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Unit 5: Making arrangements

Need to organise something? In this unit, you can practise common phrases used to make plans by email.

Making arrangements

Think about these points when the purpose of your email is to make an arrangement.

Useful questions

Here are some typical questions used for making arrangements:

  • Are you free next Tuesday afternoon?
  • What time would you like to meet?
  • When would be convenient for you?
  • Could you please let me know?

Expressions of time

Use on with days: Could we meet on Monday?

Use in with months, years and other expressions: I'm going to visit my grandparents in October.

Use at with times and other expressions: Could you please call me at 3pm?

Use next to refer to future times: I hope we can meet again next week.

Use when to start a future time clause: Let's meet again when it is convenient.


To speak about a timetable, use the present simple: Next term runs from 1 September until 16 December.

To speak about a future arrangement, use the present continuous: Mr Toshiko is coming to our next meeting.

To speak about a plan, use 'be going to': Next term we are going to learn about pollution.

See the talking about the future page for more practice.

Tenses in complex sentences about the future

Use the present simple after when, if and next time in future time clauses:

  • I will call you when I get to the station.
  • I'm going to work with my dad when I finish school.
  • Let's go for a walk if the weather is good.
  • Will you visit the Eiffel Tower next time you are in Paris?

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


comma is used if the conditional is used as the first clause of a sentence and I have read that if the conditional comes in the beginning, we put comma after it and then write another clause. However, I have read many reading which doesn't follow this rule. Either the rule is wrong is not applicable, or the ones write wrong?

Please reply with examples

Hello ali shah,

Different publishing houses follow different rules for punctuation and style, but in general I'd say that a comma is usually used after an initial 'if'-clause and not after a final 'if'-clause. I'm afraid I can't explain why other texts choose not to follow this general rule.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Dear Sir!
I have learned that we don't use colon(:) after a dependent clause and anyone does so is on wrong, but I have come across articles of eminent writers who do that. For example, '' The only question is: can India not to invest in its people at this stage?''
Here the colon is used after a dependent clause. Does it nullfy the rule of not using colon before a dependent clause? Sir, please make me clear this.

Hello ali shah,

I am always leery of such hard and fast rules as this regarding punctuation. I was taught a similar rule and would phrase the sentences differently:

The only question is this: can India not to invest in its people at this stage?


Most respected style guides follow this line. However, punctuation rules are always in a state of flux and you can find examples of the colon used after dependent clauses or even after single phrases or words.



The LearnEnglish Team

Is this right to make a sentence using cognates like the following:
"In primitive age, guards used to guard."
Doesn't this make sense?
Is this grammatically incorrect?

Hello Zeeshan Siddiqii,

There is nothing wrong with saying 'guards used to guard'. The first part of your sentence is not correct, however. You might say In more primitive times, for example.



The LearnEnglish Team

good exercise

Sir I hope you are fine. Let me put my question.
1."I get a lot of phone calls from my male fellows pretending to be females,asking me to meet them." Is this grammatically okay? 2. "I get a lot of phone calls from my male fellows, pretending to be females." Is this also correct? can I remove here the comma before 'Pretending' or by doing so,would there be any change in its meaning?

"The United States has assured Pakistan that it does not support any group threatening the country’s territorial integrity, a traditional US position re-emphasised following a recent advertising campaign targeting Islamabad." Would that be grammatically correct if we put ...who threatens the country's territorial integrity....."

Hello ali shah,

'who threatens' sounds a bit odd because 'a group' is not a person (even though it is made up of people). 'that threatens', however, is correct. 'threatening' is a reduced form of the relative structure 'that threatens'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team