Every language has its own collection of wise sayings that many people call idioms. Those phrases generally offer advice about how to live and also transfer some underlying ideas, principles and values of a given society. They usually have a meaning that goes beyond just the words that make them up. In the past, we have…
Sending emails used to be an informal thing because we used to use hand-written letters to sound formal. Now that emails are the primary form of communication in a professional and personal capacity, it is important to make sure your email doesn’t send the wrong message. Especially for non-native English speakers, it is difficult to achieve the correct tone in English. If you sound angry, impatient, or even over-formal, you risk alienating your reader.
Here are some things to remember so that you convey the right tone.
- Are you using proper sentence structure? First word capitalized with appropriate punctuation? Multiple instances of !!! or ??? are perceived as rude or condescending.
- If your email is emotionally charged, walk away from the computer and wait to reply. Review the Sender’s email again so that you are sure you are not reading anything into the email that simply isn’t there.
- Never use an old email to hit reply and start typing about an entirely new topic.
- Take a quick look at the e-mails in your Trash before you delete them just in case a good e-mail landed there by mistake.
- Avoid using “Could you please …” Putting “please” after “could you” makes it sound as if you have already asked the person to do something, and that you are reminding them again because you are exasperated.
- Acceptable: “Please could you send me the details of the insurance policy?”
- Acceptable: “Could you send me the details of the insurance policy, please?”
- Acceptable: “Could you send me the details of the insurance policy?” (“could you” is formal enough and “can you” is too informal).
- Avoid using “Would you be so kind as to…” This phrase makes you sound almost sarcastic, as if you think the other person is likely to refuse your request. In business, a person doesn’t need to be “kind” to do something: it’s generally their job! . It’s much better to use a phrase such as “Could you..” to ask someone to do something.
- Avoid using “Kindly…” This word makes you sound angry, or that you think the other person is incompetent and can’t do their job properly. It’s much better to use a phrase such as “Could you..” to give instructions to someone.
- Avoid using “Immediately” or “Without further delay”. It’s too pushy.
- Acceptable: “As this matter is urgent, I would appreciate a reply as soon as possible.”
- Acceptable: “I would be grateful for your prompt reply.”
- Acceptable: “I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.”
- Acceptable: “I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.”
- April 30, 2015
- April 23, 2015
***The following article— “How To Be A Truly Great Writer” by Ashley Elizabeth Wood is not an official Albanian Voices article. The views expressed in this article are entirely those of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Albanian Voices or any of its partner organizations.*** Stephen King is one of the United State’s…
- April 16, 2015
English is not an easy language to master. We have difficult spelling rules and pronunciation is tricky. There are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently. There are words that are spelled the same and mean different things. It’s enough to make you lose your mind! Some people don’t learn English in school;…
- April 9, 2015
***The following article— “Motivate Yourself To Write!” by Ashley Elizabeth Wood is not an official Albanian Voices article. The views expressed in this article are entirely those of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Albanian Voices or any of its partner organizations.*** Many people want to be writers and they say that they…
- March 19, 2015
By Ashley Elizabeth Wood If you’re like me, you love to learn new expressions that help you sound more native in a language that isn’t your mother tongue. One place that you hear a great deal of idioms is in business. Here are 5 great phrases in English that are related to business that you…