The particular topic that I decided to study within the frame of the project is the usage of such expressions as ‘to make an appointment andto make an appointment in the English language. The reason why this very topic has been chosen is closely interconnected with the fact that English is not my mother tongue. There was a situation that happened to me and encouraged me to search for additional sources to extend my knowledge related to English grammar. One fine day, I needed to arrange to see a doctor, and I gave a call to specialists from one dental hospital. A lady in the reception answered the phone, I said, “Hello, can I make an appointment?” The lady replied, “You mean that you would like to make an appointment?” Frankly speaking, this case encouraged me to think more about the peculiarities of the usage of some words in English.
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To solve this problem and find the information that would provide me and other non-native speakers with a substantial explanation related to the usage of these expressions in English, I decided to use the corpus tools we have learned during the exercise. To be more precise, I was using Google Ngram Viewer as it appeared to be the most appropriate tool to help me with my question. This tool allows users to track the popularity of a certain word or expression, they are supposed to lay down necessary parameters such as time-lapse, insert the particular word or expression to search for, and choose a corpus. After that, the system provides users with a graph showing the frequency of occurrence of the word or expression in texts from the chosen corpus, and these results can be analyzed and used in research papers as a justification of a certain point. Another important fact related to the given tool is that the user can insert two expressions together and compare word frequency results in different variants of the English language. In this case, my search inquiry would look like “make an appointment, make an appointment”. Due to the tool, students who learn English as a foreign language can collect a lot of interesting information and choose the most appropriate variant to express a certain idea.
Speaking about the information on these expressions that I retrieved with the help of the discussed tool, it can be stated that they were used in different ways. To begin with, as it is clear from the graph showing the tendencies for modern American English, “make an appointment” is used a few times more often than “make an appointment” and this fact remains a clue encouraging non-native speakers like me to choose the first variant. The same tendency can be noticed in British English. Nevertheless, it is known that some people can “make an appointment” but this expression can be used only about specialists who confirm the planned visit. To check it, I used two more search inquiries: “patient takes an appointment” and “patient makes an appointment”. The results helped me to make a decision: there were no cases when the first expression was used whereas the second one was used extensively and its frequency has increased recently. I suppose that all English learners should be explained how to work with this tool as it can be important during making research in linguistics. Besides, this tool allows students like me to analyze common situations and choose appropriate expressions to avoid misunderstanding.