Suppose I am writing an email and I need a customer to send some information. I want to tell him to reply my email and send the data.

Please send us the required information in a response to this email.

Is the phrase "in a response to this email" valid? Does it make sense the way I intended to?

  • 2
    Why not use 'reply' instead of 'response'? – amI Oct 17 at 7:27
  • 1
    @amI What difference do you think that would make? – David Richerby Oct 17 at 13:40
  • Your version is perfectly OK, a.toraby. Go with it. – TonyK Oct 17 at 16:05
  • 'Reply' is part of e-communication jargon and will elicit a specific type of response. When you avoid the convention, you plant the seed for a different type of response -- maybe you'll get a fax... – amI Oct 18 at 2:22
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You asked:

  • Is the phrase "in a response to this email" valid? Does it make sense the way I intended to?

The answer to both questions is yes – but that doesn’t mean you’ve communicated the information in the best way possible.

Personally, I’d be in favor of restructuring the sentence:

Please respond to this email to send us the required information.

If you really wanted to begin your sentence the way you did, you could consider using the preposition by instead of using in:

Please send us the required information by responding to this email.

  • 4
    +1. Also, "Please reply to this email with the required information" would work – Kevin Oct 17 at 13:15
  • Why confuse the OP with such irrelevant re-phrasings? They are no better than the original, in my opinion. – TonyK Oct 17 at 16:04
  • No need to mention "this email" really - that's obvious from the content. I'd pare down to simply, "Please reply with the required information". – Toby Speight Oct 17 at 16:55
  • @TobyS - I'm not sure it's obvious. If you sent me an email requesting certain information, and said, "Please reply with the required information," what's to stop me from picking up the phone and calling you? If someone wants all the replies sent to the same inbox, then adding that bit about "to this email" might prove helpful. – J.R. Oct 17 at 21:07
  • 1
    @TonyK - In my experience, rephrasings seem to help learners understand the language better. I'm not claiming that my versions are far superior, but, given how many questions we get about prepositions, I wouldn't be surprised if presenting an option like by helps bring things into focus a bit. – J.R. Oct 17 at 21:11

** "Please send us the required information in a response to this email."

You probably want to say instead:

"Please attach the required information in a reply to this email."

Or simply:

"Please attach the required information in your reply."

The words attach and reply are the dominant words used for e-mail software, so using the same vocabulary makes it clearer what you want your reader to do.

  • 2
    "attach" is used for attachments. If the OP wants the information in the body of the email, that is not the correct term. – Acccumulation Oct 17 at 14:56

It makes sense, but it's a bit redundant: anything anyone does as a result of a request is, by definition, a response to that request. If you want to emphasize that you want the information in an email clearly marked by the email software as being part of the email chain, I recommend "Please reply to this email with the required information".

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.