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Assume I come to see an apartment for rent. And I may not be able to reply to the landlord at the spot whether I decide to move in or not. (Scenarios like this including hesitating whether to buy something when shopping.) I normally say "I will think about it and reply you no later than this Friday".

But how do native American speakers express this?

  • BTW, its on the spot, meaning immediately.. – user3169 Nov 16 '16 at 23:37
  • Seems on the spot also means in the place where something has just happened. Are your telling me that I used wrong preposition?@user3169 – Nicholas Nov 17 '16 at 14:59
  • Yes it could be that too, depending on your interpretation. I chose my guess. at the spot could mean "at the apartment". But it doesn't follow your context which is time-related (no later than this Friday), and also because the location was already established so why repeat it. – user3169 Nov 17 '16 at 17:35
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First of all, reply is not a transitive verb; that is, it does not take a direct object, so you shouldn't say "I will reply you" but either "I will reply" (if the target of your reply is obvious) or "I will reply to you" (if you need to specify who is receiving the reply).

Other than that, the statement you have is acceptable, if not entirely idiomatic. I would not normally expect reply to be the verb of choice in this situation; respond feels somewhat more natural. However, the most likely idiom for informing someone of your decision is "I will let you know."

Beyond that, it's also common to shorten up "no later than" to "by", which has an identical meaning in this circumstance.

So, combining those, a normal native response would be

I'll think about it and let you know by Friday.

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