“Touch base” is one of the most commonly used idioms in business correspondence. However, because of its vagueness, it is also one of the most commonly confused ones.
Idiomatic expressions are generally not that easy to use and understand. Why not? They are a combination of words used to create new meanings.
To make this matter easier, we have prepared a list of other ways to say “touch base” in business exchanges in our post today.
Let’s start with its meaning.
What does “touch base” mean in business correspondence?
In business correspondence, the expression “touch base” means to reconnect with a person or group of people to discuss some important matters. These matters are related to a common goal. “Touch base” suggests the same meaning as “brief each other,” “have a discussion,” “check in,” and “huddle on.”
Context, meaning, and usage of the expression “touch base”
“To touch base” with someone means “to contact someone” or “to renew communication” with that person for some official or formal reason.
We mostly touch base with a person or a group of people when we want to discuss some important information in line with a common goal.
We often use the phrase “touch base” in meetings or even in setting them up beforehand. Here are some of the most typical ways of using “touch base” in a sentence:
“I wanted to touch base regarding something.”
“We can touch base [time expression].”
“You should touch base with someone.”
Take note that we do not say “to touch based,” “to touch basis,” or “to touch bases” because all of these constructions are ungrammatical.
Curiously enough, “touch base” is actually a phrasal or multi-word verb, which suggests informality in the way we use language.
Even more interestingly, “touch base” is also an idiomatic expression, which further suggests language informality.
But, as business relationships get more established, we tend to become more comfortable with communicating with others. Apparently, this is also good because it is a sign of trust.
Here’s how we might use “touch base” in Business English in an e-mail:
I hope this email finds you well today. I just wanted to touch base with you on the project we initially discussed last week. Could you let me know your availability this week so I can book a call with you? It should take about an hour or so as I would like to explain our first year’s roadmap in detail.
Since we already know how “touch base” works, let us now find out other ways to say it to avoid sounding like a broken record.
Other ways to say “touch base” in business correspondence
Among others, it is the organizational culture that shapes how people communicate with one another in the business world.
Some organizations practice a tight culture, while others apply a loose one; a tight culture suggests having more rigid, rule-based approaches, whereas a loose culture suggests more freedom.
With that being said, it follows that tight business cultures make use of more formal language strategies, while the opposite is true among loose-culture organizations.
Neither of the two types of cultures explained above is perfect. Because of this, we observe both formal and informal language styles all the time.
So, depending on the organization where you belong, we have collected formal and casual ways to say “touch base” in business correspondence for your convenience.
Formal ways to say “touch base” in e-mail writing
Formal language use is good because it uses less emotion and more caution when speaking or writing. However, it is also unfavorable in the sense that its inflexibility may prevent creativity.
If you belong to this kind of culture, the following alternative expressions are what you might find suitable:
1. Brief each other
The first alternative is “brief each other,” where “brief” is a verb that suggests the meaning “to discuss something thoroughly.”
This expression is great for communicating with a superior or a new team member because of its polite connotation.
Thank you for your e-mail this morning. I agree that we should brief each other on the project details as soon as possible. I will prepare a costing summary today and send it to you in advance so you can have a review before our next meeting.
2. Have a conversation
“Have a conversation” is a great alternative to “to touch base,” too. Formal and easy to understand, using this expression makes the intent clear enough.
Needless to say, we must also explain the conversation topic somewhere in the e-mail to the message receiver if we wish to use this expression.
Hope all is well. I just wanted to have a conversation with you this Thursday regarding your recent proposal on franchise training for our financial advisors. Please let me know what time you prefer. I am available anytime after lunch.
3. Have a quick discussion
Another expression we can make use of instead of “touch base” is “have a quick discussion.” This one is both formal and clear, which is great for follow-ups.
For instance, we could make use of this expression when we write a follow-up email after a career fair to a recruiter, introducer, or potential employer.
Dear Ms. Alvarez,
It was a pleasure speaking with you at the NETx Career Fair last Monday. Knowing someone who enjoys freediving as much as I do is also a plus. Of course, the real pleasure was talking about the career opportunity that your company is going to offer soon. With my training and experience in journalism, I believe I can be a good contributing writer to your organization. Could you let me know whether it is possible to have a quick discussion with you about the job opening?
