Attend or answer the phone?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by ivantoth, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. ivantoth New Member

    Argentina
    Hoy me preguntaron :
    attended the phone
    es lo mismo que
    answered the phone
    y me quede pensando.. porque naturalmente se dice answered
    mi pregunta es
    si yo utilizo el verbo attend esta mal?
     
  2. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng

    Hola Ivantoth!! :) Bienvenido al foro!!

    No es lo mismo y está mal decir "to attend the phone". "Attend" es un "false friend" "false cognate" de la palabra "atender".

    Attend en inglés significa asistir a algún lugar o evento. Ej: to attend classes, mass, to attend a meeting, a lecture, etc.

    Saludos! :thumbsup:
     
  3. ivantoth New Member

    Argentina
    Gracias Art

    now i´m going to answer not to attend..
     
  4. Lancel0t

    Lancel0t Senior Member

    Philippines
    Philippines - Filipino/English
    For the first time, I will disagree to your opinion NIlda, you can use the verb attend when answering a call.

    Ex. Our supervisor is currently attending another call so he can't help you.
    When I called that number a while ago, that number was unattended.
    He is attending another call right now.
     
  5. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng

    Well Jim!!! There is always a first time for everything!!! :p I have never heard of this word used as you mentioned. But it is possible. Maybe "attend" in your sentences means "to pay attention" and not to "answer" a call. What do you think? What do natives think?
     
  6. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Lo siento Lancelot;
    I do not agree...to attend--to take care of--to go with--to be present at--to pay attention--to wait on..."Websters dictionary". You don't attend a call..You attend shows, concerts, plays, meetings....but that is just my view.
    te gato;)
    feel free to correct
     
  7. Lancel0t

    Lancel0t Senior Member

    Philippines
    Philippines - Filipino/English

    Thanks for your opinion. Well, before I made that post I already checked webster.com and found those meanings. Well, here in a call center we usually use the verb "attend" if our supervisor or manager is answering or entertaining a certain call. :)
     
  8. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    If the phone rings, you tell your friend, "go and make yourself a cuppa whilst I attend to that phone call."

    No problems.

    The action implies I am going to do something.
    The difference between answering and attending is obvious but both can be apllied to picking up the reciever and saying: "Whatchuwant? :D
     
  9. cubaMania Senior Member

    We definitely do not "attend the phone." That's just wrong. We "answer the phone."
    But "to attend" and "to attend to" have different meanings.

    "To attend" es (como dice Artrella) asistir a un lugar o evento, estar presente.

    "To attend to" significa "encargarse de"

    Por eso podemos decir "Please attend to that phone call." Pero no quiere decir lo mismo que "answer the phone." La traduccion seria algo como "Por favor encargase de esa llamada."

    We can "attend to the children" cuidar a los ni~os
    We can "attend to the matter" encargar del asunto
    etc.
     
  10. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    I agree with all of you who say that attend and answer are different.

    Attendre is also a problem for me in French.

    If you said that you are attending to a call, I would assume that you are "taking care of it". And that would be more than answering a phone call. It might mean, for instance, that you answer the phone, then answer questions from someone, complete the call, hang up, etc. :)
     
  11. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    They have different meanings., but some people do attend to the phone, implying that they are going to answer it, respond to its ringing, or talk into it, etc. It could be simply paying attention or responding to the apparatus for some reason: it could be off the hook and is emitting that loud pulsating alarm calling you to put it back on its receiver, so that you are forced to attend to it or else get very annoyed.

    It could be the dictionary you are using may not have completely covered "attend"'s possible uses.
     
  12. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    But "attend to the phone" still has a much wider meaning. If the phone is ringing at home, and I'm in the bathroom, I'm never going to say:

    Will someone please attend to the phone?

    That would sound VERY strange! :)
     
  13. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    Yes, you are right that "attend to the phone" has a wider meaning; and that it does not mean necessarily to attend to it by answering it [the phone]. Answer the phone would be a possible subset understanding of attend to the phone, given the right context. And I agree, that when one is attending to matters such as when one is indisposed, the urgency of the situation calls for specificity, loud at that, something that "Hey, attend to the phone!" just does not quite accomplish through a closed door. It would sound out of place, I agree. [Just being humorous, gaer]

    No contrarying opinion here, gaer. One is general, the other specific. I am reminded of the "balas" discussion; except no insistence here on the general term meaning the specific term.

