"On the phone" or "over the phone"? – Global-Learning.ro
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“On the phone” or “over the phone”?

We use “on the phone” to say that someone is using a telephone. Let’s see some examples to understand how “on the phone” is used:

  • Please do not enter your father’s office while he is on the phone. [this means while he is using the phone]
  • Can you please be quiet? I am on the phone.
  • Mum was on the phone when I arrived home, she was crying…

We use  “over the phone” to express that something is done using the phone as a tool or a way to do it. 

Let’s see some examples to understand how “over the phone” is used:

  • We announced the news over the phone. [=we used the phone to make the announcement, rather than an email or other way]
  • Nowadays we can pay the bills over the phone so we don’t have to go to the bank or post office.
  • We can order a taxi over the phone or we can use an app.