4. Have a follow-up
Another alternative we can use is “have a follow-up.” As this expression bears a soft connotation, reminding someone about a task or event should come easy.
There are different ways to use “I wanted to follow up on” in e-mail writing as well as spoken contexts. The example below is also another way of doing it.
I would like to have a follow-up on the implementation of the new set of employee policies. As new rules are still new, I believe we should have at least a monthly assessment so we can keep track of their effectiveness. Please let me know your availability within the week for this.
5. Share ideas
Meanwhile, “share ideas” is also another awesome alternative for “touch base” because of its cautious and warm connotation.
“Sharing ideas” is a two-way street, and thus, it makes the intent much warmer and less rigid. Here’s an example of how to use this expression:
I am reaching out to ask whether you have time today to share ideas on our new project? Please let me know if you have any time preferences. We could probably discuss ways how to make the residence more child-friendly.
6. Give updates
“GIve updates” is also another simple and nice alternative for “touch base.” Clear and easy to understand, this one should not cause any misinterpretation issues to listeners and readers.
Here’s how that works in context:
This is to inform you that we need to give updates on our progress before noon tomorrow. The manager suggests that we provide Powerpoint presentations during the meeting for better visuals. Each presenter is encouraged to have 10 minutes max to talk about accomplishments and challenges. Please let me know if you have any questions or clarifications.
7. Would like to discuss
“Would like to discuss” is also another very polite alternative to “touch base.” The phrase “would like to” combined with “discuss” is what makes this possible.
You can see in the example below that “would like to discuss” is used as an e-mail opener before the real intent is explained.
Hope everything is going well. I would like to discuss some matters with you. In particular, I would like to talk about the recent customer complaints at your branch as well as how to improve the situation there. Just kindly let me know the best time to do this.
8. Speak with you
“Speak with you” is something we could meanwhile use if we are to schedule an oral discussion with our message receiver.
Choosing between the phrases “speaking ‘with you’ or ‘to you’” has been quite a tricky task for some people.
What we only have to remember, though, is that both are grammatically correct, but the former is just more polite than the latter.
Congratulations on your first deal! You were able to close a deal with one of the most promising investors in our industry, and I sincerely commend you for that. In connection with this, I would like to speak with you about how we can strategize on finding more prospects with a similar profile from now onwards. Feel free to book a call with me through the attached scheduler: [attachment]
9. Provide feedback
Another clear and concise way of saying “touch base” is “provide feedback.” We can use this phrase to ask for feedback from someone at work.
Because of this expression’s clear intent, it generally saves thinking time on the message reader’s side.
I believe I can complete the analysis in two to three days. I will start working on it today and give you some updates tomorrow. I was wondering whether you could also provide feedback on this tomorrow so I can make any necessary adjustments soon.
10. Contact each other again
One last formal expression to use instead of “touch base” is “contact each other again.” Compared to the other alternatives, this one probably conveys the most accurate meaning.
As “touch base” is inherently idiomatic and tricky to understand, choosing “contact each other again” should make the conversation easier.
Thank you for your e-mail. We could contact each other again and discuss progress in about a week. Please advise if you have any other suggestions.
Casual ways to say “touch base” in e-mail writing
The workplace does not always require very formal e-mail exchanges.
For example, if you’re addressing a coworker with whom you’re close, one of the following more informal “touch base” alternatives is probably a better choice.
11. Check in
You may have heard of the phrase “check in” especially from the expression “thank you for checking on me” from someone before.
“Check in” is a great casual alternative for “touch base” that is widely used these days. Here’s an example of how it works:
Thanks for your question. We could probably check in about the task’s progress two or three days from now just to see where we are. By then, we could also discuss any issues that might arise and see how we can solve them.
12. Talk with you
An expression as clear as crystal, you can never go wrong with “talk with you” as an alternative for “touch base.”
In connection with this, we can also end our e-mail message by using the remark “looking forward to talking to you” to make it warmer.
