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Speak English Around Town Lesson 9 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Around Town Lesson 9 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 9 – Making a Doctor’s Appointment


Grace is sick. She calls her doctors office to make an appointment for today.

Laura: Primary Medical Group. How may I help you?

Grace: I’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Feinberg.

Laura: Your name?

Grace: Grace Lee.

Laura: What’s the nature of your visit?

Grace: I think I’ve come down with the flu.

Laura: We have an opening tomorrow at three.

Grace: I can’t wait that long. I’m really sick!

Laura: Well, unfortunately, Dr. Feinberg is booked solid today. If he were free at allI would squeeze you in.

Grace: Can anybody else see me?

Laura: Hang on. Let me check … You’re in luck. Dr. Wilson can see you at four o’clock this afternoon.

Grace: Don’t you have anything earlier today?

Laura: No, I’m afraid not. We’re short-staffed this week.

Grace: So there’s no way I can come in before four today?

Laura: I’d like to help you, but my hands are tiedIf I were you, I would grab this four o’clock appointment.

Grace: Okay. I’ll take it.


Language Lens: Present Unreal Events

When we talk about events that are wished for, imagined, or unreal, we often use the if/would structure. Even though we are talking about the present, the verb in the if clause is put in the past tense. This form is called the conditional.

Form it like this:
If + verb in past tense, would(or ‘d) + base form of verb

◼ If you liked football, I would invite you to the game on Saturday.
The meaning here is that you do NOT like football, so I will not be inviting you to the game.
◼ If Ben studied harder, he’d get into Harvard.
In other words: Ben won’t get into Harvard because he doesn’t study hard enough.
◼ If we had a lot of money, we’d buy a vacation home in Vermont.
But we do not have a lot of money. Therefore, we won ‘t be buying that vacation home!

When the verb “to be” is in the if clause, use “were” instead of “was.” This is called the subjunctive mood. “If I were you” is often used to give advice (you are imaging yourself in somebody else’s place or situation). The next time you want to give advice to someone, remember to say, “If I were you… ” and NOT “If I was you.”

◼ If I were the boss, this office would be a lot more fun.
◼ If I were you, I’d buy a new suit for the interview.
◼ If I were you, I’d apply right away for that position.
◼ If I were you, I’d join and start dating again.


  • at all

 to any extent; in any way

Example: “Did Kelly help organize the party?” – “No, she was no help at all.”

NOTE: You will also hear “not at all,” meaning “not in any way.” “Example: “Is it a problem for you to come to the office on Saturday?” – “No, not at all.”

  • booked solid

 unavailable; having all appointments taken

Example: We wanted to stay in the Palace Hotel during our stay in Prague, but it was booked solid.

  • (to) come down with

 to become ill with; to catch a sickness

Example: Your throat hurts and you feel warm? I hope you’re not coming down with something!

  • hang on

 wait; give me some time

Example: The phone is for me? Hang on. I’ll be there in a minute.

  • (to) have an opening

 to have an available space in a schedule

Example: Olivia is sick. I’m going to see if her doctor has an opening for this afternoon.

  • I’m afraid not

 sorry, but I can’t do that

Example: “Can you give me a ride to the airport on Saturday morning?” -“No, I’m afraid not. I have other plans.”

  • in luck

 lucky; fortunate

Example: You want to see the football game on Saturday? You’re in luck! I’ve got an extra ticket.

  • my hands are tied

 there’s nothing I can do

Example: I’d like to give you more time to finish the test, but my hands are tied.

  • short-staffed

 without enough staff; having less staff than usual

Example: Sorry you had to wait so long. We’re short-staffed today.

  • (to) squeeze someone in

 to make an appointment available

Example: You want an appointment for a haircut today? I can squeeze you in with Lynn at 3 o’clock.

  • What’s the nature of your visit?

 Why are you coming?; Why do you need to see the doctor?

Example: You want to see Dr. Patel? What’s the nature of your visit?

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