Italian phone conversation: how to answer the phone in Italy

How to Answer the Phone in Italian: 7 Essential Phrases

If you are asking the question, “How do Italians answer the phone?” you’ve landed in the right place.

Knowing how to answer the phone in Italian is essential for anyone who wants to communicate with native speakers or do business in Italy. This short lesson will teach you basic Italian phone conversations you can utilize to answer a phone call from a friend, family member, or colleague.

The examples provided are especially helpful when it comes to enhancing your communication skills for travel purposes. Having the correct telephone etiquette can make all the difference.

Italian Phone Etiquette: Seven Example Sentences

In this lesson, we’ll explore the basics of how to answer the phone like an Italian and provide seven example sentences you can use to get started.

Watch the LearnItalianPod YouTube video below to hear the Italian pronunciation of the seven examples.

1. Pronto (Hello) 

Pronto” (literally: Ready) is the most common way to answer the phone in Italian. It’s both a formal and informal greeting that lets the other party know you’re ready to talk. 

It’s interesting to note that while in English we use “Hello” to answer the phone—a greeting that translates to “Ciao” in Italian—Italians say “Pronto” (meaning “Ready”) instead. This choice highlights a fascinating cultural difference in phone etiquette.

Unlike in English, where “Hello” or “Hi” are universal greetings for in-person and telephone interactions, in Italian, you wouldn’t typically answer the phone by saying “Ciao.”

The use of “Pronto” signifies the speaker’s preparedness to engage in conversation, embedding a sense of immediacy and attentiveness right from the start of the call.

2. Buongiorno, parlo con ___?

buongiorno, parlo con Marcello? (how to answer the phone in Italian)

The phrase “Buongiorno, parlo con ___?” (Good morning, I’m speaking with ___?) represents a more formal method to commence the conversation upon the other party answering.

It is commonly employed in professional or business contexts. For instance, saying “Buongiorno, parlo con Marcello?” immediately sets a formal tone for the call. 

It’s important to note that “Buongiorno” can be adjusted according to the time of day to reflect appropriate greetings such as “Buon Pomeriggio” (Good afternoon) or “Buonasera” (Good evening), ensuring that your salutation is time-sensitive.

Starting Italian? Visit our Learn Italian for Beginners hub for all the resources you need!”

3. Mi scusi, chi parla?

“Mi scusi, chi parla?” (Excuse me, who’s speaking?) is a polite way to ask the caller to identify themselves if you don’t recognize their voice.

4. Mi dica

“Mi dica” (Tell me) is another common way to answer the phone in Italian. It is an excellent way to let the caller know you’re ready to listen.

5. Può aspettare un momento, per favore?

Può aspettare un momento, per favore?

Use “Può aspettare un momento, per favore?” (Can you wait a moment, please?) to politely ask the caller to hold while you check if you or someone else can take the call.

Suggested Read: Learn how to say please in Italian.

6. Posso prendere un messaggio?

“Posso prendere un messaggio?” (Can I take a message?) is a helpful phrase if the caller is looking for someone who’s not available at the moment. 

7. Mi dispiace, ma non posso rispondere in questo momento.

“Mi dispiace, ma non posso rispondere in questo momento.” (I’m sorry, but I can’t answer right now.) is more accurately described as a courteous message someone might hear from an answering machine when the recipient is unavailable.

How to End a Phone Call in Italian

grazie per la chiamata, arrivederci!

Concluding a phone call in Italian requires a blend of politeness and clarity. Two key words to remember are “Grazie” and “Arrivederci,” which convey appreciation and a formal goodbye. Let’s look at two Italian expressions you can use. 

Grazie per la chiamata, arrivederci!

After a pleasant conversation, you can say, “Grazie per la chiamata, arrivederci!” This translates to “Thank you for the call, goodbye!” It’s a polite way to end the call, showing gratitude for the interaction.

La ringrazio per le informazioni, arrivederci.

In a more formal or business context, you might conclude with, “La ringrazio per le informazioni, arrivederci.” Meaning “Thank you for the information, goodbye.” This shows appreciation for the exchange and maintains a professional tone.

Remember, using “Grazie” to express thanks and “Arrivederci” to signal the conversation’s end helps maintain a courteous and respectful communication style valued in Italian culture.

Suggested Read: 30 Interesting Facts About the Italian Language

Final Thoughts

Being polite and considerate is essential when having a phone conversation in the Italian language. Using the correct expressions and avoiding slang can help you communicate effectively and make a good impression on the person on the other end. 

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