Have you ever called a plumber (or another tradesperson) to arrange for them to come to your home and fix a problem? Was it difficult to understand him or her? In these activities, you will learn what to say on the phone to arrange a tradesperson’s visit.


Task 1 - understanding the film

This first task will help you understand what happens in the film. 

Task 2 - useful phrases

In this activity, you will learn some useful phrases that the plumber says to Sunita.

Task 3 - useful phrases to make an appointment

Now you will study phrases that Sunita and the plumber say when they are making their appointment.

Task 4 - who says what?

In this final task, decide who says each of the phrases in Task 3. 


Mr Konik: OK. So, they’ve got water everywhere in the kitchen. Could you call Mr and Mrs Chowdry ASAP?

Plumber: OK, yeah, I’ll do that now. Cheers.
Mr Konik: OK. Thanks. Bye.
(He hangs up, and the plumber dials another number.) 
Plumber: Hello, Mrs Chowdry?
Sunita: Hello? 
Plumber: It’s the plumber here, Gary. I just got your number from Mr Konik, at the Housing Association.
Sunita: Oh yes, thanks for calling.
Plumber:  So, what’s up?
Sunita: I’m sorry? 
Plumber: What’s the problem? What’s wrong?
Plumber:  Oh, yes. It’s the washing machine. It’s leaking. 
Sunita: OK, well, I’m sure I can help.
Sunita: Oh great. Can you come now?
Plumber: Not now I’m afraid. I’m doing another job at the moment. I’m tied up all morning. 
Sunita: ‘Tied up’? What do you mean?
Plumber:  Sorry, it’s the way I speak. I speak very fast! I’m tied up, I’m busy. I’m doing another job. But I’ll finish at about half twelve. 
Sunita: What time, sorry?
Plumber: Half twelve. Half past twelve. 
Sunita: Oh yes.
Plumber:  I can come and see your washing machine then. I’ve got your address here off Mr Konik. It’s not far. So I could be at yours, between half twelve and one.
Sunita: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. You speak very fast. I didn’t understand. At my..? When?
Plumber:  At your place… at your house, at your flat. 
Sunita: Yes. Thank you.
Plumber: OK then. Cheers. Bye. 
Sunita: Bye.
(They both hang up.) 
Sunita: I can’t come now, I’m all tied up. I’m tied up, very busy. Very busy. I can’t come now, I’m very busy. I’ll be there at half twelve… half twelve. I’ll be at your place at half twelve.



  • Have you ever spoken to a tradesperson (a plumber, electrician or builder) on the phone?
  • Did they use any phrases that you didn’t understand  (for example ‘What’s up?’, ‘tied up’, ‘half twelve’, or ‘at yours’)?

Write and tell us and maybe we can help you understand what they mean!