The word "phone" is a shortened form of the word "telephone." Phones have been widely used in the United States since the early 1900s, but they have changed since that time. There are two main types of phones that people talk about: land line phones, which are connected to wires inside your home or office, and cell phones, which rely on satellite technology for transmitting sound, images, and video.

Here are some examples of what you might hear someone say when talking about a land line (The old style phone):

woman talking on the phone

  • The phone is ringing.
  • Can someone get the phone?
  • Don’t answer the phone. Let the answering machine take a message.
  • The phone has been ringing all day.
  • The phone has been ringing off the hook. (There have been a lot of calls,)

This is what you might hear someone say when talking about a cell phone: (a mobile phone):

cell phone

  • Someone’s phone is ringing. Is that me or you?
  • Whose phone is that?
  • I’m not answering my phone. I’ll listen to it later on voicemail.
  • Do you have your phone on you?
  • My phone is vibrating. I might have to take this call.
  • Excuse me. I need to take this call.
  • Please turn off your cell phone.

Notice that it’s no longer necessary to use the word "cell when talking about a cell phone. So many people have cell phones for taking calls or using the internet or applications the word "cell" is often dropped from the conversation:

  • I checked the weather on my phone. It’s going to rain.
  • Do you have a flashlight on your phone?
  • I set my phone to go off at 6 a.m. because I need to wake up early.
  • She’s watching a movie on her phone.
  • They’re playing games on their phones.
  • I’ll get the directions to that address on my phone.
  • My phone just vibrated. I think I got a text.
  • Sandra paid for her groceries by using her phone.

Click here for more English vocabulary.

August 28, 2019