I have to write one of the following phrases into a formal correspondence (job application) in order to ask:

Because he has not replied yet to my confirmation mail that I have sent to him three days ago


Because he has not yet replied to my confirmation mail that I have sent to him three days ago

Which one should I use?

This is the contest :

I was not sure whether a final decision has been made regarding my application, because he has not replied yet to my confirmation mail that I have sent to him three days ago

  • Use had sent, since you are referencing a completed past action.
    – user3169
    Apr 29 '16 at 0:17

They both work in spoken English, but the second is more formal. I'm not sure why this is, but as a native speaker I can say that the second is more correct and that the first is awkward. Therefore, I would use the second.

This may not be relevant, but note that those are not complete sentences; they are dependent clauses. (They might have been part of sentences that you haven't included.)


It can't be said which one is absolutely better. It is very important on what you want to emphasis and how you want to express it. I give you an example to show you that in this case the second one works better. Few days ago, I was designing a web page for a software application in which I needed to show the user the following sentence:

It seems that the Fractal Accounting server address has not yet been added to your IE's "Trusted Zone."

Now, you tell me: How can you re-write this sentence in the first form? I mean, where do you put "yet" in a way that reading the sentence would be as smooth as it is now?

In your example, on the other hand, the two expressions give two (slightly) different impressions: "he has not replied yet" means "I still hope that he would reply, because (for example) he is a little busy but will eventually reply, as he always do" while, on the other hand, "he has not yet replied" means something like "I expected a quicker response from him and there are other things that I should do after his replying, but he has not even replied."

In fact, in the first form you emphasize on the time of replying, while in the second form your emphasis is on the "replying" itself.

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