Making Phone Calls in Spanish: Phrases and Conversations

¿Aló? ¿Puedo hablar con Carlos? “Aló” is often the starting phrase for many phone calls in Spanish. Just like in other languages, there are some simple expressions you can learn to answer the phone in Spanish or take a simple message for a friend or relative. This lesson will cover a few of these Spanish phone phrases and questions through examples of basic phone conversations in Spanish, plus some interesting tips and a quiz. Let’s start…

Making phone calls in Spanish using common Spanish phone phrases
Haciendo llamadas telefónicas

Introductory video: How to make phone calls in Spanish

Let’s begin the lesson with a short video introducing several important phrases and questions we often use when making phone calls in Spanish. Some of them are actually very easy to remember. In the rest of the lesson, we will provide many more details about what is being explained in the video.

Common Spanish phone phrases in conversations

First, the phrase LLAMADAS TELEFÓNICAS or simply LLAMADAS can be used meaning phone calls in Spanish. Second, the word for phone is TELÉFONO. A home’s phone is called TELÉFONO CONVENCIONAL/DOMICILIAR and our personal phone is usually called TELÉFONO CELULAR or TELÉFONO MÓVIL. Last but not least, the word for smartphone is TELÉFONO INTELIGENTE.

How to answer the phone in Spanish

Now, let’s learn some common Spanish phone phrases. In order to answer the phone in Spanish, we normally use phrases like “Aló” (hello), “Hola” (hello), Diga (hello, tell me), Bueno (hello). Know tht the phrase people use to pick the phone may vary from one country to another, but a simple HOLA may work anywhere. In fact, greetings play an important role when making phone calls in Spanish too, so make sure you know some of them.

Saying why you are calling in Spanish

Some verbs like LLAMAR (to call), DECIR (to tell) and HABLAR (to talk) will come handy during the call. LLAMAR will be used to say why you are calling in Spanish. It means”I am calling up to…” and can be used like this: “Llamo para…”, “Estoy llamando para…” and “Llamaba para + purpose”. DECIR, on the other hand, is frequently used as a complement of LLAMAR in reflexive forms like DECIRTE and DECIRLE, for example: “Llamo para decirte…” and “Llamaba para decirle…”. DECIR is useful for leaving phone messages in Spanish as well, with the verb in its forms DIGALE (tell him/tell her) and DILE (tell him/tell her).

Finally, HABLAR will be needed to say who is calling up and also to say the reason of the phone call in Spanish, e.g. : “Hablo para…”, “Estoy hablando para…” and “Hablaba para + purpose”. Remember you can also use the verbs LLAMAR and HABLAR in the past tense as LLAMÉ and HABLÉ.

Some examples of phone conversations in Spanish

Some expressions you may find useful for phone conversations in Spanish are: Espere un momento (Please wait), Un momento por favor (hold on please), ¿Puedo hablar con + name of the person?, ¿Algún mensaje? (any messages?) or in a more formal way ¿Quiere dejar algún mensaje? (Do you want to leave a message?). When your call is coming to an end, you will need expressions like GRACIAS, ADIÓS, NOS VEMOS and other common farewells. Here are a few examples of phone conversations in Spanish including the phone phrases and verbs we have discussed so far and a few others.

