New answers tagged politeness
When you are in traffic jam, you would call to say すみません、渋滞で遅れます。 or more formally 申し訳ありません。渋滞で遅れてしまいます。 When you have gotten there, you would tell your manager in the past tense すみません、渋滞で遅れました。 or more formally 申し訳ありません。渋滞で遅れてしまいました。
If you're not expecting their call, then one does wonder what exactly the 世話 could be that made them call you. If it's a company where you are a customer, I would probably wait to hear more, so Me. はい、◯◯です。 Them. ◯◯社の◯◯と申します。 Me. はい。 If you want a firmer handle on the conversation, you can also ask Me. どういったご用件ですか。 If in the end you did benefit from ...
If you are a customer I wouldn't care too much. お世話になってます would be a good choice. あ、どうも or even はい would work (albeit less polite, but as a customer you don't need to be polite). If you want to ask why they called you can say 何のお電話でしょう？ or どうしました？.
In it's purest form ます、ました、and ません are just conjugations. So a good example demonstrating the differences is to use 食べる (because it's breakfast time and I'm hungry). 食べます - I can/will eat 食べました - I ate 食べません - I don't eat For ございます, it's a bit more tricky. ございます is used as a polite form of ある, the verb for "to exist". So an example would be if ...
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