“An Appointment” or “Appointment” – Which Is Correct?

What’s the correct way to talk about “Appointments”? Should we just use the word “Appointment” by itself, or do we need an article, as in “An Appointment”?

Let’s take some time to find out the correct way to use those forms, as well as their meaning and what to avoid.

“An Appointment” or “Appointment” – Which Is Correct?

Both forms are correct, depending on what you mean by “Appointment”. When talking about “Appointment” as an arrangement to meet someone at a time and place, use it preceded by an article, as “An Appointment”. When indicating the act of choosing someone for a job, use “Appointment” without an article.

an appointment or appointment

Let’s start by going over some examples, and then we’ll look at each form separately:

  • If you wish to see Dr. Gehring, you need to make an appointment.
  • If you wish to see Dr. Gehring, you need to make appointment. (incorrect)
  • Mark’s first appointment was as an elementary school teacher.
  • Mark’s first an appointment was as an elementary school teacher. (incorrect)

Each set of sentences shows an example of the use of the word “Appointment”. The first set shows “Appointment” as a moment on someone’s schedule, to see visitors, clients, or patients.

In this case, there are several “Appointments” available in Dr. Gehring’s schedule. They are countable and, consequently, in this scenario, it’s correct to indicate “An Appointment” specifically, and not to say simply “Appointment”.

In the second set, “Appointment” is the formal invitation for a person to take on a job position. Mark was appointed elementary school teacher, and that’s not countable. Therefore, the correct form is to say “Appointment” without an article to precede it.

Is “Appointment” Countable?

Sometimes, “Appointment” is countable. When referring to someone’s availability to see people, for example, “Appointment” is countable and may require to be accompanied by an article. In other instances, such as a job “Appointment”, it’s uncountable and should be treated as such.

According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “Appointment” is countable when it refers to an arrangement and uncountable when it refers to a job.

An Appointment

“An Appointment” should be used when referring to “Appointments” that can be counted, such as a doctor’s slot in his daily schedule to see people – meaning that this doctor would have several slots available per day.

Any time the number of “Appointments” can be numbered or counted, an article is needed to precede it. In this case, “An Appointment” is correct and should be used.

Take a look at some good examples:

  1. Is an appointment necessary to see Mr. Urena?
  2. Good morning, do you have an appointment with us today?
  3. Lorna will need an appointment to see the doctor.
  4. Make sure the lady in the reception has an appointment for today, please.
  5. We made an appointment with Dr. Peele, but the closest availability was next week.

It’s important to mention that “An” isn’t the only article that can precede the word “Appointment”. You could say “The Appointment”, for example. You could even, instead of using an article, choose a preposition and say “By Appointment”.

There are different ways you can express yourself and different ways you can work with the word “Appointment”. Let’s take a look at some possibilities that come up when you’re not using the article “An”.

Appointment

“Appointment”, without “An”, can be used anytime we’re referring to “Appointments” that can’t be counted, or when we choose a different article or preposition to accompany it. In other words, as a stand-alone word, there are many ways “Appointment” can be correctly used and applied to sentences.

Let’s see some helpful examples:

  1. I’m sorry, but you can only see Mrs. Broker by appointment.
  2. The new chairman was appointed yesterday.
  3. The appointment with Dr. Pierce is scheduled for tomorrow.
  4. Have you informed the press about the appointment announcement?
  5. Are you sure you scheduled the appointment?

Final Thoughts

“Appointment” should be preceded by an article when referring to making arrangements to see someone at a certain time and place. In those cases, we’d say “An Appointment”. When indicating the act of choosing someone for a job, “Appointment” shouldn’t be preceded by an article and will appear by itself.