Why Americans Love Making Plans and How to Make Plans in English

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Learn why Americans love making plans and how to make plans in English. The U.S is a future-oriented society so Americans don't like making last-minute plans, they prefer planning in advance. Learn phrases you can use while making plans in English and when planning an event or an outing with Americans. Happy planning!

Generally speaking, Americans like planning in advance. That’s because we tend to have a strong future orientation (Spears et al., 2001).

If you’ve spent some time in the US or around Americans, you might’ve noticed that we have a penchant for planning. We like planning in advance or sometimes way WAY in advance.

While some Americans might prefer to make last-minute plans, that's more of the exception rather than the rule.

Americans are planners.

I didn’t fully appreciate this cultural characteristic until I spent time studying and living abroad. For example, when I was living in Paris, we didn’t really make plans. Friends just called each other up more or less last-minute. And if there were plans to be made, they wouldn’t be made too far in advance.

Making plans far in advance is not uncommon in American culture.

And that’s no wonder because many Americans like planning well in advance. For trips, vacations, birthdays, parties, and other events that need more time to plan and involve logistics, we tend to plan those far in advance. For dates, dinners, house parties, dinner parties, and other smaller less planned engagements, we tend to give people one to two weeks of a heads up. 

And this is no surprise given that the United States is a future-oriented society. Americans are used to planning in advance and they will not be too receptive to making plans last minute. Of course, this is a generalization, but on average people in the US tend to look more favorably toward planning rather than spontaneity.

Some people might not be invited somewhere last minute for a few reasons. They might feel like someone else was invited but backed out of the invitation and thus they’re the replacement. They might feel like it’s too short notice and they don’t have enough time to get ready or plan accordingly. Maybe they have a prior commitment but this new invitation is preferable, had they known sooner they would have committed to this rendezvous instead. The general sentiment is that last minute invitations are rude, they scream “oh you weren’t my first choice guest but since a spot opened up would you like to come?” And no one likes being second choice. 

So now that we’ve laid the cultural groundwork, I’ll share a few ways you can make plans in English.

Making Plans in English

  • Should we try that new Italian place next Friday?
  • Do you have any plans this Saturday?
  • Are you free Thursday? There’s an 8 pm showing of that new movie we wanted to see!
  • What’re your plans for Winter Break?
  • How would you like to come on a ski trip with me and a couple of friends? We’re planning on renting out a ski lodge.
  • What’re you up to tomorrow afternoon? Want to come to an outdoor concert?
  • Are you doing anything fun this weekend?
  • Do you have plans for your thirtieth birthday? 
  • Anything exciting planned for Summer break?
  • How would you like to come apple picking? We’re going upstate in two weeks and going to check out a few apple orchards. 
  • Are you free to come to the beach next weekend?
  • My sister’s wedding is in a few months, do you want to be my plus one? 
  • Should we plan something fun for our anniversary?
  • What should we plan for our housewarming party?
  • Do you think you can help me plan my cousin’s baby shower?

 

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So there it is. We talked about why Americans love making plans. We also discussed how they are a future-oriented society where last-minute plans are not looked that favorably upon. And lastly, we gave you some phrases to use when making plans. Practice those phrases and when you’re ready make some fun plans!

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Alright Advanced English learners, that's it from me today. If you liked this video be sure to give it a big thumbs up. What about you? Do you come from a future-oriented society that likes to make future plans or do you come from a past-oriented society that can make plans last minute? Share that with the community in the comments down below. And if you want to help our channel continue to grow, share this lesson and our channel with anyone who wants to improve their communication skills and social skills. I’ll see you in the next English communication lesson where we’ll continue advancing your English together! See you then :)