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In United States, a telephone conversation usually starts like this.

Me: [Calls John]

John: Hello.

Me: Hi, John. It's Joe.

This is between 2 people that are familiar with each other, but not so familiar that they can identify each other by their voices. Hence, it is necessary to say who you are.

How is the last sentence translated into Mexican Spanish?

  1. Es José.
  2. Soy José.
  3. Me llamo José.
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Interesting, I've always been caught up on this. I know saying 'Soy Justin' is the right thing to say but I've had people make fun of me like Im being way to formal or something. – Justin Wilcke Feb 21 at 20:44
up vote 14 down vote accepted

"Es José" is grammatically wrong. It seems like a word-by-word translation from English. I don't know if it is used somewhere, but here in Spain it sounds completely wrong.

"Me llamo José" could be used when calling an unknown person. Like if you are a sales rep or something, and you want to introduce yourself: "me llamo José y le llamo de la compañía X..."

"Soy José" is perfectly fine, and I would say it's the common way in Spain. This site says that "Habla José" is the polite way in Mexico, as Efren said too.

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1  
I've gone through a few links and "soy..." or "habla..." seem to be the most recommended ways. – MikMik Jun 18 '13 at 7:01
    
"Aquí José" sería otra manera aceptable. – deStrangis Oct 17 '13 at 9:00
    
In Spain, you will hear "Al habla José" instead of "Habla José" most of the times but this way of introducing yourself is not common. – Mario Feb 24 at 11:24

Number 2 is a common way.

A more formal way would be: Habla José

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Is habla José rarely used? Joe talks sounds robotic. – JoJo Jun 18 '13 at 6:54
1  
The correct translation would be Joe talking. Joe talks is a one to one translation, not taking into account the verb conjugation. – Efren Jun 18 '13 at 7:05
    
+1 "Habla José" sounds correct and common to me. – leonbloy Jun 18 '13 at 12:36
2  
@JoJo You might equate it to "Joe speaking" which is often used in English. :) – WendiKidd Jun 26 '13 at 3:13

In Venezuela, I learned to always respond with the form "Habla José," even with friends and family. I think that the formality of the statement will vary from country to country, but grammatically, at least, it's correct and fluent Spanish.

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First you should greet the person picking up the phone.

  • "Good morning / afternoon / evening" - which ever applies

  • "Buenos días / Buenas tardes / Buenas noches"

Then you tell them who you are.

  • My name is José

  • Mi nombre es José

And then why you're calling.

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