Business English: Telephoning MAKING and CHANGING APPOINTMENTS

  1. PRACTICE DIALOGUE: Making and Changing Appointments

Making Appointment

MJ:                        Hello! MeRISE office, this is MJ speaking.  

Mayumi:              Good morning, can I speak to Mr. Brian Hibberd, please? 

MJ:                        I’m afraid he’s in a meeting until lunchtime. Can I take a message? 

Mayumi:              Well, I’d like to arrange an appointment to see him, please. It’s Mayumi Sato of 

                              ABC company. I want to talk about the new project.  

MJ:                        Could you hold on for a minute, Ms. Mayumi. I’ll just take a look at the schedule. 

                              Thank you for waiting. So, when’s convenient for you?  

Mayumi:              Sometime next week if possible. Monday would be perfect. I think Mr. Brian is 

                              away the following week. 

MJ:                        Yes, that’s right, he’s on holiday for a fortnight. 

Mayumi:              Well, I need to see him before he goes away. So, would next Monday be okay? 

MJ:                        Monday …let me see … he’s out of the office all morning. But he’s free in the 

                              afternoon, after about three. 

Mayumi:              Ah, three o’clock is going to be a little difficult. I’d much prefer at four o’clock, if 

                              that’s alright.”

MJ:                        So, shall we say 4.15pm next Monday on 20th, in MBA office? 

Mayumi:              Yes, that sounds fine. Thank you very much. 

MJ:                        Okay, then. You’re welcome. Good bye.

Confirming and Changing Appointment

MJ:        Hello! This is MJ of Merise company. May I speak to Ms. Mayumi, please. 

Mayumi:              Mayumi speaking.

MJ                         I would like to reaffirm the appointment scheduled today with Mr. Brian Hibberd.

Mayumi:              Thank you for calling and confirming about it. I’m about to call you. I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to meet Mr. Brian after all. Something urgent has come up. Could we fix another time?

MJ:                        Oh, I understand. So, would Tuesday suit you?

Mayumi:              Tuesday suits me.

MJ:                        Great! So, is 3pm a good time for you?

Mayumi:              Yes, 3pm is fine.

MJ:                        Okay, I will take down notes about the changes of meeting schedule.

Mayumi:              Thank you so much!

MJ:                        You’re welcome. Good bye!

Mayumi:              Good bye!



  1. Appointment (ə-point′mənt)     

noun. An arrangement to do something or meet someone on a particular time and place.

2. Reaffirm (rē′ə-fûrm′)                             verb.  To affirm once again

3. Fortnight  (fôrt′nīt′)                         noun. A period of 14 days; two weeks.

4. Convenient (kən-vēn′yənt)            adjective. Suited or favorable to one’s comfort 

5. Available (ə-vā′lə-bəl)                     adjective. Free or ready to be seen or spoken 

Useful phrases for making and changing appointments.

Asking to meet

  • I would like to arrange an appointment 
  • Is next Monday convenient for you?
  • Are you available on the 17th?
  • How does the 17th sound to you?
  • Could we meet on the 17th?
  • Would Monday suit you?

Setting a time and place

  • So when’s convenient for you? 
  • What sort of time would suit you?
  • Is 3pm a good time for you?
  • So shall we say 4.15pm at the office next Wednesday? 
  • If possible, I’d like to meet at the office in the afternoon

Agreeing on a date and place

  • Yes, Monday is fine.
  • Monday suits me.
  • Monday would be perfect.
  • I could make it at the office after four.  

Suggesting a different date

  • I’m afraid I can’t on the 17th. What about on the 20th?
  • I really don’t think I can on the 17th. Can we meet up on the 20th?
  • I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make it on Monday. Could we meet on Tuesday instead?
  • Ah, Three o’clock is going to be a little difficult. I’d much prefer at four o’clock, if that’s alright.

Confirming information

  • So..
  • Can I check that? You said….
  • To confirm that…

Ending a call

  • Right. I think that’s all.
  • Thank you very much for your help.
  • Goodbye and thanks.
  • Bye for now.

IV. Language Focus

We usually use the present continuous with a future time expression to talk about arrangements.

I’m flying in on Monday morning.
And then I’m having dinner with my client in the evening.

If you want to change an arrangement, it is polite to give a concrete reason for doing so.

I’m afraid something has come up. One of my clients has brought forward our appointment.

The phrase something has come upmeans that something unexpected has happened and it is probably
not something you can control.

Here are some ways to suggest or ask about changing an arrangement.

So, I wanted to ask you if we could meet a bit earlier in the morning.
I was wondering if we could reschedule our appointment.
we possibly postpone the presentation?
Would it be possible to meet a bit later?

  1. ROLE-PLAY Practical Application

Activity 1

Practice the following scenarios with a partner.

Role-play scenario

1 Call your teacher and make an appointment to have a consultation with him/her.

Time: 8 o’clock in the morning

Place: ABC Office, Meeting Room 1

2. Change the appointment schedule

Reason: give a valid reason

Time: From 8 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock in the afternoon

Place: From ABC office room 1 to ABC office room 2  

Activity 2

Choose a situation wherein you need to call someone to arrange a meeting in your workplace.  Write a dialogue and practice this with your teacher. Act it out in class.

NOTE: I just found some of the contents here somewhere online and somewhere else. I can’t remember my exact sources.

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