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If you're writing a formal letter, and need the other party to reply as quickly as possible, how can you do it in the most polite, eloquent fashion? No matter how I try to do it, it always sounds too demanding.

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Although I understand that you are very busy, I would appreciate it if you could provide a response as soon as possible. I very much appreciate your time.

My exact wording might change according to the circumstances – How well do I know the person? How important is it that I get timely feedback? Is this the first time I'm asking, or the third? What is the situation? Am I planning a reception, or arranging for payments on a loan that is about to go into default?

Those considerations aside, the generic wording I've included at the top of my answer is about as polite as I can muster.

  • I wonder if "May we request a prompt reply?" would be considered impolite or too importunate, or maybe it would be viewed as a neutral stock expression. – CowperKettle Oct 1 '15 at 8:38
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    @Copper - Perhaps if you answered that question with an explanation, that would work just ifne. That is, something like: May we request a prompt reply? If we're going to do this project, we'll need to start planning accordingly, so we want to commit the resources as soon as we can. If we can somehow convince the recipient of the email that it's in their best interest to respond quickly, that would seem more polite, I think. – J.R. Oct 1 '15 at 8:43
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We are looking forward to your earliest response.

We are looking forward to a timely response.

We will greatly appreciate it if you can respond at your earliest convenience.

  • 2
    While these may be valid sample sentence the OP can use, the answer is of little value unless you add some explanation to it. – Glorfindel Jul 11 '16 at 7:08
  • @Noufil - That one is commonly used, but I'd recommend caution. Many people consider that to be rude. (See this ELL question for more discussion on that matter.) – J.R. Oct 8 '16 at 18:15
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  1. An early reply would be appreciated
  2. I look forward to your reply
  3. I look forward to hearing from you
  4. I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience
  5. Your earliest attention would be appreciated

protected by J.R. Oct 8 '16 at 18:11

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