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  • Vanessa: Hi. I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Are you ready to schedule a doctor's appointment? Let's do it. Talking on the phone, and especially

  • doing some professional business on the phone, can be really intimidating. It can be intimidating

  • for you as an English learner, but it's also intimidating for me as a native English speaker.

  • I sometimes feel a little bit nervous on the phone. I'm not exactly sure what to say. Before

  • I talk on the phone, I need to take a deep breath, think about what I'm going to say.

  • Today I would like to give you that same type of preparation help. You're going to be watching

  • me book an eye doctor appointment for my husband, Dan. I call the eye doctor on the phone, and

  • we go through the process of booking an appointment for him.

  • I want to explain some of the expressions that we use, some of the questions that we

  • use. If you ever need to book an appointment on the phone for a doctor's office, or for

  • a hotel, or book anything on the phone, I hope this will give you some extra confidence

  • so that you can do it because, really, if you take a deep breath, you got it.

  • All right. Let's watch the conversation that I had on the phone with the eye doctor's secretary.

  • Then we're going to pause. I'm going to explain some important expressions to you that I think

  • would be helpful for your daily conversations. All right. Let's watch.

  • All right. I am going to be attempting to make an eye doctor appointment for my husband,

  • Dan. I already scheduled an appointment for myself. I wanted to share that with you, but

  • I forgot to record it. I can't go back now, so I'm going to also make an appointment for

  • my husband, Dan. I want you to listen carefully, hear what they have to say on the phone, the

  • questions they ask. I hope to help you along the way so that you can use these expressions

  • yourself. All right. Let's see what happens. Secretary:

  • Triangle Visions of Asheville. This is Emma. How can I help you?

  • Vanessa: Hi. I was calling to make an eye doctor appointment.

  • Secretary: All right. Have you been seen by us before?

  • Vanessa: All right. We're off to a fast start, huh?

  • The first question that she asked me is, "Have you been seen by us before?" Now this isn't

  • a little joke because they're an eye doctor, and she asks, "Have you been seen by us?"

  • No. This is just a common question that means, are you a current patient at this doctor's

  • office? It's not because they're a vision doctor, an eye doctor. This means, are you

  • a current patient? Have you been seen by us? Let's take a look at another sample sentence

  • where you can use this sentence construction. If the secretary on the phone asks you, "Are

  • you a current patient?" You could say, "No, I haven't been seen by you before." That doesn't

  • mean they have not looked at you. They have not seen you. No, it just means that you're

  • not a current patient. Or if you are a current patient, and they say, "Oh, are you a new

  • patient?" you could say, "No, I've been seen by you before, but it's been a long time."

  • All right. Let's watch that clip one more time. Listen for the question, have you been

  • seen by us before? Then we're going to continue, and you can watch the next part. Let's watch.

  • Secretary: Triangle Visions of Asheville. This is Emma.

  • How can I help you? Vanessa:

  • Hi. I was calling to make an eye doctor appointment. Secretary:

  • All right. Have you been seen by us before? Vanessa:

  • I have not. I'm actually calling to make an appointment for my husband. I have a scheduled

  • appointment for myself, but I wanted to make a second one for him.

  • Secretary: Okay. Got you. Let's see. Yes, it's just a

  • little tricky with spouses. Is he available? Because, unfortunately, because he is a legal

  • adult, he would either need to authorize you to make the appointment, or he would need

  • to make it himself. Vanessa:

  • Oh okay. Would authorization mean he just needs to hop on the phone and say yes? All

  • right. We had a little difficulty here because I'm making the appointment for my husband.

  • Usually, this is not a problem when it's a haircut appointment or something that's a

  • little less formal, but with doctor's offices, it might be a little more serious because

  • there are some regulations they have to comply with. Not everyone has access to your medical

  • data. This secretary is thinking that maybe this includes booking appointments.

  • I wanted to ask, what does authorization mean? Sometimes this just means that the other person

  • needs to send an email. Maybe you need to have an official document, or maybe they just

  • need to say, "Hey, yes, she can book the appointment for me, but I'm too busy to do it myself."

  • I used a wonderful phrasal verb, to hop on. I said, "Does he just need to hop on the phone

  • and say yes?" Maybe he can just say, "Yes, she can book an appointment." That's it.

  • I said, "Hop on," because this means something quick, some type of quick action. We use that

  • full expression, to hop on the phone, but we can also use it in other ways. You might

  • say, "To get to the park, you just have to hop on the bus." You can use it for transportation

  • like this, to hop on the bus, to hop on the train, to hop on a plane, even, if you're

  • making a quick decision to just hop on a plane. When I heard that there was trouble, I hopped

  • on a plane immediately. It's this type of quick, easy action.

  • All right. Let's watch that clip one more time. Then we'll continue with the conversation.

  • I'm actually calling to make an appointment for my husband. I have a scheduled appointment

  • for myself, but I wanted to make a second one for him.

  • Secretary: Okay. Got you. Let's see. Yes, it's just a

  • little tricky with spouses. Is he available? Because, unfortunately, because he is a legal

  • adult, he would either need to authorize you to make the appointment or he would need to

  • make it himself. Vanessa:

  • Oh okay. Would authorization mean he just needs to hop on the phone and say yes?

  • Secretary: Pretty much, yes. Well, because I don't have

  • him in my system... Actually, let me ask real quick, if you don't mind.