Hey, there. I hope all is going well as planned. I just wanted to know whether I could talk with you briefly today about the project? I would just like to confirm my understanding of some matters related to the processes we discussed yesterday. Looking forward to talking to you.
13. Talk over
Another informal alternative that suggests the meaning “discuss something thoroughly” is “talk over.” Feel free to use this one, especially if you are exchanging e-mails with someone very close.
Just reaching out to ask whether you have time this week to discuss some issues related to the new service. Specifically, I wanted to talk over our promotional strategies that are no longer relevant.
14. Reach out
“To reach out” simply means “to connect with a target person. Because it is common and easy, “reach out” is also a nice choice instead of “touch base.”
Although there are many other ways to say “I am reaching out to you” in e-mail writing, we could also just use the pattern “I just wanted to reach out” to make the intent less formal.
I just wanted to reach out to you about the announcement. I think there have been some inconsistencies between what we have understood and what was officially emailed. Could we have a quick call about this before lunchtime?
15. Huddle on
If you are talking to a group of people, “huddle on” is a great alternative for “touch base,” too. We can use this when sending bulk messages to team members or even a whole department.
As long as the working relationship between and among the people involved is pretty loose, the expression “huddle on” should bode well.
Thank you for your questions. Let’s huddle on these issues on Friday. Please feel free to add some more concerns if anything else comes up. See you soon.
16. Have a sync up
“Have a sync up” is something you would use if you want to save typing time because “sync” is a common short form for “synchronize.”
To “have a sync up” also means to have a meeting or discussion with relevant people to achieve a common goal, such as clearing misunderstandings and mission aligning.
This is to reach out regarding the progress of our monthly sale. Let’s all have a sync up tomorrow at 2 pm in the huddle room. See you!
17. Meet on
Free from ambiguity, “meet on” is also one of the best alternatives for “touch base” in business exchanges.
Choosing this expression is also awesome because it reduces the number of words you would need to explain your email intent.
I’m afraid Monday does not work for me. Could we meet on Tuesday for the event details instead?
18. Chat about
“Chat about” implies the same meaning as “talk about” or “discuss.” This expression works better if you are expected to talk to your message receiver face-to-face.
Remember, though, that the word “chat” could also meanwhile be used to denote “written conversation” through virtual platforms.
Let’s chat about your concerns Monday morning. Hope that works for you.
19. Brainstorm on
Another on-point alternative to “touch base” is “brainstorm on.” This expression is mostly used within the creative industry because they are the ones who mainly “generate ideas.”
Not limited to that, of course, we can also make use of the phrase “brainstorm on” when talking about solving issues in general cases.
Please see attached file for the issues that I have found. I was hoping we could brainstorm on these issues, say tomorrow or the next day? I have recorded these issues on video for a clearer demonstration. Let me know if you’d have any problems opening the file.
20. Catch up on
Last but not least, “catch up on” is also a great alternative for “touch base.” This one bears relatively closer meaning to “check in” and “have a sync up.”
“To catch up” on something simply means to “to talk about” the details of a task, even, or issue. We may also use the phrase “catch up with someone” instead of “to catch up on.”
Thank you for the update on your progress. Let’s catch up on what’s going on tomorrow at 9 am for this, okay? I’ll send the meeting details before the day ends. See you!
Frequently Asked Questions on “Other Ways to Say “Touch Base” in Business Correspondence”
What is a formal alternative for “touch base”?
Formal alternatives to “touch base” include “have a meeting,” “have a discussion,” “brief each other,” and “speak with each other about x.”
How can we use “touch base” in a sentence?
“Touch base” is used as a phrasal or multi-word verb to suggest the meaning “connect with someone to discuss some matters.” Some of the most common sentence patterns include “let’s touch base on x” and “we should touch base Monday.”
Is it “touch base” or “touchbase”?
“Touch base” is a two-word phrasal verb that needs to separated with a space. So, “touch base” and not “touchbase” is the correct expression.
Whether we like it or not, idioms like “touch base” will be around for as long as the English language survives.
So, as language users, it is also our responsibility to make use of such expressions as correctly as possible to prevent miscommunication.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.