When we want to get something we want that we can’t do ourselves, we ask people around. At work, we mostly do this act through email or chat.
If we say things right, we would surely get our goal; if we don’t, then we might be left hanging for hours or doing things by ourselves.
Today, we cover the best email request strategies that should help us move the needle forward in business.
Let’s get right into these things.
23 Ways to Request Politely in an Email
- I was hoping you could […]
- Could you explain […] in detail?
- Would you please […] ?
- Is it possible […] ?
- I was wondering if […]
- I would like to request […]
- I would appreciate it if you could […]
- Any suggestions on how to […] ?
- It would be nice if you could […]
- I would like to have a discussion […] concerning […]
- Please give me […] at your earliest convenience.
- Please let me know if […]
- Please advise on […]
- I would really appreciate your […] on this […]
- Please confirm receipt of […]
- Could you please let me know […] ?
- Please don’t hesitate to […] me with any […]
- Is there any way you could […] by […]?
- I would need […] for […]
- May I know who is responsible for […] ?
- How do I get a […] for […] ?
- Would you please […] the attached […] and provide […] ?
- May I have your permission to […] ?
In business-related contexts, things can get out of hand when one doesn’t have good skills in making polite requests, especially in email correspondence.
On the other hand, things can get really convenient and efficient if we know what to say and how to say them well in the right context.
So, without further ado, here are some of the most effective ways of making a polite request via email that could make your life much easier.
Polite email request expressions
In this section, you will find generic email request expressions that can be fine-tuned according to whatever purpose you have in mind.
With these expressions, you can simply fill in the goal based on your overall requisition context as well as your relationship with the email receiver.
1. I was hoping you could […]
Another good request expression is “I was hoping you could […]” This one bears a polite tone especially because of the phrase “I was hoping” and the modal “could.”
This one is a great choice when you need some form of assistance or guidance from anyone at work or at school.
Here are three ways on how you could use the suggested expression:
I was hoping you could help me with an issue I’m facing at the moment.
I was hoping you could help me with an issue I’m facing at the moment. Are you available for a quick call?
I was hoping you could shed some light on this matter.
There’s something unclear about the proposal you sent yesterday. I was hoping you could shed some light on this matter. Are you available for a quick call within the day?
I was hoping you could assist me with this matter
I am having some issues with our website. I was hoping you could assist me with this matter. Let me know if you’re available for a quick chat. Thanks.
2. Could you explain […] in detail?
If a piece of information is unclear and you need it to be elaborated, “Could you explain […] in detail?” is a suitable request expression to use.
You may use this one after receiving a response to a question, but you think there’s still something that needs further clarification.
Feel free to also use this after a possible solution is given to you, and you want to know more about it.
Here are two ways of using the phrase:
Could you explain what this plan means in detail?
I appreciate your response, but could you explain what this plan means in detail? Thanks in advance.
Could you explain to me how this works in detail?
The solution you are suggesting sounds interesting. Could you explain to me how this works in detail?
3. Would you please […]?
If you need some information from another person or want that person to do something specific for you, “Would you please […]?” is definitely something you should go for.
In terms of politeness level, the modal verb “would” bears a relatively more polite connotation than “could.”
So, this one is a great choice when you are dealing with first-time clients or subordinates who are likely unfamiliar with the processes within your organization.
Here are some ways of using the expression:
Would you please provide me with the details of your planned trip?
Would you please provide me with the itinerary details of your planned trip to Vienna? I will check the available flights and accommodations based on your plan.
Thanks in advance.
Would you please send me the link to your website?
Thanks for your response. Would you please send me the link to your website? I couldn’t find the link in your last email. Thanks.
4. Is it possible […] ?
Another awesome, polite request expression that you can use in every scenario is “Is it possible […]?”
Great for situations that require utmost tact, this one is suitable when you are not very close to the person you are communicating with via email.
Here’s how you can use it:
Is it possible for you to send me your […] right now?
Is it possible for you to send me your manuscript in PDF version right now? It seems that the formatting has not been retained, making the text hard to read.
5. I was wondering if […]
More like a similar way of saying “I was hoping you could […],” “I was wondering if […]” is also a courteous expression to use.
This one uses an indirect approach to stating a request, which is also great for every situation that you can be in.
Here are two options of using this expression:
I was wondering if the position is still available…
I just saw a job you posted on Linkedin last week. I was wondering if the position is still available because I might know someone who is interested.
I was wondering if there is any update on your analysis.
I was wondering if there is any update on your analysis report. I am meeting with Jake later today, so I’m thinking of providing him with some preliminary details.
