I was watching tv, one scene is that when someone make a phone call and look for Mr. Lee, he says”this is dr. Anderson, Mr. Lee in, please.”

So my question is that “Mr.lee in, please.” is a common way to express when you want to speak to someone on the phone or it has to be in certain situation you will say so?? Thanks for answering.

  • 2
    It's likely you misheard what was spoken. If possible, please link to the relevant scene in the TV show? At the very least it should be, "Is Mr. Lee in, please?" Alternately it could be "Mr. Lee, please?" What you wrote is nothing a native speaker would say. – Andrew Jul 17 '18 at 4:45
  • What tv programme? Who was speaking to whom? Is this based of what you heard, or the subtitles, or some other source? – James K Jul 17 '18 at 7:41

For spoken English the dropping of "Is ..." as "Is Mr. Lee in?" is okay. This normally happens with casual speech. Written English, the verb would always be included.

Another example, also on the phone:

Hi, this is Dr. Anderson. Jonathan there?


Hi, this is Dr. Anderson. Is Jonathan there?

Entering a house that looks empty:

Anybody home?


Is anybody home?

At a dinner table, pointing to some food:

Anyone eating this?


Is anyone eating this?

For more information, you can look at:

Questions omitting initial auxiliary verb (View of MLA, APA, Chicago?)

  • I'd say this is mostly done in fairly informal circumstances. In OP's example, there's a bit of disconnect between the formality of naming Mr. Lee with his title, vs the informality of dropping the "is". – The Photon Jul 18 '18 at 1:32

This does not sound like the sort of thing that a native speaker would say.

Either you misheard "Is Dr Lee in, please" (The word "is" might be unstressed and could sound almost like "zdoctorleen") Or you misheard "Dr Lee, please".

It is possible that the actor made a mistake or misspoke.


This is obviously a shortened version of asking, 'Is Mr Lee in?' It is not uncommon for people to drop the 'is' at the beginning of this question, but it is usually used in an informal way, especially if you are a regular caller. In those situations it is more common to use the person's first name, eg 'George in?'. I would be surprised to hear it used when making a professional or business call.

Sometimes only the vowel is dropped from 'is', then the remaining 's' is joined to the beginning of the persons name, so you hear something like, " 'sGeorge in?"

Telephone etiquette varies widely from place to place. Business calls are generally require more formal communication than calls to family or friends. Assuming a business or professional call such as this, I would normally expect the caller to say something like:

This is Dr. Anderson, can I speak to Mr. Lee please?


This is Dr. Anderson, is Mr. Lee available?

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