  • Vanessa: Let's talk about two points in this quick

  • clip. She said, "Let me ask real quick." Just to let you know, the correct grammar is really

  • quick, but in daily English conversation, sometimes we just say real quick. We use real

  • with something else like, oh, it's a real beautiful day today. It's a real beautiful...

  • It should be, it's a really beautiful day, but you will hear English speakers use real

  • instead of really, even though it's grammatically incorrect.

  • Personally, I don't recommend that you use this, but if you hear it, you'll know what's

  • happening, and you'll understand. It's just kind of a really casual type of conversational

  • language. Let's talk about that last sentence that she said, "If you don't mind." This is

  • simply a polite comment. I don't have a choice. It sounds like she's giving me a choice I

  • can ask or I don't need to ask, but really, she's not giving me a choice. She's just letting

  • me know, "Hey, I'll be right back." She could have said, "Just a moment. I'll be right back."

  • That's totally fine too. She said, "If you don't mind," and she's not waiting for an

  • answer. She just says, "If you don't mind." Then I say, "Okay," and then she goes and

  • asks for permission about this situation. This is a really nice, kind of, just filler

  • expression to be polite, "Hey, if you don't mind."

  • Let's watch that clip, and then we'll continue with the conversation where you will hear

  • a very important phone verb. Let's watch. I'm actually calling to make an appointment

  • for my husband. I have a scheduled appointment for myself, but I wanted to make a second

  • one for him. Secretary:

  • Okay. Got you. Let's see. It's just a little tricky with spouses. Is he available? Because,

  • unfortunately, because he is a legal adult, he would either need to authorize you to make

  • the appointment or he would need to make it himself.

  • Vanessa: Oh okay. Would authorization mean he just

  • needs to hop on the phone and say yes? Secretary:

  • Pretty much, yes. Well, because I don't have it in my system... Actually, let me ask real

  • quick, if you don't mind. If you'll just hold just a second.

  • Vanessa: Another quick sentence. She said, "If you'll

  • hold just a second." Am I holding something in my hands? No. She's asking just to wait.

  • This is a common phone verb. That means you are waiting on the phone. Let's take a look

  • at some common sentences using hold that you'll most likely hear on the phone in this type

  • of situation. Do you mind holding for a moment? I'm not

  • holding something in my hands. Instead, do you mind waiting for a moment. Because we

  • use hold on the phone, this is a more common verb. Do you mind holding for a moment? Do

  • you mind holding for a second. Or you might just hear the simple sentence, "Please hold."

  • I've gotten this often on the phone when a place is really busy. Let's say you're making

  • a restaurant reservation, and they're super busy. You call. They might just pick up the

  • phone and say the name of the restaurant and then, "Please hold," nothing else. They don't

  • wait for a reply. They just say, "Please hold." That means you got to wait because they're

  • really busy. If you would like to see about how to order

  • food on the phone in English, I made another one of these lessons where I ordered food

  • on the phone. Then I explained some expressions to you. You can watch that video up here.

  • A lot of you found that very useful, and I hope that you will too. You can use just,

  • please hold, very simple, straightforward, especially if you're extremely busy.

  • We can put this in a bigger phrase. Someone might say, or if you're a secretary, you might

  • say, "I'm going to put you on hold for a moment." This phrase, to put you on hold, is the same

  • idea. Please wait. Maybe they're going to push the hold button on the phone. That's

  • kind of what this means. All right. I'm going to put you on hold for just a moment. Ask

  • this question, and then I'll be back. I'm going to put you on hold for a moment. It

  • just lets the other person know that they haven't disappeared, but you're just going

  • to have to wait for a moment. Finally, a common one is, thank you for holding.

  • This is pretty self-explanatory. After the person comes back on the phone, then they

  • are going to thank you for waiting, thank you for holding. You will see this, or rather

  • hear this expression, in just a minute. Let's review that sentence. You'll hear it again,

  • and then we'll move on with the conversation. Listen for this great phrase, "Thank you for

  • holding." All right. Let's watch. Secretary:

  • If you'll just hold just a second. Vanessa:

  • I could have Dan make the appointment. He is just in the other room, but I wanted to

  • share it with you. We'll see what happens. This is a good test.

  • Secretary: Thank you for holding. I cleared that up with

  • them. Actually, we should be good. As long as we're just making an appointment, we should

  • be all right. Vanessa:

  • All right. Secretary:

  • All right. Okay. Yes, I never want to slack off on the HIPAA stuff, so I just wanted to

  • make sure. Vanessa:

  • No problem. In this section you heard, "We would be good. We should be all right." This

  • type of phrase, to be good, to be all right, or to be okay, just means everything's fine.

  • Everything's correct. We can even use this in a really casual situation that you'll probably

  • hear a lot in movies, TV shows. You can use it too. If you're just walking and someone

  • bumps you, they might say, "Oh sorry." What can you say to reply to them? They bumped

  • into you. You could say, "It's okay. No problem," or you can use this phrase and you could say,

  • "It's okay. You're good." "You're good," is a very casual way to say, I forgive you. Usually,

  • we use forgive for pretty serious things, but it's a casual way to say that. Oh, no

  • worries. You're good. This means I'm fine. I'm not hurt. Forget about it. It's totally

  • fine. Oh, you're good. This is a really casual way to say this. You

  • could also interchange, "Oh, you're all right. You're okay," but I think, "You're good,"

  • is probably more common in this bumping situation. "Oh, you're good." You'll hear this a lot.

  • There's another great phrasal verb that I'd like to share with you, and it is to slack