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    • Join Date: Jan 2012
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    #1

    Smile This is he but it is me)

    Hello everyone,

    I've got a question about telephone manners. Forgive me for my question about such basic phrases but I just need to make it clear for myself.

    On the telephone we say:

    - Hello. May I speak to John please?
    - Hi, "this is John" or
    - Hi, "this is he" or
    - Hi, "it's me" depending on the formal/informal situation


    But can we say the other way round:

    - Hello. May I speak to John please?
    - Hi, "it's John" or
    - Hi,"this is me" ???


    Also could someone explain to me the difference between "this" and "it" in this context please?

    Thank you.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,103
    #2

    Re: This is he but it is me)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodDay View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I've got a question about telephone manners. Forgive me for my question about such basic phrases but I just need to make it clear for myself.

    On the telephone we say:

    - Hello. May I speak to John please?
    - Hi, "this is John" or
    - Hi, "this is he" or
    - Hi, "it's me" depending on the formal/informal situation


    But can we say the other way round:

    - Hello. May I speak to John please?
    - Hi, "it's John" or
    - Hi,"this is me" ???
    Why have you left "Hi" out of the quotes?

    Also could someone explain to me the difference between "this" and "it" in this context please?

    Thank you.
    Yes, you can say all that, as long as the person you are talking to is likely to understand you.
    People have their own preferences. I wouldn't say, "This is he", or "It is I", or "I am he".
    But, if you are John, and the person is asking to speak to John, any short phrase that let's the other person know that you are John is (theoretically) as good as any other.

    In this case, you should consider, "John speaking", which is what I tend to say. Or even just:
    "Can I speak to John, please?"
    "Speaking".

    But you don't answer with "Hello, John speaking". It usually goes like this:
    Ring Ring
    "Hello"
    "Can I speak to John please?"
    "John speaking"
    "Hi John, it's Mark"
    "Oh hello, Mark. I was just thinking about you."

    or

    Ring Ring
    "Hello, John speaking".
    "Hi John. It's Mark"
    This version solves the whole problem.

    By the way, if you're employed somewhere, they will tell you exactly what to say, which is normally something like:
    "Hello. ABC Enterprises. John speaking. How can I help you?"

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