Is it idiomatic to say the following sentence when you wait the second person take your call?

Please take the phone.

Or only these ones sound good in the mentioned context?

Please take the call.

Please pick up the phone.

Please answer the phone.

Please answer the call.

1 Answer 1

  1. Please take the phone.
  2. Please take the call.
  3. Please pick up the phone.
  4. please answer the phone.
  5. Please answer the call.

#1. Use this when you want the person standing near you to literally take the phone out of your hand. It means nothing when referring to the person you are calling.

#2. This is technically correct in an old-fashioned sense, but it is also ambiguous. If my receptionist answers the phone but I do not wish to speak to the caller, then I did not take the call even though the phone was answered. I cannot think of a time when I have heard this used in the sense that you probably mean.

#3. I suppose this is still idiomatic, especially with older people like me. But you might as well stop using it as very few people literally pick up anything in the age of mobile phones. When my daughter answers the phone, she usually takes it out of her pocket.

#4 This is probably the most natural response. It made perfect sense 50 years ago, and it still does. Changes in technology have not affected the meaning.

#5 Everyone will know what you mean, but to my American ears it sounds a little off. One reason is that the expression has another common meaning. If someone joins the priesthood or the military or some other occupation that requires an extreme commitment, we often say that they have answered a call (or answered a calling.)

  • 1
    People in the UK will often say 'He (or she) is not picking up' if they try to call someone and the person does not respond by whatever method is right for the type of phone (landline, cell, etc). This applies even to younger people who may rarely use old fashioned landline phones with handsets you pick up. Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 10:41

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