6. I would like to request […]
An expression as clear as the summer sky, “I would like to request […]” is definitely something you should go for in any kind of situation too.
This one is polite because of the modal “would,” and your intent will never be ambiguous because of the word “request.”
When receiving a response to a request expressed this way, you should also expect to see the usage of “as per your request” in your next email message.
Here’s how you might want to use the expression:
I would like to request a vacation leave at the end of the month.
I would like to request a vacation leave at the end of the month. I’m planning to take three days off from April 27 to 29. Let me know if that’s possible. Thanks.
7. I would appreciate it if you could […]
An awesome and courteous choice is “I would appreciate it if you could […]” This one works well when you are dealing with more sensitive types of requests.
For example, you could make use of this when you are asking someone to pay a pending invoice or asking someone to grant your request.
Feel free to use the suggested phrase like in the next examples:
I would appreciate it if you could pay the pending invoice by […]
Thanks for your question. I would appreciate it if you could pay the pending invoice by Thursday or Friday this week.
I would appreciate it if you could grant my request.
Dear Mr. Hawkins,
I am planning to take a vacation leave at the end of the month for a week. I would like to go back to my hometown to visit my family. I would appreciate it if you could grant my request.
8. Any suggestions on how to […] ?
A more direct approach to requesting something via email can be done by using “Any suggestions on how to […]?”
Great for mass messaging, you can ask people in general to give suggestions on how to deal with a specific issue using this phrase.
In other words, you can use this one to ask for pieces of advice or tips from a number of people or even a specific person if you want.
By the way, there are some interesting differences between the words “advice” and “tips” when used in actual scenarios. You might also want to check those out for further insights.
You may use the suggested request phrase in these two ways:
Any suggestions on how to improve the situation next month?
Dear Marketing Dept.,
Based on last month’s report, it appears that the expenditures have gone around 25% higher than the allocated budget for promotional activities. Any suggestions on how to improve the situation next month?
Any suggestions on how to make the program better?
Last month’s fundraising was a success considering that it was only our first time organizing such an event. However, I think we will have more potential next year if we plan things more deliberately. Any suggestions on how to make the program better?
9. It would be nice if you could […]
Great for emails and even spoken conversations, “It would be nice if you could […]” is definitely a go-to polite expression too.
Feel free to use this one, for example, when asking someone to help you assess or address a specific work-related issue.
Not limited to that, you could also use it to invite someone to join you at an event like a dinner party with your colleagues.
Here’s how you could do those:
It would be nice if you could come up with an internal assessment on this matter.
There has been a report concerning your team’s productivity this month. It would be nice if you could come up with an internal assessment on this matter. I would like to hear your initial feedback on this by the end of the week if possible.
It would be nice if you could join us.
We are having a dinner party with the newly-onboarded team members. It would be nice if you could join us.
10. I would like to have a discussion concerning […]
In case you want to have a discussion with someone or even a group of people, “I would like to have a discussion concerning…” could be your sidekick expression.
You could use this when requesting a virtual or face-face discussion with someone or some people you are professionally connected with.
In case you are the one being invited to a virtual meeting, our previous post covering 12 ways to respond to a zoom interview request may also be worth reading.
You can ask someone to have a discussion with you in this manner:
I would like to have a discussion with you concerning the new organizational structure.
I would like to have a discussion concerning the new organizational structure. Are you available for a zoom meeting this afternoon?
Polite request expressions at the end of an email
Whether we like it or not, we need to use a lot of run-of-the-mill expressions in our day-to-day email messaging.
Yes, these expressions may be called “linguistic workhorses”; nevertheless, we can never deny how useful they are in business correspondence.
In this section, you will find generic request expressions that you don’t have to adjust or fill in according to your goal like in the previous section.
Instead, you can directly use these ones somewhere around the end of your email message depending on what you want to achieve in the correspondence.
11. Please give me […] at your earliest convenience.
If there is a need for you to ask someone to take the action of calling you instead at the soonest time possible, there surely is a way to do that.
“Please give me a call at your earliest convenience” should prompt that person to make the call soon after reading whatever you write in your email.
Don’t forget to add your preferred contact number or at least guide the person on how to reach you for a smoother transaction.
You can do it this way:
Please give me a call at your earliest convenience.
Dear Mr. Manuel Valdez,
This is to inform you that you have been chosen as one of the finalists for the script writing competition you joined last month. Congratulations! At this point, we would like to speak with you to know whether you are able to push through with the next steps. Please give me a call at your earliest convenience at the number attached to my email signature.
12. Please let me know if […]
Great for offering further assistance, “Please let me know if […]” is a request statement that could be flexibly used at the end of almost every email.
