Making an appointment by telephone in English can be hard because you need to use clear language and speak calmly. Watch the film and complete the activities so you can learn useful phrases to say when you make or change appointments or plans. 

Tasks

Task 1 - understanding the film

Task 2 - words from the film

Task 3 - learn phrases

Learn phrases to say what is happening in the film.

All the sentences are in the present continuous tense.

Task 4 - present continuous

Task 5 - gap fill conversation

Task 6 - your turn

You can use your mobile phone to record yourself speaking. If you think you could improve, you can record yourself again.You can say sentences like these the next time you make or change an appointment.

  • I'm sorry, I'm working on Saturday.
  • I'm sorry, I can't. I'm visiting my sister on Sunday.
  • I'm sorry, that's no good. He's playing football for his school then.
  • Oh, I'm sorry. My daughter and her family are coming to stay with me on Friday.
  • Sorry. They are singing in a concert on Saturday. How about Sunday?

Practise until you can say the sentences calmly and clearly. 

Transcript

Arjun:  Oh, this is great. Monday morning, and I don’t have to go to work all week.

Sunita: Yes, we can spend some time together… and maybe you can do some jobs around the flat… like, er, mending things? Like mending... this thing over here. It’s broken, see?

Arjun: Oh! What day this week are we going to the dentist’s for a check-up? Is it Thursday or Friday?

Sunita: It’s today.

Arjun: Oh really? That’s OK. Look, on Wednesday, I have to get up early. 

Sunita: Why?

Arjun: Cricket on TV. India against Pakistan. Look!

Sunita: Oh and in the afternoon there’s ‘3 Idiots’.

Arjun: Uh?

Sunita: The Bollywood film. I really want to see that. You know all this Bollywood dancing…

Arjun: OK, well, I’ll watch the TV in the morning, the cricket, and then in the afternoon, you can have your TV for your idiots. 

Sunita: ‘3 Idiots’. Maybe you should watch it too. You might learn something! Telephone rings. Hello?

Receptionist: Is this Mrs Chowdry?

Sunita: Speaking.

Receptionist: Hello, this is Giston Dental Centre.

Sunita: Oh, yes, hello.  My husband and I are coming in for our appointments later today.

Receptionist: Well that’s why I’m ringing. Unfortunately, the dentist is ill today.

Sunita: Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that.

Receptionist: So, we need to rearrange your appointment.

Sunita: Re… arrange?

Receptionist: Yeah, fix another time.

Sunita: OK. Like, change the appointment?

Receptionist: Exactly. Right, we’ve got some free appointments on Wednesday.

Sunita: Uh–huh.

Receptionist: Now, starting with Mr Chowdry. We could see him on Wednesday at 11. 

Sunita: Wednesday at 11, with the same dentist?

Receptionist: Yes.

Sunita: OK. That sounds great. Sorry, just,  I’m just checking with my husband. Ah no, sorry. I think he’s having a haircut or something.

Receptionist: OK, no problem. What about earlier? 10.30?

Sunita: 10.30 on Wednesday. What? 

Arjun: The cricket!

Sunita: No! A dentist’s appointment is more important.

Arjun: I can’t do 10.30.

Sunita: It’s only a game!

Receptionist: Hello?

Arjun: Tell them I’m busy, tell them I’m…. working or something at 10.30! 

Receptionist: Hello?

Sunita: Sorry, my husband says 10.30 on Wednesday is fine.

Arjun: Oh, what?!

Sunita: Sorry, could you hold on one moment please? I’m not going to lie to them for you. If you want to tell them rubbish, you tell them yourself!

Arjun: My darling, what time is that film on Wednesday that you want to watch?

Sunita: Two o’clock. Until half past four.

Arjun: Hello, Arjun Chowdry speaking.

Receptionist: Hello Mr Chowdry.

Arjun: Now, we need to change my wife’s appointment too, don’t we?

