Business Writing Tip #114—Checking Understanding in Emails

In previous posts I’ve emphasised how important it is for us to be clear in our emails. The Email formatthing is we can’t always guarantee that the other person is going to be clear too. There are often times when we need to check back with them to make sure we have understood them correctly. And there may be times when people ask us for clarification and we need to explain what we meant. This post includes some sentences to help you.

When there may have been a technical problemDid you get my last email sent on [date]?
Sorry, you forgot to attach the file. Can you send it again please?
I got your email, but I can’t open the attachment.
Did you mean to send this? I don’t want to open it in case it has a virus.
When you want to check what the other person meantI’m not sure what you mean by ...? Could you please clarify/explain?
Which ... do you mean?
I don’t understand this point. Could you explain it in a little more detail please?
Are you sure about this point?
When someone has asked you to clarify somethingSorry, what I meant to write was ..., not ...
I thought ..., but I may be wrong.
I’ll check and get back to you.
I have included the correct information below. Please make the necessary changes to your records (more formally: Please amend your records accordingly.)
Sorry, forget my last email. You’re right.
Phrases to close a clarification emailI hope this makes it clear.
I hope this clarifies the situation.
Get back to me if there’s anything else.
Contact me if you need more information.

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