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Miscellaneous

Some alternatives to common English words and phrases to sound more polite

When writing in English, we often use the same words over and over, since we do not know how to express the same concept in a different way.

In this article I give you some tips about a few alternatives that you can use so that you can improve your English and sound more polite.

In business emails, in particular, we have noticed that many times the writer is too “direct” while it is a good practice to answer politely.

The table below gives you some ideas that you can edit and re-use in your emails!

COMMON WORDSALTERNATIVE 1 ALTERNATIVE 2
I don’t understand itIt is out of my understandingIt’s all Greek to me
I can’t do that I am not able to do thatI am not the right person to do that
I want you to do that taskWould you kindly perform that task for me?Would you be available to pursue that task for me?
You have not sent me all the documentsIt seems that some documents are missing, would you mind sending them again?You may have forgotten to send me some documents; could you please double-check?
I don’t knowLet me check with my team and get back to you soonCould you please give me some time to make sure to give you the proper information?
Can you answer my email?I hope to receive a prompt answer to this email, so that we can move forwardI look forward to your reply, I guess that none of us wants to keep this thread waiting for too long
Best regardsWarm regardsSincerely
Give me a callWould you mind calling me when you have a couple of minutes to speak over the phone?I think it is easier if we take a few minutes to speak over the phone. When would you be available for a quick call?

Is there any other common phrase that you use and you would like to have some alternatives?

Let us know in the comments and we will update this page.

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