Can you please tell me, what would be the right sentence formation and decent way to ask the following question:

"Have you read the job description properly / thoroughly and got an idea of what I am looking for exactly?"

2 Answers 2


I would split this question into two questions.

Have you read the job description thoroughly?
Do you understand what I am looking for?

Most job descriptions either do not provide enough detail, or provide too much detail without prioritizing which details are most important. Thus, it is very difficult for someone reading a job description to know what the employer is "looking for exactly". I therefore left out the word "exactly".

This answer changes the questions in five ways:

  • It avoids having a run-on sentence.
  • The word "I" is correctly capitalized.
  • It uses the word "thoroughly", which is a better choice (in this context) than the word "properly".
  • It avoids an informal (and in my opinion, incorrect) use of the word "got".
  • It uses the word "understand". "Understanding" something is more thorough than "having an idea", but might not be as thorough as understanding something "exactly".

All of these changes make the questions more formal.

  • Thanks so much for the reply :) also i believe i can ask this question in follow way too right? "Have you read the job description thoroughly and understand what I am looking for?" i want to ask it in single sentence cause i don't want to increase number of question i ask to a freelance on upwork. P.S. Once again thanks a lot for your reply :) i really appreciate it Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 5:41
  • @JqueryNoob -- Yes, you can combine the questions like that. "Have you read the job description thoroughly, and do you understand what I am looking for?" would be a little clearer. But even though it is grammatically one sentence, it still requires answering two logical questions. If you combined the questions, I might get confused trying to answer the combined question. It would be easier to answer two short questions.
    – Jasper
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 7:00
  • I've edited out the capitalization mistake in the question and it impacts your answer here a little.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 0:59
  • 1
    Just wanted to also point out that @Jasper added the word "do" in the correction, which is vital to making the compound question grammatical. This is improper conjugation: "Have you read and understand." You can say "Have you read and understood" or "have you read, and do you understand." Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 21:45

To complete what has already been said, you could use "I wonder whether...", or anything that says that you are thinking this, but you would be willing to accept that it is an incorrect thought (in other words, you are trying not to be accusative, perhaps there is indeed another reason).

I wonder whether [if] you carefully/thoroughly read the job description and got a precise idea of what we are looking for?

Also, it is a good idea to be precise in your question, carefully avoiding words with a connotation of "good and bad". For my part, I like "get a [precise] idea", since it is an clear action, while questioning "understanding" might somehow come across that the person is not intelligent enough.

By contrast, shifting "I" to "we" in the second part of the sentence might be useful to shift the attention away from you (not to make it appear that you are teaching a lesson).

This is, needless to say, a process of trial and error (in which several solutions are possible), and it is never going to come across perfectly (since the person did put themselves in an embarassing situation). But at least, it will come across that you are being considerate.

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