Monday, March 12, 2012

Common Error: Phrases For Introductions

What phrases should these people use to say their names? (Image)

Welcome to Mistake Monday! Today's Common Error is short, but it does cause problems. I used to work as an English teacher in a call center, and believe it or not, the phrase we'll look at today caused many communication problems between agents and callers:

Common Error: Phrases For Introductions
DON’T say this:(Answering the phone): "Hello, I am Ryan."
(Introducing someone): "She is Jenny. She's my sister."
"Yesterday in class I introduced me."
WHY?These phrases make sense if you translate them from other languages, but if you're introducing or presenting someone, normally we use different phrases.

Normally, if you're answering the phone and want to identify yourself, say:
"This is (your name)."
If you say "I am (your name)," it sounds strange to many people, and even though it's good English, it can cause confusion.

If you're introducing a person, it's most common to say:
"This is (person's name)."
Don't say "She/he is (name)," since it also sounds strange to many people.

Finally, if you're introducing yourself, it's best to say:
"My name is (your name)."
If you use the phrase "I am ____," it's normally connected with professions or personal characteristics, but not names:
"I am a teacher," "I am tall," "I am optimistic," OR "I am 31." 
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-(Answering the phone): "Hello, this is Ryan."
-(Introducing a person): "This is Jenny. She's my sister."
-"Yesterday in class I introduced myself."

How do you answer the phone or introduce people in your country or language?
Is it similar or different from English?

If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact me. Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! If you have a specific comment about this post, please tell me. If you have a general question about the site or a common error suggestion, you can also use the "Contact" link at the top of the page.
-Ryan