I can't think of any better wording to express the sense I want to convey.

To whatever extent, this thing seems unimportant to you, we need to rethink seriously about it.

The sentence wants to convey that someone X thinks something is not that important and another person Y doesn't agree with him, then the later says the former the aforementioned sentence. But to me the sentence looks a bit stilted. Is it natural way to say so?

  • 1
    The comma after "extent" is definitely superfluous. Depending on what all you're going for, you could say something like "However unimportant this may seem to you, I need you to think seriously about it." or maybe even something like "You may not think this is important, but we need to think seriously about it." In general, it doesn't seem like "rethink" is what you want here. I don't think you can say "rethink about", only "rethink it". Is person Y telling person X to think about it more seriously or inviting X to join Y in thinking about it together? Oct 5, 2013 at 7:45
  • @TylerJamesYoung, Person Y is telling person X that they both need to think about it more seriously. Inviting is better way to say.
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 5, 2013 at 7:49
  • @ty, It seems like I was unaware of this usage of "however" which means "to whatever extent" exactly. The "however" word seems to make the sentence natural now.
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 5, 2013 at 7:53
  • Make sure to pair it with "unimportant" side by side and remove any comma before "you". As for the other part, it sort of depends on how much these people have each thought about the thing in the past, what exactly it is that they are thinking about, whether Y is trying to change X's opinion of the thing, etc. Oct 5, 2013 at 7:57
  • How about: "However unimportant this thing seems to you, we need to give it some serious thought." Oct 5, 2013 at 8:00

2 Answers 2


This thing may seem unimportant to you, but I think we need to give it more serious thought.

The word may is crucial – it allows you a way out in case you've misunderstood your colleague's viewpoint. It sounds less accusatory.

I believe to whatever extent doesn't really add anything to the sentence, and ought to be removed.

I agree that the original sounds a little off, and I believe the two-word phrase "rethink seriously" is one of the culprits. I believe seriously rethink would sound better, but, in my version, I opted to forgo the verb rethink, and use the idiomatic give thought to instead.


The precise meaning of your sentence is "We need to do the amount of serious rethinking of the thing that is proportional to the amount that you feel the thing is unimportant." That isn't really what you want to say in your description. I'll second J.R.'s suggestion.

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