CortanaIf you are new to Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 and have either got Cortana because you live in US, UK, China, India, Australia and Canada or you live in any other markets and you have got Cortana speaking English US, by following these steps.

Anyways, here is a big list of what you can speak to Cortana. Though this is not a exhaustive list for sure and you may add some more yourself.

Task or subjectSome ideas to get you started

Chit chat

  • How old are you?
  • Tell me a joke
  • Where are you from?


  • Make a call to John at home
  • Call Soumow on speakerphone
  • Call Tomoko
  • Call Raina, home


  • Text dad
  • Message Anna
  • Text Horatio Do you want to grab coffee this afternoon?


  • Put swimming on my calendar for tomorrow
  • Change my 3 PM event to 4
  • What do I have next?
  • What’s happening this weekend?


  • Remind me to pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow
  • Remind me to water the plants when I get home
  • Next time I’m at the grocery store, remind me to buy bananas (if Cortana isn’t sure which one you mean, she’ll ask)
  • When Jordana calls, remind me to congratulate her on her new column
  • Remind me to call Luther when I leave work


  • Wake me up at 6 AM
  • Set an alarm for 5:45 AM
  • Turn off my 3 PM alarm
  • Wake me up in 20 minutes


  • Take a note
  • Note: left my car on level 4
  • Take a note: find birdwatching book for Dad’s birthday


  • Play [artists]
  • Put on
  • Start playing [song]
  • Play some jazz
  • Play [album]
  • What song is playing?

Maps and directions

  • Get me directions to the Grand Canyon
  • Where am I?
  • How long will it take me to get to the Space Needle?
  • Show me a map of 123 Main Street
  • How far to Four Corners National Park?
  • What’s traffic like on the way to work?

Places to go

  • Is there a Starbucks near me?
  • Find a cheap pizza place that’s open now
  • Show me highly rated restaurants nearby
  • Is [place] open on weekends?


  • Will it rain this weekend?
  • Is it cold out?
  • What’s the weather today?
  • What’s the forecast for next week?
  • Is it hot in Paris right now?


  • Who is the tallest woman in the world?
  • Who is the president of Portugal?
  • What’s the capital of Qatar?


  • What’s the status of Alaska Airlines flight 628?
  • Is Qantas flight 16 on time?


  • Latest NBA scores?
  • Latest Mariner’s score
  • When was the last Seahawks game?


  • Convert 60 dollars to yen
  • How many pesos in a dollar?
  • How much is a Nokia share?
  • How did the Asian markets do?

In case, you already have some hands-on experience with Cortana, then you may know that it allows you to set person-based, time-based and location-based reminders. If you are facing issues with reminders and didn’t get any of such reminders even after setting them with help of Cortana, you can check the following,

1) Look in Cortana’s Notebook:

If you’re encountering reminder problems, we encourage you to go to Cortana’s Notebook first. Reminders you create with Cortana’s help are stored in the Remind me section of the notebook, and errors that require your attention will also appear there. Press the Search Search icon button to go to Cortana, and then tap Cortana’s Notebook Cortana's Notebook icon > Remind me.

2) Check your reminders calendar:

If you’re not getting time-based reminders you’ve created with Cortana’s help, it’s possible that your reminders calendar is turned off. To turn on your reminders calendar:

  1. In the App list, tap Calendar.

  2. Tap More More icon > Settings.

  3. Under Remind me, select the Reminders check box.

3) Check your contacts and accounts:

If you’re not getting person-based reminders, it’s possible that you may have deleted a contact or an account that has that contact. For more info, see Create and edit my contacts.

4) Check your network connection and turn on location services:

If you’re expecting a location-based reminder and you haven’t gotten it, be sure your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular data network with a strong Internet signal. Also, make sure that location services are turned on. In the App list, tap Settings Settings Tile > Location, and then set Location services to On Toggle On icon.

Our Coverage:

How to set Cortana, Quiet hours & Inner Circle:

[Windows Phone 8.1 series: Cortana, Quiet hours & Inner Circle demo & how to enable in settings?]

We have everything about Lumia Cyan and Windows Phone 8.1 which includes:- Full Changelog, Hands-on demo videos and all above Tips & Tutorial  articles on our dedicated Lumia Cyan and Windows Phone 8.1 page.