Do you know the polite phone phrases in Spanish to make a call?

As you may have seen from a previous page on being polite in Spanish, it is important to show good manners in face to face contact. This page will give you certain polite phone Spanish phrases you can use when you are not there in person. With proper Spanish phone etiquette, your phone calls can be done cordially. The phrases described here are typical polite Spanish phone phrases as used and heard in Mexico.

Starting the Call

If you are the person making the call, you will hear on the other end

"¿Bueno?" for our basic Hello?

Sometimes you may hear "Diga." or "Si, digame". Basically some form of decir (to speak ) in the command form.

The first Spanish phrase to say is:

"Buenos dias, habla __________. "

Say your name in the blank.

You could say, "Buenos dias, habla Señor Hill." or "Buenos dias, habla Sandra de la compania Swan en Denver."

(Now, you may be thinking, isn't "habla" the 3rd person singular form of hablar? Yes, it is. It is a way of saying,this is Mr. Hill speaking or calling.)

It is good Spanish phone etiquette, to use the appropriate greeting depending on the time of day. So it's fine to start with "Buenos dias", "Buenas tardes" or "Buenas noches" (for good evening) accordingly. This makes for a friendly greeting and a pleasant polite beginning in Spanish.


To Ask if Someone is there

These are typical phrases:

¿Se encuentra Mario?, ¿Se encuentra Susana?

When you are using Mr. or Mrs. with the last name, you need to add el or la. As in:

¿Se encuentra el Señor Sandoval? or ¿Se encuentra la Señora Mendez?

If you are going to add a title to either their first or last name because of their profession,you need to also include el or la.

¿Se encuentra el Doctor Juan? ¿Se encuentra la Profesora Sanchez?

These written titles are abbreviated as Dr. Juan and Profa. Sanchez.

---------------------side note----------------------

other titles you may need or hear include:

el arquitecto = architect abbreviated as Arq.

el ingeniero = engineer abbreviated as Ing.

el licenciado = (this is used often for lawyers or people in management,it indicates that they have a B.A.,B.S or higher degree)abbreviated as Lic.

It is polite Spanish to address people with the correct titles as above, if you are not sure copy what you have heard other native speakers use to address them.

-----------------grammar note -------------------------------

Se encuentra uses the 3rd person singular form of encontrarse. It uses the reflexive form which one may think of as "to find oneself" but it's better thought of "Is John to be found there?". Simply it means to be there as in a place. No personal "a" is needed.


Asking "Who is calling?"

Now the person on the other side may ask:(if you haven't given your name)

"¿De parte de quién?"

This is the usual polite Spanish phrase of asking: Who is calling?

The literal translation is closer to "On behalf of whom?"

Another version of this same question is

"¿Quién habla?" or just "¿Quién es?"

Asking "May I please speak with _________?

When calling as in a business office where you need someone specific,you can politely ask:

"¿Me puede comunicar con ____________?"

The same rules above with ¿se encuentra? apply here. For example:

"¿Me puede comunicar con Jorge?"

"¿Me puede comunicar con la doctora Romero?"

It might take a little practice to say this phrase, just speak clearly and slowly. The pronunciation looks something like this:

me-PWEH- theh co-moo- ni- CAR con ____________?

If you need to be connected to an extension number, you can use the same phrase, but also add the extension number. As in

"¿Me puede comunicar con la extension 116?"

Leaving a message with a person

And what If the person isn't there?

Speaking to a live person, you can ask to leave a message by saying:

"¿Puedo dejarle un recado?" May I leave him/her a message?

You may hear the response, "Si, (como no) digame." Yes, (of course), say it."

For your message, the easiest would be,

"Favor de llamar a __________ (your name) a ____________(number), gracias, adios.


"Favor de llamar a Eric a 415 789 6543"

or "Favor de llamar la Señora Cooper a 845 6757."

Leaving a message on an answering machine

You can apply the same rules just above to be polite on the answering machine in Spanish too. Typically you can say,

"Hola Jose. Habla Susan. Favor de llamarme a 345 6789. Gracias, Ciao." (also common for goodbye)

Translated: Hi Joe. This is Susan, Please call me at 345 6789. Thanks. Bye

If you know how to say the days of the week and time in Spanish, you can add something like this.

"Favor de llamarme el martes a las 10 de la mañana."

Please call me on Tuesday at 10am.

Saying good-bye

Here are phrases you can use or may hear on the other end.

"Gracias, muy amable, adios." Thank you, you have been kind, bye.

"Gracias, ciao." Thank you, bye.

"Gracias, bye." Thank you, bye.

"Gracias, nos vemos, bye." Thank you, see you, bye.

Ciao, is the Italian word for "bye" it is pronounced: "Chow", and is commonly written as "chau" in Latin American countries for good bye. The English "bye" is very commonly understood too.

Click here for Part 2 of Spanish Phone Phrases