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    #1

    Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?
    Or "May I speak to sb?" is the only way to use.
    Thank you.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    I don't know why you can't use either one. There is also:

    Let me talk to So and So.

    OR

    Put So and So on the phone.

    OR

    Let me talk to So and So for a minute.

    I am assuming, of course, that it's an informal conversation and not a business call.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-Yu Tsai View Post
    Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?
    Or "May I speak to sb?" is the only way to use.
    Thank you.

    Who is "sb"?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #4

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    'sb' is not an acceptable abbreviation in this forum, Sin-Yu Tsai.

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    #5

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    'sb' is not an acceptable abbreviation in this forum, Sin-Yu Tsai.
    If I call Vivian, can I say "May I talk to Vivian?"when someone answer the phone?
    What is the difference between May I talk to Vivian and May I speak to Vivian?

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    #6

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-Yu Tsai View Post
    If I call Vivian, can I say "May I talk to Vivian?"when someone answer the phone?
    What is the difference between May I talk to Vivian and May I speak to Vivian?
    I think the latter is more formal and polite.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    A suitably formal/polite way to say this (for example, in a business situation, or when calling the parents of your girlfriend or boyfriend) would be to say "May I speak with Vivian?"
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    Note that bubbha is a speaker of AmE where "speak with" is commonly used. It's not used that way in BrE. We would ask to "speak/talk to​ Vivian".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    'sb' is not an acceptable abbreviation in this forum, Sin-Yu Tsai.
    It is used in dictionaries, where I presume Sin-Yu Tsai got it from. However, in the forum we do write most words in their full form as it makes life easier for everyone.

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    #10

    Re: Can we say "May I talk to sb?" on phone?

    I also would use to rather than with.
    I am not a teacher.

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