what is the appropriate answer to “i’m trying to reach Mr.x”

telephone conversation

formal conversations


and.... you are here Asked on 10/01/2018 in English Speaking.
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1 Answer(s)

Your answer obviously depends on whether the person is available or not, so here are some ways to respond to both a formal and telephone conversation.

If not available:

  • Unfortunately Mr .x is not available at the moment, could I take a message for him?
  • Mr x. has just stepped out, perhaps I could be of assistance?
  • I’m sorry, but Mr .x is not available at the moment. He will be available to take calls in an hour’s time.
  • x is not in the office today and will not be available until Monday next week, is there something I could help you with?
  • Mr .x is no longer with us, may I know the nature of your inquiry to assist you further?
  • Mr x. is currently in a meeting, may I have your number so he can return your call?
  • He’s not here right now, can I ask who is calling?

If available:

  • May I inquire why you are trying to reach Mr .x?
  • May I ask who is calling and why?
  • Yes, Mr x. is available, may I know your name and the nature of your visit?
  • Could you tell me who is calling, please?
  • Can you tell me why you are trying to reach Mr .x?
  • Certainly, one moment while I direct your call.
  • Yes, speaking. (If you are Mr.x.)


As you may have noticed most of the answers are a question requiring the person to provide more information about why they would like to speak with Mr.x. This is entirely appropriate in both formal and telephone conversations when we are not familiar with the person who is asking to talk with Mr .x.

Most businesses have a secretary or assistant who will ask these questions before putting a call through or allowing the caller to speak with that person. Often called screening, this is to make sure the caller or visitor is legitimate and not a time waster.




Loyalist Answered on 12/01/2018.
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