The context is my friend goes for an interview, and when he leaves he asked the interviewer:

"When could I expect to hear back from you"

Is hear back from you grammatical?


The expression "hear back from you" is grammatically fine and the right way to say that. You could also drop the "back" and simply say

When could I expect to hear from you?

My problem with your sentence is the word could, which might seem almost blunt in the context.

It's a small difference, but to my ear it's less demanding to say

When may I expect to hear back from you?


When might I expect to hear back from you?

or even

When should I expect to hear back from you?

The latter puts the task in the asker's court, not the interviewer's.

There are probably more artful ways to elicit the information, although any of the above would suffice.

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