中国家庭并不常用电话答录机（Answering Machine),但在北美家庭，几乎家家都用。外来电话拨入时，若该电话号码的主人不在，就会让拨入者听到一段留言，这叫Answer。绝大多数的Answer都是千篇一律的：说明主人不在，请拨入者留下简短信息及姓名电话号码等。 (来源：英语麦当劳－英语学习门户 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
1) My wife and I can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll leave your name and number, we'll get back to you as soon as we're finished.
2) Hi. This is John. If you are the phone company, I already sent the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you are my financial aid institution, you didn't lend me enough money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a female, don't worry, I have plenty of money.
3) Hi, I'm not home right now but my answering machine is, so you can talk to it instead. Wait for the beep（beep：主人的Answer讲完以后，Answer Machine会发出一声beep,这时候来电话者就可以开始留言了。）.
4) Hi! John's answering machine is broken. This is his refrigerator. Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your message to myself with one of these magnets（磁铁）. 注：通常情况下，来电话者面对录音讲话都不太自然，所以语言往往很急促，三句两句话就完了。这可苦坏了接听留言的主人，听多少遍都听不清留言者到底是谁，讲了些什么。对于母语非英文的人，这种感觉会更深。所以，以下这两段幽默干脆就首先告诉电话拨入者，我的Answer Machine不好使，你且慢慢来。
5) Hello, this is Sally's microwave. Her answering machine just eloped（私奔）with her tape deck（磁带驱动器）, so I'm stuck with taking her calls. Say, if you want anything cooked while you leave your message, just hold it up to the phone.
6) Hello, you are talking to a machine. I am capable of receiving messages. My owners do not need siding（墙板，壁板）, windows, or a hot tub（浴盆）, and their carpets are clean. They give to charity（慈善团体）through their office and do not need their picture taken. If you're still with me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.
7) Hi. I am probably home. I'm just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.
8) This is not an answering machine -- this is a telepathic（心灵感应术）thought- recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your reason for calling and a number where I can reach you, and I'll think about returning your call.注：tone：与对第3）句beep的注释含义完全一样，主人的Answer讲完以后，Answer Machine会发出一声beep,这时候来电话者就可以开始留言了。
9) Hi, this is George. I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right now. Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call you back.
10) If you are a burglar(夜贼), then we're probably at home cleaning our weapons right now and can't come to the phone. Otherwise, we probably aren't home and it's safe to leave us a message.
11) You're growing tired. Your eyelids(眼皮) are getting heavy. You feel very sleepy now. You are gradually losing your willpower(毅力) and your ability to resist suggestions. When you hear the tone you will feel helplessly compelled to(感到无助而被迫做某事) leave your name, number, and a message.
12) Please leave a message. However, you have the right to remain silent. Everything you say will be recorded and will be used by us.注：you have the right to remain silent：电影电视里警察出示逮捕令时常讲的一句话。西方社会讲究人权，任何疑犯在未审判之前不得认为有罪，因而不能逼供、更不可拷打：他们有权保持沉默。
13) Hello, you've reached Jim and Sonya. We can't pick up the phone right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy. Sonya likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right ... real slowly. So leave a message, and when we're done brushing our teeth, we'll get back to you.