Receptionist: That’s right. When’s good for her? 

Arjun: Well the best time for her will be Wednesday. Between two o’clock and… four thirty? Can you see her then?

Receptionist: Three o’clock?

Arjun: Three o’clock.

Sunita: No! My film!

Arjun: She says that’s perfect.

Receptionist: Great. So we’ll see you both on Wednesday then. Thank you very much. Goodbye.

Arjun: Thank you.

Arjun: Oh, this is great. Monday morning, and I don’t have to go to work all week.

Sunita: Yes, we can spend some time together… and maybe you can do some jobs around the flat… like, er, mending things? Like mending... this thing over here. It’s broken, see?

Arjun: Oh! What day this week are we going to the dentist’s for a check-up? Is it Thursday or Friday?

Sunita: It’s today.

Arjun: Oh really? That’s OK. Look, on Wednesday, I have to get up early. 

Sunita: Why?

Arjun: Cricket on TV. India against Pakistan. Look!

Sunita: Oh and in the afternoon there’s ‘3 Idiots’.

Arjun: Uh?

Sunita: The Bollywood film. I really want to see that. You know all this Bollywood dancing…

Arjun: OK, well, I’ll watch the TV in the morning, the cricket, and then in the afternoon, you can have your TV for your idiots. 

Sunita: ‘3 Idiots’. Maybe you should watch it too. You might learn something! telephone rings. Hello?

Receptionist: Is this Mrs Chowdry?

Sunita: Speaking.

Receptionist: Hello, this is Giston Dental Centre.

Sunita: Oh, yes, hello.  My husband and I are coming in for our appointments later today.

Receptionist: Well that’s why I’m ringing. Unfortunately, the dentist is ill today.

Sunita: Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that.

Receptionist: So, we need to rearrange your appointment.

Sunita: Re… arrange?

Receptionist: Yeah, fix another time.

Sunita: OK. Like, change the appointment?

Receptionist: Exactly. Right, we’ve got some free appointments on Wednesday.

Sunita: Uh–huh.

Receptionist: Now, starting with Mr Chowdry. We could see him on Wednesday at 11. 

Sunita: Wednesday at 11, with the same dentist?

Receptionist: Yes.

Sunita: OK. That sounds great. Sorry, just,  I’m just checking with my husband. Ah no, sorry. I think he’s having a haircut or something.

Receptionist: OK, no problem. What about earlier? 10.30?

Sunita: 10.30 on Wednesday. What? 

Arjun: The cricket!

Sunita: No! A dentist’s appointment is more important.

Arjun: I can’t do 10.30.

Sunita: It’s only a game!

Receptionist: Hello?

Arjun: Tell them I’m busy, tell them I’m…. working or something at 10.30! 

Receptionist: Hello?

Sunita: Sorry, my husband says 10.30 on Wednesday is fine.

Arjun: Oh, what?!

Sunita: Sorry, could you hold on one moment please? I’m not going to lie to them for you. If you want to tell them rubbish, you tell them yourself!

Arjun: My darling, what time is that film on Wednesday that you want to watch?

Sunita: Two o’clock. Until half past four.

Arjun: Hello, Arjun Chowdry speaking.

Receptionist: Hello Mr Chowdry.

Arjun: Now, we need to change my wife’s appointment too, don’t we?

Receptionist: That’s right. When’s good for her? 

Arjun: Well the best time for her will be Wednesday. Between two o’clock and… four thirty? Can you see her then?

Receptionist: Three o’clock?

Arjun: Three o’clock.

Sunita: No! My film!

Arjun: She says that’s perfect.

Receptionist: Great. So we’ll see you both on Wednesday then. Thank you very much. Goodbye.

Arjun: Thank you. Bye. It’s only a film! you. Bye. It’s only a film!

 

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Comments

  • Do you like talking in English on the telephone? Why? Why not?
  • What advice can you give somebody who needs to change an appointment by telephone?