When I am writing a formal email, let's say I wanted to let someone know that it is urgent but not extremely urgent. So what is a formal way of telling my boss:

If you sees this message, please reply, it is a bit urgent.


If you sees this message, please reply, it is urgent.


2 Answers 2


Your two examples don't really differ in degree of formality, but they certainly differ in meaning.

"it is a bit urgent" is not great grammar, so actually comes off as slightly less formal, but because you said "a bit" you have made it seem less urgent than simply "it is urgent."

This sort of thing is often as much about how the recipient interprets your words, as the actual choice of qualifier - if you are in the habit of 'getting overexcited' then saying that something is only slightly urgent may make it seem unimportant, whereas if your writing is normally a little restrained, then any mention of urgency may be enough.

  • 1
    Depending on the situation, I think "a bit urgent" might seem a bit more polite, too. I would take, "It is urgent" to mean, "Stop whatever you were working on and do this instead!" whereas, "It is a bit urgent" comes across more like, "As soon as you get a chance to take this on, please do so."
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 11:04

You really haven't described how "formal" is your relationship with your boss. For example, most of my communication with my superiors has been pretty casual.

But let's assume a more formal relationship, such as writing to a customer or a potential client, someone who might resent familiarity. In that case I would not use "bit" as it feels too casual for someone I want to impress with my professional demeanor. In that case I would say "somewhat" or "slightly".

I would appreciate a prompt response as this is somewhat urgent and requires your immediate attention.

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