More particularly, though, this one works very well when you are giving some instructions or announcements whose meaning may not be understood right away by every reader.
Two nice ways of using the said phrase are as follows:
Please let me know if you have any questions.
This is to inform you that the performance appraisal cycle for the second quarter has been completed. I would like to have a meeting with everyone at the end of the day regarding this. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with.
Dear Mr. Jacobs,
Attached with this email is the employee handbook you requested. Please let us know if there is anything else I can assist you with.
13. Please advise on […]
A direct approach to asking for any form of further assistance can be done by using “Please advise on how to proceed further” or “Please advise on the next course of action.”
Feel free to use this one when you think that you have done what is supposed to be done, yet you don’t know the next course of action to be taken.
Please advise on how to proceed further.
Dear Miss Johnson,
I have completed the initial steps for submitting a research paper, and I have received a confirmation email that the application has been successful. However, I am not sure what should be done next or if there is any other action necessary from my side. Please advise on how to proceed further. Thank you.
Please advise on the next course of action.
I have already completed the performance evaluation self-assessment for the current quarter. I have attached the form in this email. Please advise on the next course of action.
14. I would really appreciate your […] on this […]
Great for suggesting that your request is of high priority, “I would really appreciate your […] on […]” should do the trick.
If you are confused as to what has gone wrong along the way in a specific process you are going through, don’t hesitate to use this at the end of your email.
You could also use this phrase to express urgency regarding an issue or to speed up a certain process.
Feel free to do the following in your email:
I would really appreciate your help on this matter.
I have been informed that my application did not go through due to some lacking documents. Rest assured I submitted all requirements and reviewed everything before submitting. Is there any way you could help me find out what has gone wrong? I would really appreciate your help in this matter.
I would really appreciate your quick response on this issue.
Dear IT Department,
I seem to have been facing malware attack on the company-issued laptop. I have already tried troubleshooting but failed. I would really appreciate your quick response on this issue. Thank you in advance.
15. Please confirm receipt of […]
If what you have written or attached in an email is something that requires acknowledgment, then you should add “Please confirm receipt of […].”
Stating this message clearly in your email message should prompt the other person to make sure he or she sends a confirmation back to you.
You may use the mentioned phrase in these two ways:
Please confirm receipt of this email.
Attached is the list of candidates for the Senior Architect position in your firm together with the initial interview remarks. Please confirm receipt of this email. Thanks.
Please confirm receipt of the documents.
Please see attached files for my manuscript and cover letter. Please confirm receipt of the documents too, and let me know if they are accessible.
16. Could you please let me know […] ?
Suggesting a high level of politeness, “Could you please let me know […]?” works well with people you are not that close with.
For instance, you could use this one when communicating with someone whom you think should be treated with respect, like a boss or a prospective client.
Not limited to that, this expression also works in any kind of situation that needs a lot of professionalism from your side.
Here’s a good way of using the phrase:
Could you please let me know when you would be available for a call?
I would like to discuss the plans for next week as well as the strategies we need to take to improve work efficiency among all team members. Could you please let me know when you would be available for a call?
17. Please don’t hesitate to […] me with any […]
A way to suggest that you are available for any further inquiries is through the expression “Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns.”
You might as well think of this as a similar way of saying “Please let me know if you have any questions.”
This one is also great when you are elaborating on some procedures or giving some instructions to a person undergoing the process for the first time.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns.
This is to inform you that you have successfully filled out and submitted your leave request form. The next step you need to take is to inform your line manager via email regarding this request. After that, you will receive an email as to whether your leave application is approved or rejected. If anything else is unclear, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns.
Polite email request expressions for more specific purposes
If there are generic ways to state requests via emails, there are also more specific ways of doing so.
This section, therefore, provides a list of particular expressions that can be used based on specific communication targets.
Being specific with your messaging intent helps in avoiding misinterpretations from the receiver’s side, so do this whenever applicable.
18. Is there any way you could […] by […] ?
You should use this question if you want someone to do something more quickly or at least stick to a deadline or schedule.
If that is your goal, then you should use “Is there any way you could complete the task by…” followed by your target schedule.
In case you are the person being asked to do so, and you don’t think you can complete the task by the mentioned schedule, our post on 13 ways to say “no” in a nice way might be of help.
Is there any way you could complete the task by the end of the day Tuesday?
Thank you for your email. I understand your situation, but is there any way you could complete the task by the end of the day Tuesday? The research team is expecting to receive your initial report by Wednesday morning.
19. I would need […] for […]
Let’s say you are someone who needs a number of people for a specific position or role, and you want to be specific with your message.