    Greetings,
    Chaucer
     
  14. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    Well, general rules of life often do not apply when "one is discommoded on the commode". :)
     
  15. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    I agree to a point...To attend is to do something...but it just SOUNDS so strange...
    te gato;)
     
  16. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    Don't often use an entry for this, but:
    ".!.!.!" chuckle.
     
  17. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    There seem to be two opinions here....the one that say it is "wrong" and the one that acknowledge it means something slighlty different.

    Clearly if you say "Attend THE phone" as in "answer the phone" something is amiss. If you say "Attend TO the phone calls" that is English, and since English si spoken by a few billion people in 75 countries, I don't think anyone here can say that it is WRONG.
     
  18. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    I agree...to attend to the phone calls!!!
    te gato;)
     
  19. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    Hei 'gato', how is the weather in Canada? How far are you from the border with the US? :)
     
  20. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Which border????? What weather?? We just got a huge dump of snow last night, and then a chinook today!!!
    te gato;)
     
  21. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    You mean to tell me that we "Canada" are not the only ones out there???
    There are more?? With the chinook, my igloo melted...HA, HA
    te gato;)
     
  22. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    Can't quite understand your message, Marc1. But the last sentence, I think, I agree with. Did I give the impression that one of the opinions was wrong?

    Actually, Marc1, I'm not sure what I am responding to. I think we're in agreement. (???) By the way, I've always have liked your scrutinizing tone, direct and take-no-prisoners like; a relief from the Smileys besitos and abrazos approach. It's a compliment.
     
  23. Timmy C Senior Member

    Brighton UK
    UK English
    I agree that you can use attend in the sense that Lancelot originally mentions - to be attending to another call - but I would say that you're not talking about answerning the call but more something like dealing with or taking care of another call. I think this implies a more involved process than simply answering the phone.

    But if Ivan's just trying to work out which one to use for himself, which sounds more natural, I would say it has to be answer. I work in an office among native english speakers. I hear people talk about answering the phone every day but I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone talk about attending to the phone (although I would understand it).
     
  24. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.

    Ha ha, don't need to be so careful, I'm harmless ... at this distance anyway! :cool:
     
  25. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    What does "the Smileys besitos and abrazos approach" mean?
     
  26. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    I agree. I would understand "attending to a [another] call", but I've never heard it.
     
  27. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng

    I agree with you Timmy C. "Attend" is related to getting involved or paying attention to some activity. IMHO.

    Bye!! :)
     
  28. ivantoth New Member

    Argentina
    Well.. i supose that i can use the verb attend to take care of a call but the reallity says that the correct form is using answer.. the correct or the more usually..
     
  29. cubaMania Senior Member

    Chaucer what you are leaving out here is the all-important word "to."

    We do not "attend the phone." That's just wrong.

    The question was not do we "attend to the phone" but rather do we "attend the phone." No we don't.

    I think it is an important and necessary distinction to make for our native Spanish-speaking friends because it is quite confusing that the meaning of "to attend" is totally different from the meaning of "to attend to."

    For instance, we "attend church" "attend the ballgame" "attend school"
    But if we were to say we "attend to the church" that does not come anywhere close to the same meaning as "attend church." If we "attend church" we go to church on Sunday to listen to the sermon. If someone were ever to say "attend to the church" it would have to be in some situation where the church needed some fixing or caring-for from us. Thus "encargarse de" is a transalation for "to attend to" but is definitely not a translation for "to attend."
     
  30. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Cuba Mania.....Thank you!!!:D that is what I have said all along...You "answer" the phone you do not "attend" the phone.
    te gato;)
    feel free to correct
     
  31. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    Damas y cabelleros: But I didn't leave to out. Check and see. Attend the phone, I am in full agreement, is badly grammared.
     
  32. ivantoth New Member

    Argentina
    Thanks Timmy that's the answer i expect it
     
  33. TSal New Member

    English - Ireland
    Hi,

    This is only about 6 years late, but for anyone who stumbles upon this post I just wanted to add a comment.

    Whilst I wouldn´t normally say "attend to the phone" it doesn´t sound completely incorrect to me. It reminds me of perhaps more formal English, which wouldn´t have been out of place maybe 30 or 40 years or so ago. I would definitely agree that it would be "attend to" as opposed to "attend" by itself.

    In that case, there would be no difference between "attend to the phone" and "answer the phone".

    Thanks!
     

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