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
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
What time would suit
When would be
When are you
(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
What about Monday
Is Wednesday morning good for
Are you free on Friday
Is Tuesday morning possible for
Shall we say Monday
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
I’m out of the office all day
I’m in meetings most of
I’m not available on Thursday
I’m flying to Brunei on
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
|Friday 25th May –
||Meet with Marketing Team
|Saturday 26th May –
|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
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?
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
I’m giving a presentation to the
board on Thursday.
I’m meeting the Marketing Team on
I’m attending the Annual Office
Ball on Saturday.
I’m flying to KK on