How to make calls in Spanish: Spanish Phone Call Vocabulary and Phrases


December 5, 2018

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Phone calls can be unnerving to some. But you know what makes it even more difficult? Calling someone while speaking Spanish! No worries to you though. Here in this article, we’ll learn how to make phone calls in Spanish and go through some Spanish phone call vocabulary.

We've listed down some words and phrases used when making calls in Spanish.

Let's check it out! 

Phone Call Vocabulary

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How to say hello on the phone in Spanish

Dígame OR Diga - hello

This is the most common way to say “hello?” when you pick up the phone.

¿Sí? - yes? OR hello?

This is considered a less formal way of answering the phone than diga.

¿Bueno? (Mexico) --  Hello?

Bueno usually means “good.” However, in Mexico, it can also be used as a telephone greeting that means the equivalent of “yes?” or “hello?”.

Actions on the phone in Spanish

For this part, let’s take a look at the different Spanish verbs used in relation to phone calls.

Discar / marcar – to dial

When you want to dial a number, the Spanish verb to use is either discar or marcar. Let’s take a look at an example.

En caso de emergencia, marque /disque 190 para pedir ayuda

In case of emergency, dial 190 for help.

atender / coger el teléfono – to answer the phone

To answer your phone, the correct Spanish verbs to use are either atender or coger.

¿Puedes atender / coger el teléfono, por favor?

Can you answer the phone, please?

llamar de vuelta / devolver la llamada – to call back

When you plan to call back someone, you say, llamar de vuelta or devolver la llamada.

Tengo que irme.

Te llamo de vuelva / Te devuelvo la llamada enseguida.

I have to go. I’ll call you back soon.

colgar / cortar – to hang up

“You hang up first.”

“No, you hang up first.”

Ever been stuck on this loop? In Spanish it’s called colgar or cortar.

“No corte / cuelgue, por favor”, dijo la telefonista.

“Don’t hang up, please”, said the operator.

colgarle el teléfono en la cara a alguien – to hang up on someone

There’s a regular hanging up the phone because the call has ended, and then there’s the other kind of hanging up--the rude one. This phrase is for the latter.

No puedo creer te haya colgado el teléfono en la cara de esa manera.

I can’t believe she hung up on you like that.

Spanish Vocabulary and Phrases for Making Calls (With Examples)

Now let’s go through some words and phrases and their respective examples.

contestador automático – answering machine

When you need to leave a message, the answering machine is your friend. Here’s how to say it in Spanish.

Pedro dejó un mensaje en el contestador automático de Susana.

Pedro left a message on Susana’s answering machine.

se cortó la llamada – the call got cut off

Don’t you just hate when this happens?

Estaba hablando con Jorge y la llamada se cortó.

I was talking to Jorge and we got cut off.

interno (Argentina) / extensión (España) – extension

Calling an office or a company’s trunkline? You might need to key in the extension number! In Argentina it is called interno.

Usted se ha comunicado con GRS & Asociados. Por favor, disque el interno, aguarde para ser atendido, o pulse tres para dejar un mensaje después de la señal.

You have reached GRS & Associates. Please dial the extension number, wait for assistance or press three to leave a message after the signal

teléfono celular / móvil – cell phone

A cell phone is pretty much an extension of your arm these days. It’s called a teléfono celular / móvil in Spanish.

¿Has visto mi celular? No sé dónde lo dejé.

Have you seen my cell phone? I don’t know where I left it.

Llamada de larga distancia – long distance call

With mobile phones and the internet, there’s not as much long distance calls happening nowadays. But here’s what you call it in Spanish.

Necesito hacer una llamada de larga distancia. ¿Sabrías decirme si hay algún teléfono público cerca?

I need to make a long distance call. Could you tell me if there’s a public phone nearby?

altavoces – speakerphone

Don’t you just hate it when you thought your call was private but you’ve been placed on speakerphone? Argh!

Un momento, por favor.

Voy a conectar los altavoces para que todos puedan escucharlo.

A moment, please.

I’ll put you on speakerphone so everyone can hear you.

Spanish Phone Vocabulary

See more vocabulary related to phone calls here.

(la) cabina telefónicaphone booth
(la) guía telefónica / (la) guía de teléfonosphone book
(la) línealine
(la) llamadaphone call
(la) llamada a cobro revertidocollect charge call
(la) llamada de larga distancialong distance call
(la) llamada gratuitatoll free
(la) llamada internacionalinternational call
(la) llamada locallocal call
llamar por teléfonoto call
llamar más tardeto call back later
mantenerse a la esperato hold on
marcar (un número de teléfono)to dial (a phone number)
(el) número de teléfonophone number
(la) rellamadaredial
sonar (teléfono)to ring
(el) teléfonophone
(el) teléfono móvil OR (el) móvilcell phone
(el) tono, (la) señaltone
volver a marcarto redial

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Spanish Phrases for Making Phone Calls

Now for some ready phrases that you can use.

¿Puedo hablar con...?Can I speak to...?
Me gustaria hablar con... OR Quería hablar con...I'd like to speak to...
¿De parte de quién? OR ¿Quien le llama?Who's calling, please?
Soy...I am...
Lo siento, él/ella no está aquí ahora mismo.Sorry, he/she is not here right now.
¿Puedo dejar un recado?Can I leave a message?
pedir a alguien que devuelva la llamadato ask someone to call back
Ahora estoy muy ocupado. ¿Puedo llamarte de vuelta más tarde?I’m very busy right now. Can I call you back later?
Gracias por llamar.Thank you for calling.
Llámame más tarde.Call me later.
Volveré a llamar.I’ll call back.
Me tengo que ir. I have to go.
Favor de volver a llamar (pronounced: vol VER a ya MAR)Please call back
Favor de volver a llamarme a las dosPlease call me back at 2:00
llamarme al xxx-xxxxcall me at xxx-xxxx
no colgardon't hang up
dejar un recadoleave a message
enviarme un textosend me a text
esperar un momentowait a moment
marcar de nuevodial again
decirle que llamétell him/her that I called
dejar su nombre y númeroleave your name and number
repetir su nombre/númerorepeat your name/number
Espere un momentoWait a moment.
No le escucho, favor de marcar de nuevo.I can't hear you, please dial again.
Usted tiene el número equivocado.You have a wrong number.
Perdón, no le entiendoSorry, I don't understand (you).
Llámame, sí?Call me, right?
Sí, te llamo luego.Yes, I'll call you later.
la línea está ocupada the line is busy
pasar a alguien con...To put somebody through to...
dejar un mensajeto leave a message
descolgar el teléfonoto pick up the phone
enviar un mensaje de texto or enviar un smsto send a text message
estar comunicandothe line is busy

So there you have it---Spanish phone call vocabulary and phrases. We hope this article will help you make your way around phone calls in Spanish. 

Want more Spanish phrases? Check out Spanish Phrasebook below! It’s got all the phrases you need to travel Spain and Latin America with confidence.

About the author 

Janey is a fan of different languages and studied Spanish, German, Mandarin, and Japanese in college. She has now added French into the mix, though English will always be her first love. She loves reading anything (including product labels).

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