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    #1

    When picking up a phone call...

    When picking up a phone call for my colleague...
    Do I use:
    1) He is engaged on the line.
    2) His line is engaged right now.
    3) Any suggestion?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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    #2

    Re: When picking up a phone call...

    Quote Originally Posted by salt&pepper View Post
    When picking up a phone call for my colleague...
    Do I use:
    1) He is engaged on the line.
    2) His line is engaged right now.
    3) Any suggestion?
    If he is actually speaking on the other line, then choice 2 is best. I would say that "right now" might still be considered AmE, so in BrE we would say "His line is engaged at the moment."

    Number 1 doesn't work. We don't use "He is engaged" in this way in this scenario. It's the phone line that's engaged.

    I would follow "His line is engaged at the moment" with either "Would you like to hold?", "Would you like to call back later?" and/or "Can I get him to call you back?"

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: When picking up a phone call...

    Quote Originally Posted by salt&pepper View Post
    When picking up a phone call for my colleague...
    Do I use:
    1) He is engaged on the line.
    2) His line is engaged right now.
    3) Any suggestion?
    In AmE you would seldom/never use/hear the term "engaged" as used in your example. Rather, you would most often hear "He's on the phone right now" or "He's on the other line right now".

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