We make appointments for many different reasons: to go to the doctor, to apply for a visa, to arrange a business meeting, and for job interviews, among others.
Would you like to know the most useful expressions to communicate appropriately when making an appointment in English? You’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll talk about formal appointments, which have a professional character and aim to conduct business or to provide a professional service. Remember that there is also the informal date in English, which is primarily an outing with friends or also with a romantic purpose.
Let’s say that you live in a busy city like New York or London.
You need to arrange a meeting in English with a potential client and have to either call them or write a message using a chat application.
You feel nervous because you don’t want to say something inappropriate, make a mistake, or waste the other person’s time.
Don’t worry. This is normal. The most important thing is to use concrete language and get to the point. You don’t waste time beating around the bush (talking about other things without deciding anything).
Greetings in English
Be sure to briefly greet the person who answers and ask for the person you wish to speak with:
– Hello! Can I speak to Dr Merissa, please?
– Good morning, this is Michael Smith calling. I’d like to arrange an appointment with Dr Merissa, please.
If you are calling on behalf of a company or on someone else’s behalf, you must introduce yourself first and then make the request:
– Hello, this is Lynn. I am calling from Smith.co.uk and would like to speak with Dr Collins.
You’ve already finished the first part. But it doesn’t end here. You still have to make your appointment!
Making an appointment in English
Now you’ll have to express the purpose for your call:
– Good morning. This is Frank Smith. I’m calling on behalf of Dr Adams and would like to arrange an appointment with Mr Edward Jackson.
– Hello, this is Lynn. I am calling from Smith.co.uk and would like to set up an interview with you.
– I would like to arrange an appointment to see her.
– I’d like to arrange a meeting with Doctor Johnson.
If the person is unavailable, you may hear the following:
– I’m afraid she’s in a meeting, but I can leave her a message.
Arranging an appointment in English
It’s going great. Now you must agree on the most convenient day and time for both parties. Look at the following examples:
Are you available on Monday? Are you available next Monday?
Are you free on Tuesday? Are you free next Tuesday?
How does the third sound to you?
Can we meet on Wednesday? Can we meet next Wednesday?
Would next Thursday be okay?
What about next Friday?
Is next Saturday okay?
There are plenty of options to choose from. It seems like everything’s going smoothly. You’re going to book your appointment without any problems!
How to confirm an appointment in English
After discussing everyone’s schedule, you should now confirm that the date you’ve discussed is the most suitable for you:
Yes, Monday is fine.
Yes, Tuesday would be fine.
Wednesday suits me.
Thursday would be perfect.
Please confirm if this date and time is suitable/convenient for you.
Can you let me know if this works for you?
How to say that a date/time is inconvenient for you
Not everything in life is perfect, especially with so many schedules that are full of obligations. To say that a certain date doesn’t work for you, you can use the following phrases:
I’m afraid I can’t on Monday.
I’m sorry, I can’t on Tuesday.
I won’t be able to meet on Wednesday.
I really don’t think I can on Thursday.
How to cancel an appointment in English
Everything was going so well. You made that call (or wrote those messages) and everything was working out perfectly.
The other person understood every sentence and now you have an appointment. But…now it turns out that an unforeseen event has occurred and you can’t attend.
You must contact them again and apologise! Ouch! Okay. It happens. That’s life.
Now you’ll have to arrange a new meeting:
Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen business, I will be unable to keep our appointment for tomorrow afternoon.
Would it be possible to arrange another time later in the week?
I’m afraid that I have to cancel our meeting on Wednesday as something unexpected has come up.
Would you be free to meet early next week?
You can already see that there is a specific language for booking appointments and meetings in English.
It’s a formal language and, if you use it well, you’ll have overcome a great obstacle.
If you use language that is too informal, you may lose a work or business opportunity.
You don’t have to explain yourself at length, just try to arrange the date for the next meeting.
You already have good tools to engage in conversation effectively and to make an appointment in English.
Now is time to put your knowledge to use.
Below are two situations that could arise in the real world.
It’d be much more useful if you could practice this conversation with someone else.
Sample telephone conversation 1
A: Hello! Can I speak to Dr Merissa, please?
B: I’m afraid she’s in a meeting, but I can leave her a message.
A: I would like to arrange an appointment to see her.
B: She’s available tomorrow morning.
A: I could make it at 11:30.
B: I’m sorry, she’s busy at that time. Would 12 be okay?
A: Excellent. I will see you tomorrow at 12, then!
Sample telephone conversation 2
A: Good morning! I would like to speak to Jeremy, please.
A: Hello, this is Lynn. I am calling from Smith.co.uk and would like to set up an interview with you.
B: Ah, yes. Let me look in my diary. When would be convenient for you?
A: Anytime after lunch.
B: How about Thursday? Does that work for you?
A: I’m afraid I might be out of town on Thursday. How does Friday sound to you?
B: Friday sounds great. Shall we meet here at four o’clock?
A: See you then! Bye.
That’s great! From now on, you’ll have good vocabulary and a lot of expressions to help you make appointments in English.
If you’re abroad, you’ll be able to book an appointment with the doctor easily, arrange a meeting with your client, or schedule your next job interview.
If you want to continue learning, keep exploring our blog or download the app for more free lessons.
Remember that you can also register for our online course and find more detailed explanations of the lessons you’ve seen.