Business Writing

Checking understanding

Previously I’ve emphasised how important it is for us to be clear in our emails. While we can control our own writing, we can’t always guarantee that the other person is going to be clear too.

We often need to check back with people writing to us to make sure we have understood them correctly.

Also, there may be times when people ask us for clarification and when we need to explain what we meant. Here are some phrases to help you.

When there may have been a technical problem
Did 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 meant
I’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 something
Sorry, 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 email
I 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.