Ariana: ¿Aló?
Roger: Hola Ariana. ¿Cómo estás?
Ariana: Muy bien Roger. Dime.
Roger: Llamo para decirte que hoy es la fiesta de cumpleaños de Gabriel y estás invitada.
Ariana: Gracias por invitarme. Ahí estaré.
Roger: Te esperamos. Es a las 2 de la tarde.
Ariana: Está bien. Hasta pronto.
Phone conversation in Spanish: The birthday party
Ariana : Hello?
Roger : Hi Ariana . How are you?
Ariana : Very good Roger . Tell me.
Roger : I’m calling to tell you that today is Grabiel´s birthday party and you’re invited.
Ariana : Thanks for having me. I’ll be there.
Roger : We will wait for you. It is at 2 pm.
Ariana : Okay. See you soon.
Ariana: ¿Aló? ¿Podría hablar con Carlos?
Juan: Un momento por favor.
Carlos: ¿Aló?
Ariana: Hola Carlos, habla Ariana. Llamaba para preguntarte si recibiste mi mensaje
Carlos: Si Ariana, lo recibí. Gracias por llamar ayer
Phone conversation in Spanish: Answering the phone
Ariana : Hello? Could I speak to Carlos?
John : One moment please .
Carlos : Hello?
Ariana : Hey Carlos, Ariana speaking. I called to ask if you got my message
Carlos : Yes Ariana, I did. Thanks for calling yesterday
Ariana: ¿Bueno?
Roger: Si, buenas tardes. Ariana, llamo para saber si usted tiene mi libro de poesía
Ariana: Si Roger… Aquí está. Ayer llamé a su casa para decir que olvidó su libro aquí.
Roger: Uff… pensé que lo había perdido. Gracias por guardarlo. Llegaré mañana.
Ariana: Está bien. ¡Hasta pronto!
Phone conversation in Spanish: I am calling to...
Ariana: Hello?
Roger: Yes, good afternoon. Ariana, I am calling to see if you have my poetry book
Ariana : Yes Roger … Here it is. Yesterday I called home to say you forgot your book here.
Roger: Whew … I thought I had lost it. Thanks for keeping it. I will pick it tomorrow.
Ariana : Okay . See you soon!
Ariana: ¿Aló? ¿Está Lila?
Roger: No está ahorita. ¿Algún mensaje?
Ariana: Si, habla Ariana. Dígale a Lila que mañana es mi cumpleaños y está invitada a venir a mi fiesta.
Roger: Muy bien, yo le digo. No se preocupe.
Ariana: Muchas gracias. Que tenga buen día.
Phone conversation in Spanish: Leaving a message
Ariana : Hello? Is Lila there?
Roger: Not right now. Any messages?
Ariana : Yes, this is Ariana . Tell Lila that tomorrow is my birthday and she is invited to come to my party.
Roger : All right , I´ll tell her. Don´t worry.
Ariana : Thank you. Have a nice day.
Ariana: ¿Diga?
Roger: Si, disculpa Ariana, solo llamaba para decirte que hoy es el concierto.
Ariana: ¿En serio? Lo olvidé. Gracias por llamarme Roger.
Roger: De nada. Nos vemos ahí entonces.
Ariana: Está bien. Ciao.
Phone conversation in Spanish: I just called to...
Ariana: Hello?
Roger: Yes, sorry Ariana, just calling to tell you that today is the concert.
Ariana: Really? I forgot that. Thanks for calling Roger .
Roger: You’re welcome. See you there then.
Ariana : Okay . Ciao.

Language tip:
Another common question in phone calls in Spanish is ¿Se encuentra + name of the person?, for example: ¿Se encuentra Ana?. A more informal way to ask would be ¿Está Ana? Oftentimes, you will hear the questions ¿De parte de quién?, ¿De parte? or ¿Quién habla? meaning “who is calling?” in Spanish.

Listening Activity No. 1: Talking on the phone in Spanish – Al teléfono

Listen to two friends talking on the phone in Spanish. Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented in the mini-conversations above plus the ones below. Press “Play” when you are ready.

Key expressions in the conversation:
1. Estaba pensando en means I was thinking of…
2. Solo llamaba para decirte means I was calling to tell you that…
3. ¿A qué hora es? means What time is it?

Listening Quiz: Making phone calls in Spanish

It´s time to practice listening. Listen to the phone conversation in Spanish again and then choose the right answer for each question. You will receive a tip every time you find a correct answer. Press START to begin the quiz.
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Script for phone conversation in Spanish
Ariana: (teléfono sonando)… ¿Alo?
Roger: Alo Ariana, soy Roger. ¿Cómo estás?
Ariana: ¡Bien! Estaba pensando en llamarte en unos minutos.
Roger: ¿En serio? ¡Qué coincidencia! Bueno, solo llamaba para decirte que hoy es la fiesta de cumpleaños de Carolina y estás invitada a venir.
Ariana: Gracias por invitarme. ¿A qué hora es?
Roger: Es a las 3 de la tarde…. ¿tu hermano está en la casa?
Ariana: Él no está ahorita… ¿algún mensaje?
Roger: Si, dile que olvidó su libro de comics en mi casa
Ariana: Esta bien… Él es un poco distraído. Gracias por guardarlo.
Roger: De nada. Ya sabes, te esperamos
Ariana: Ahí estaré. ¡Hasta pronto!
Roger: Adiós. ¡Qué tengas un buen día!

Listening Activity No.2: Completing telephone calls in Spanish

The following table includes several incomplete phone calls in Spanish. Your job is to complete each line using the Spanish phone phrases in the audio. As usual, we recommend you to try to find a partner and ask him/her these questions and then change roles. Say the questions out loud so you can practice your pronunciation.

Pieces of phone conversations in Spanish
Person 1: ¿Alo Ariana? ¿Cómo has estado?
Person 2:
Person 1:
Person 2:Si, un momento por favor
Person 1: Hola. ¿Me puede comunicar con Lila?
Person 2:
Person 1:
Person 2:Hola. ¡Qué bueno que llamaste!
Person 1: Lo siento, ya debo colgar el teléfono
Person 2:
Person 1: Espera un momento. Ya regreso.
Person 2:

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