S1E10: Checking and Clarifying Transcript
Welcome to the season finale of the Writing Emails Audio Course. In the past nine episodes you’ve learnt how to structure your emails, you’ve learnt an abundance of phrases you can use in those emails, you now understand certain structures (such as prepositions, linking words, adverbs of time) which you can use to create clear, fluent and professional emails. In the season finale I’ll explain ways you can check and clarify things through email.
But, you’ve guessed it, there is some vocabulary to go through:
- Clarify (verb) make (a statement or situation) less confused and more comprehensible.
- Miscommunication (noun) failure to communicate adequately.
- Unnecessary (adj) not needed.
- Advanced (adj) far on or ahead in development or progress.
- Instantaneously (adverb) instantly; at once.
Miscommunication is something you want to avoid in business. It causes so many unnecessary problems. If you check or clarify something, then you will save a lot of time and money. What do they say in business? Time is money. And that seems to be true.
Technology has advanced things – everything now happens instantaneously, especially with email. But sometimes there are technical difficulties, emails bounce back or don’t arrive in somebody’s inbox, sometimes files aren’t attached or the wrong one has been attached. Here are some phrases that are good to use in order to check things when faced with technical difficulties:
‘I just wanted to check if you received my previous message that I sent on…’
Or ‘apologies, but the files don’t seem to be attached to the email you sent. Can you send it again, please?’ or ‘I received your email, but I can’t seem to open the attachment. Could you resend it, please?’
When you receive a strange email from a friend or colleague it’s best to clarify what the contents of this email is. For example, you could say: ‘Did you mean to send this to me? I don’t want to open it in case it’s a virus.’
In business, you’re either given or giving a lot of instructions. If, for example, one of those instructions doesn’t make sense to you, it’s best to ask for clarification. One way of doing this is by saying, ‘I’m not sure what you mean by…? Could you clarify this point for me, please?’ or ‘Could you provide a little more detail about…?’
When asking for clarification it’s important to make the end of your email short and sweet but also as a reminder for what you want. For example, you could say, ‘Please get back to me as soon as possible’ or ‘I would appreciate your urgent attention with this matter.’
But what if you’re the one being asked these questions? What if somebody is asking you to clarify something to them? You could say, ‘Sorry, what I meant was this…not this…’ or
‘With regards to your email about clarification, I have attached a document which should make things clearer.’
Or ‘of course, I would happily provide some more detail. I have attached several new files to this email.’
The correct information has been attached to the email. Please amend your records accordingly.’
So, you’ve clarified your point. You’ve done so in a professional, polite manner. So how should you close your email? An excellent way would be to say, ‘I hope this clarifies things / I hope this has brought you some clarification.’ By doing this you’re urging your reader (gently) to respond with a yes or a no. By doing so, you know whether you have succeeded in clarifying the point or not.
And I hope, with the benefit of this audio course, you will succeed in writing your business emails. This is the end of season 1 but stay tuned for another season with more tips, examples and anecdotes all about writing emails.
If you have any questions feel free to send us a message over at the Intrepid English website. And if you want to discuss anything in more detail you can book your free trial lesson now. Just go to www.intrepidenglish.co.uk I’m Tom, one of the teachers here at Intrepid English, and thank you for listening!