Got reached out by a recruiter about an opportunity and I wanted to ask how many engineers they already have on (in) the team. I wonder if the following sentence sounds natural?

can I ask how many engineers there are on the team already?

Are there any better alternatives to this?

Also I was wondering if he could let me speak with an engineer on his team so I can learn more about the team. What are some of the ways to express that?

  • "How many engineers are on the team?" is a direct way to how many engineers there are on the team already. Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 9:29

2 Answers 2


I think that sentence sounds fine. You could optionally and colloquially remove "there" to shorten it a bit, or move "already":

Can I ask how many engineers are already on the team?

As for asking to speak to an engineer - which may be unusual early in an interview process - you could ask:

Is it possible to ask one of the engineers some questions [about working for the company/in this team]?

But really what sentence you choose will depend on what information you want to get from the conversation.


Particularly in US English, already at the end of a sentence carries a connotation of impatience. It has been suggested that this is a calque from the Spanish use of "ya" at the end of an utterance.

  • 1
    I think in this case it's clear that "already" is part of the detail of the question, rather than the "hurry up, already" sense that conveys impatience.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 14:38

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