In this scenario, you can simply say “I would need three to five candidates for the x position,” in which the usage of “I would need” instead of “I need” makes the tone more polite.
I would need x candidates for the y position.
Dear Recruitment Team,
This is to inform you that I would need three to five candidates for the line management position. The first two candidates did not fit all the criteria we are looking for. I would appreciate it if you could provide at least two candidates within this week and the remaining in the succeeding week.
20. May I know who is responsible for […] ?
If you want to be directed to a specific person handling a particular issue that you want to know more about, this question is nothing less than suitable.
“May I know who is responsible for handling the issue regarding x?” is something that should prompt someone to give you a person or department’s name at the least.
This one also works well even if you already have an idea of who is responsible because someone said so, but you don’t want to point your fingers directly based on hearsay.
May I know who is responsible for handling the issue regarding x?
May I know who is responsible for handling the issue regarding environmental policy non-compliance? I would like to have a more detailed discussion on it today, if possible.
21. How do I get a […] for […] ?
You probably want to get price quotes for some products. You know someone from that company, but you are also aware that he or she is not the right person to go to.
If that one person is your only warm connection, then you had better use the question “How do I get a quote for your product?”
If you want a faster transaction, you should also include your target products’ reference numbers in your email.
How do I get a quote for your products?
Dear Ms. Ellen,
Hope all is well. I would like to ask you something. How do I get a quote for your products? I would like to know more about items FG106 and FG109. However, I am not sure whom exactly I should ask about this, which is why I am reaching out to you instead. My apologies for the trouble, but I’m sincerely hoping you could help me out.
22. Would you please […] the attached […] and provide […] ?
This time, you probably want someone to review a piece of work or a certain document, and you also want that person to provide you with some feedback.
In cases like this, “Would you please review the attached […] and provide […]?” should work nicely.
As much as possible, you should state what kind of report you have attached in your email message so the receiver knows what to expect before opening the attachment.
Here are two great ways of structuring your message:
Would you please review the attached performance evaluation report and provide feedback?
Dear Mr. Harris,
Would you please review the attached performance evaluation report and provide feedback? This is the consolidated report for all branch controllers for the third quarter this year.
Thank you in advance.
Would you please go over the attached transaction report and provide insights?
Would you please go over the attached transaction report and provide insights? There seems to be some discrepancy for the transactions on November 10 and 11. Thank you in advance.
23. May I have your permission to […] ?
Last but not least, there are times when you would need to seek someone’s approval to do something such as launch a product on a target date.
If this is the situation you are in, then you should say “May I have your permission to launch the new product at the end of the month?”
If that does not exactly fit your purpose of seeking approval, feel free to change everything after “May I have your permission to…” and just add what you need.
May I have your permission to launch x at the end of the month?
Dear Miss Adeline,
May I have your permission to launch the new product at the end of the month? We initially discussed this in last week’s meeting, and I would like to have your confirmation before proceeding with any action.
What requests mean in real life
To request something means to use language strategically to persuade or convince another person to do something.
That definition may seem like shooting fish in a barrel at a glance, yet requesting politely in an email does need some mental work in real life.
Request strategies can come in different types, such as direct, indirect, and contextually implied; all of these occur in both speech and writing.
We use each of these types of strategies because of many factors like age, relationship, gender, purpose, urgency, social status, and so on.
Largely speaking, the closer our perceived social or professional relationship is with the person, the more direct our request would come out to be.
Direct requests can be done in the following ways where the aim or goal is said straightforwardly:
Can I use your phone?
Indirect requests are those in which the aim or goal is clear but are said implicitly using more polite expressions:
How about washing the dishes?
Could you tell me your name, please?
Contextually implied requests would be those ones in which the goal is hidden and can only be understood through contextual cues:
Why is it so hot in here? (implying to turn on the air conditioner)
I don’t have enough money for lunch, mom. (implying to ask for money)
Frequently Asked Questions on Requesting Politely in an Email
How do you write an email to request something urgent?
A good trick to do this is to include the word “urgent” in your email subject. You may also politely indicate this intent in your main email message by stating when exactly you would need the grant of request, such as in “I would appreciate it if you could do this by the end of the day today.”
Is “I am writing this email to request…” too formal?
The grammatical completeness in the structure of “I am writing this email to request makes the expression relatively formal. But, if there is a need for a high level of professionalism in the correspondence, this expression is suitable.
How do you ask for help from someone politely in an email?
To ask someone for help in a polite way via email, the expressions “I would appreciate it if you could…” or “It would be nice if you could…” are good choices. This could also be done in question form, such as saying “Would you please…?” or “Could you please…?”
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.