Phrases to Sound Polite in Email

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In our Facebook Live session today, I shared 40 phrases to help you sound polite in email.

We may not even notice that we sound impolite in an email until after it’s sent or somebody points it out!

This is because:

1. English is our second language so we may tend to be more direct in writing, and

2. when we write, people can’t hear our tone of voice and may interpret straightforward language as rude or impolite.

Watch the replay of the session here.

Or listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Try using some of these phrases to sound more polite in your emails!

1. Asking for simple requests

Would you mind … ?

Could you please … ?

Do you mind … ?

Would it be possible … ?

I would be grateful if you could …

2. Asking for favours or big requests

I was hoping you could …

I was wondering if you could …

Do you think you might be able to … ?

Could you possibly … ?

Would it be too much trouble if … ?

3. Asking for permission

I am considering … Would that be all right?

I was wondering if I could …

Would it be okay if I … ?

Do you think I might be able to … ?

Would you mind if I … ?

4. Suggesting a different point of view or way of doing something

What about if … ?

Maybe we could …

I thought it might be a good idea to …

Here’s another way we could look at this.

We can also consider this …

5. Rejecting an idea

I’m not sure that …

I’m afraid this might not work.

Unfortunately, we can’t move ahead with this.

Can we think of an alternative idea / solution?

I appreciate the idea, but based on the requirements …

6. Pointing out a mistake

It looks like there’s been a mistake.

There seems to be a mistake here.

I believe it should be …

I noticed there was a typo here. 

It’d be great if you could double-check on this.

7. Following up

Have you had the chance to work on … ?

How’s the ___ going? Do you need any help?

When will you be able to work on … ?

It would be great if you could provide an update on …

I wanted to follow up on …

8. Closing an email

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again, 

Best regards, 

Kind regards,


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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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