20 Ways to Politely Ask “Who is Calling”

When you receive a phone call from an unknown number, it’s natural to want to know who is on the other end of the line.

However, it’s equally important to handle the situation with politeness and courtesy.

Whether you’re dealing with a potential business contact, a friend of a friend, or someone else entirely, there are various ways to politely ask, “Who is calling?”

In this article, we’ll explore 20 effective and courteous ways to inquire about the caller’s identity.

1. Start with a Warm Greeting

Before diving into the question of who’s calling, begin with a friendly greeting. A simple “Hello” or “Hi, how can I help you?” sets a positive tone for the conversation.

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2. “May I Ask Who is Calling, Please?”

A classic and straightforward way to politely inquire about the caller’s identity is by simply asking, “May I ask who is calling, please?” This approach is both courteous and direct.

3. “Who Do I Have the Pleasure of Speaking With?”

This phrase adds a touch of warmth and formality to your request. It suggests that you consider speaking with the caller a pleasure and invites them to introduce themselves.

4. “I’m Sorry, I Didn’t Catch Your Name.”

If the caller begins speaking without introducing themselves, you can politely interject with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” This subtle reminder prompts them to identify themselves.

5. “Could You Please Identify Yourself?”

A polite yet firm way to seek clarification on the caller’s identity is by saying, “Could you please identify yourself?” This leaves no room for confusion.

6. “Would You Mind Sharing Your Name?”

Asking the caller if they would mind sharing their name conveys your interest in knowing who you are speaking with while maintaining politeness.

7. “Could You Remind Me Who’s Calling?”

If you’ve spoken with the caller before but can’t remember their name, you can use this phrase to gently request a reminder.

8. “I’m Sorry, But I Didn’t Catch That. Who is This?”

If the caller’s introduction was unclear or if you didn’t hear it properly, apologizing for the misunderstanding while asking for their name is a respectful way to proceed.

9. “May I Know Who I’m Speaking With, Please?”

This straightforward and slightly formal approach conveys your desire to know the caller’s identity without any ambiguity.

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10. “Would You Be Kind Enough to Introduce Yourself?”

Asking the caller to be “kind enough” to introduce themselves adds a polite and respectful tone to your request.

11. “Who Am I Speaking to, If You Don’t Mind Me Asking?”

This phrasing emphasizes your curiosity while also showing respect for the caller’s privacy, as it includes the phrase “if you don’t mind me asking.”

12. “Could You Share Your Name for Our Conversation?”

This request combines politeness with the implication that knowing their name will enhance the quality of your conversation.

13. “I’m Sorry, I Don’t Recognize the Number. May I Know Who’s Calling?”

When the caller’s number is not in your contacts, you can politely express your lack of recognition while asking for their identity.

14. “Forgive My Memory, But Could You State Your Name?”

Apologizing for your memory lapse and requesting their name is a humble and respectful way to ask for identification.

15. “Hello, I Don’t Believe We’ve Met. What’s Your Name?”

This approach introduces the idea that you haven’t met the caller before, making it natural to inquire about their name as part of the introduction.

16. “I Don’t Mean to Be Rude, But I Didn’t Catch Your Name.”

Expressing your concern about being rude while requesting their name is a considerate way to seek clarification.

17. “Hi, I’m Not Sure Who’s Calling. Could You Help Me Out?”

By admitting your uncertainty and seeking their assistance, you create a collaborative atmosphere for the conversation.

18. “I Apologize, but I Need to Know Who I’m Speaking With.”

Sometimes, a direct apology followed by a polite request for their name is the most effective approach.

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19. “Could You Please State Your Name for the Record?”

This phrase adds a touch of formality, which can be particularly useful in business or official settings where documentation is involved.

20. “Who May I Say is Calling?”

Asking, “Who may I say is calling?” is a professional and respectful way to prompt the caller to identify themselves, especially in formal or business situations.


Handling phone calls from unknown numbers can be a delicate situation, but it’s essential to maintain politeness and courtesy.

Using any of these 20 polite ways to ask “Who is calling?” will help you navigate these conversations with grace and respect.

Whether you’re speaking with a potential client, a new acquaintance, or someone else entirely, these phrases will ensure that you maintain positive and polite communication throughout the call.

Remember that a friendly tone and respectful attitude can go a long way in establishing positive connections with others, even over the phone.