Could We Fix a Time to Meet?


COULD WE FIX A TIME TO MEET?

By Guy Perring


One of the most common uses of the telephone is to make an appointment. However, even with the wonders of e-mail, video conferencing and the old- fashioned phone, many professionals still prefer the face-to-face meeting to solve issues and maintain good relationships with clients.

Here are some opening phrases you can use to make an appointment:

I was wondering if we could fix a time to meet?

I was hoping we could meet up sometime this week?

Could we arrange a time to meet in the next few days?

Would it be possible to meet in the next few days?

After that, it is then a question of negotiating a suitable time to meet:

What time would suit you?

When would be convenient?

When are you free?

(No real difference in meaning between the second and third options, although “convenient” is more formal.)
For more general requests or if you have a time in mind, you can use the following:

How about Tuesday lunchtime?

What about Monday morning?

Is Wednesday morning good for you?

Are you free on Friday morning?

Is Tuesday morning possible for you?

Shall we say Monday afternoon?

Again no real difference in meaning among the options. It is useful to have a number of different phrases to use as you try and find a suitable time for both of you. You don’t want to keep saying How about ...?, How about ...?, every time. You need to specify the days and times when you are or aren’t available:

I’m free on Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon.

I’m out of the office all day Wednesday.

I’m in meetings most of Friday.

I’m not available on Thursday afternoon.

I’m flying to Brunei on Wednesday.

Note that in the last example, we use the present continuous tense. This is the most common form to use when we are referring to fixed arrangements in the future. So, anything in a diary or schedule that you are discussing would be in the present continuous. Take a look at the diary below:

Thursday 24th May –

Presentation to board of results

Friday 25th May –
Meet with Marketing Team

Saturday 26th May –
Annual Office Ball

Monday 2t8h May –
Fly to KK


Try and change these arrangements into sentences with the present continuous. Some suggested answers below my name! Finally, there are times when you need to change appointments at the last moment. Here are some phrases for that situation:

I’m very sorry, but I need to cancel our appointment on _________. Could we arrange another time?

We have had a bit of a crisis here, so I need to reschedule our meeting.

I’m afraid I can’t manage our meeting on Friday. Can we meet next week instead?

Guy Perring is Director, Professional Development Unit (PDU), at the British Council Malaysia. The PDU offers a wide range of learning opportunities from management and communication skills training to developing English skills. Visit it at www.britishcouncil. org.my or e-mail guy.perring@britishcouncil.org.my.


Suggested answers:

I’m giving a presentation to the board on Thursday.

I’m meeting the Marketing Team on Friday.

I’m attending the Annual Office Ball on Saturday.

I’m flying to KK on Monday.

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Comment by MAY THI KHAING on September 25, 2011 at 20:37

good

 

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