Phone Conversations in Spanish: Phrases and Listening Practice

“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 key phrases and questions through examples of phone conversations in Spanish, plus some interesting tips and an interactive quiz. Let’s start…

Common phrases and questions in phone conversations Spanish

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 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 that 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 in phone conversations in Spanish too, so make sure you know some of them.

Common phrases and questions in phone conversations in Spanish
Haciendo llamadas telefónicas

Conversation No. 1

  • 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.
Read English translation
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.

Saying why you are calling in Spanish

Some verbs like LLAMAR (to call), DECIR (to tell) and HABLAR (to talk) will come handy during phone conversations in Spanish. LLAMAR will be used to say why you are calling. 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 as well, with the verb in its forms DÍGALE (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.

Conversation No. 2

  • 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
Read English translation
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.

Useful Spanish expressions and questions for phone conversations

Some expressions and questions 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 about to 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.

Conversation No. 3

  • 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!
Read English translation
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!

Conversation No. 4

  • 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.
Read English translation
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.

Conversation No. 5

  • 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. Chao.
Read English translation
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.

Extra note:

Another common question in Spanish phone conversations 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?”.

Listening Activity No. 1: Having a telephone conversation in Spanish

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:

  • Estaba pensando en means “I was thinking of…”
  • Solo llamaba para decirte means “I was calling to tell you that…”
  • ¿A qué hora es? means “What time is it?”
Conversation Script: A 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: Sí, dile que olvidó su libro de comics en mi casa
Ariana: Está 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: Spanish phone conversation practice

Listen to several phone conversations in Spanish and complete each line using the phrases in the recordings included in the interactive quiz. 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.

Related Spanish Worksheets:

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