'jj' as in 'jar' consonant sound. Message, message. Can I take a message?

Perhaps the person on the other end of the line has misdialed the number. For example if I answer my phone and they ask for Laura, well, there's no Laura. Then I can say, I'm sorry, you have the wrong number. You have the wrong number. So this is the 'ew' as in 'few' diphthong. Have, the H consonant sound, the 'aa' as in 'bat' vowel sound and the vv voiced V sound, you have the. Th, the voiced TH sound and the schwa sound, the. You have the wrong, starts with the R consonant sound, the 'aw' as in 'law' sound and the NG sound, ng, so the tongue lifts further back than on the N. Wrong, nn, it then moves forward to make the N. Nu-, the 'uh' as in 'butter' sound, mm the M consonant sound, num-ber. And your lips are already together for the M, but you press them a little bit more and have the jaw drop a little bit more, num-, to make the B sound, -ber. Schwa, R consonant sound. Number. I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.

If you ever don't understand what someone says, it's ok to let them know. You can say, I'm sorry? Notice that the voice has to go up at the end. This is to let them know it's a question and that we did not understand what they said. I'm sorry? you can also say Excuse me? Notice, again, that the voice goes up at the end. Excuse me? Excuse has the 'eh' as in 'bed' vowel sound, the K sound, the S sound, excu-, the 'ew' as in 'few' diphthong. Excuse, the voiced Z sound, excuse, and then me, the M consonant sound, mm and the 'ee' as in 'she' vowel sound. Excuse me. Excuse me?

You could also say, could you repeat that please? Or, could you repeat that? Could has the kk consonant sound, the 'uh' as in 'pull' vowel sound and the D sound, could could you? You with the 'ew' as in 'few' diphthong. Could you? Notice that the D sound is sort of linked to the next word: could you, could you? Repeat has the R consonant sound and the schwa, re-, in the first syllable, peat, which is the accented syllable, has the P consonant sound, the 'ee' as in 'she', repea. And in this case the T acts as a stop, repeat, where the tongue moves up into position, but you don't actually, tt, make the T sound. Could you repeat that - th, the TH here is voiced. The 'aa' as in 'bat' vowel sound. Could you repeat that - again, the T here is a final stop, so the tongue moves into position. Could you repeat that please? Lips come together to make the P sound, pp, plea-. So the tongue was up for the L, please, comes down into the 'ee' as in 'she' vowel sound, and finally the Z sound. And finally the Z sound. Please. Could you repeat that please?

I hope this vocabulary will help you feel more comfortable answering the phone.

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Thank you for this video. Its really a great help. May God bless you more =)
All of Rachel's videos are soooooo good! You could easily design a course based on all the videos on her site. The Praat software (if you learn how to use it) would make your course even better, but you could just watch her videos and create practice exercises around them. She's really doing amazing work.

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