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I have registered to take an online exam, and I need to go to a test center to take that exam. The question is, what's the appropriate way to talk naturally to the receptionist there and inform him or her about my reservation?

  1. Hi, I have made a reservation for 8:30 to take xxx exam.

  2. Hi, I have made a reservation to take xxx exam at 8:30.

  3. Hi, I have an 8:30 reservation to take xxx exam.

In the above sentences, do you think it is better to change the word reservation to book?

  • This is an awful lot of questions in one. Your first question (selecting 1 of the 3 options) works, but the rest is too much. If you want to ask a separate question about actually making the reservation, that's fine. For now I'm going to edit out the extraneous questions. (Also I don't think your question about saying "online" or not has anything to do with English; it would be the same social question in any language. We have no way to know if this particular place needs to know if your reservation was online or not. Presumably they'll tell you if they do.) – WendiKidd May 10 '14 at 15:58
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You: Hi!

Recp1: Hi! Can I help you?

You: Yes, my name is Joe Evans and I've made a reservation to take the xxx Exam at 8:30. (Whew! Got it right!)

Recp1: Ok... well you just need to go down that hall, take your second right, and it will be the first door on your left. They can help you there.

You: Oh, ok... thanks.

Recp1: You're welcome! Have a lovely day!

You: Oh yes, thanks! You too!

You: Hi!

Recp2: Just a minute please...

You: Ok.

....

You: ...?...?

....

Recp2: May I help you?

You: Yes, I've made a reservation at 8:30 to take...

Recp2: Last name?

You: Huh?

Recp2: Do you have a last name?

You: Yes ... um.... Evans.... Joe Evans.

Recp2: EV..UNS EV..UNS ... Oh here it is.. EV ANS (rolls eyes like it was your fault). Hmmm... ok here you are. You're set for Exam xxx at 8:30. Here's your name badge. You can enter the room no earlier than 8:15. Doors lock at 8:30 promptly so don't be late.

You: Ok! Thank you very much!

Recp2: Just doin' my job.

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Choice #3: "Hi, I have an 8:30 reservation to take xxx exam."

Also, you can't swap book for reservation. Book, where reservations are concerned, is a verb, not a noun, while a reservation is a noun. You can swap book for made, ("Hi, I booked an 8:30 reservation...") but I don't recommend it here.

Honestly, the most natural way to say it is the simplest. I would say, "Hi, I have an 8:30 reservation to take xxx exam." And I would follow it smoothly with the sentence, "My last name is C-O-D-E-S-W..." (I spell my last name instead of saying it, because the pronunciation of my last name reliably confuses novices as to how to spell it.)

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