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  • Business English: Scheduling a Meeting

    Text Version:

    No matter what line of work you’re in, there’s one thing almost everyone needs to do at some point or another: schedule a meeting. It could be that you’re trying to wrangle a bunch of people to move forward on a project. Maybe you’re working with your boss’s assistant to find a time for your review. Or you could be between jobs, and the meeting you’re scheduling is with a connection who can get you an interview.

    Whatever the situation, knowing how to schedule a meeting is a vital business skill. Read on for tips and helpful English phrases.

    Useful phrases

    • Yes, [date and time] is fine.
    • [Date and time] works for me. Does it work for you?
    • [Date and time] suits me.
    • How is [date and time] for you?
    • Are you available on [date]?
    • Would [alternate date] be okay?
    • I’m afraid I can’t meet on [date] at [time].
    • I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to make it then.
    • Could we meet on [alternate date] at [alternate time] instead?
    • I’ll see you then.

    Schedule a day for the meeting

    If you’re asked to organize a meeting in a business setting, you will need to find a day of the week that works for everyone who needs to attend the meeting. You could start by asking something like “How is Monday for you?” or “Does Tuesday work for you?”

    Set a time for the meeting

    Businesses in the US typically use a twelve-hour clock, with “a.m.” meaning “morning” and “p.m.” meaning “afternoon.” (For example, 1:00 p.m. would be an hour after noon.) In most cases, you will not need to specify a.m. or p.m. because business is conducted during the day. However, if there may be some confusion, you can add “in the morning” or “in the evening” (e.g., “Can you make it to our planning meeting at eight in the evening?”).

    Suggest another date or time

    If you or anyone else involved in the meeting can’t make it at the original time and date discussed, politely suggest another meeting time (e.g., “I’m afraid that time doesn’t work for me. Could we meet at three instead?”).

    Confirm the meeting time

    You should always verify the meeting time to make sure everyone has heard the correct time and date. After scheduling the meeting, say something like, “That’s great. I’ll see you on Wednesday the 7th at noon.”

    Recommended resources

    Business English, by Mary Ellen Guffey and Carolyn M. Seefer

    303 Business English Idioms and Phrasal Verbs, by Clare Whitmell

    Business Writing: What Works, What Won’t, by Wilma Davidson

    Business Grammar, Style & Usage, by Alicia Abell

    Need help practicing your business English?

    You can hire an online tutor right on this page.

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