My university has registered with an online e-book website. But, the e-book I downloaded was password protected. The enquiry that I wrote is :

"I want to know where can I find passwords for e-books that I have downloaded."

Is this statement polite? How can it be re-framed so as to be more coherent?

2 Answers 2


I would break it into two parts, a statement and the question.

"I have downloaded an e-book from your website. Please could you advise where I can find the password."

To improve your original suggestion you should replace "I want to know" with "I would like to know" and include the word "please" for politeness.

  • 2
    Well-said. For some reason, "I want to know" sounds rather demanding, even though that's often not intended. Yet another alternative would be, "Please let me know".
    – J.R.
    Sep 6, 2013 at 10:05
  • 1
    I was always brought up with "I want" never gets.
    – Ste
    Sep 6, 2013 at 10:10
  • Please is used to make the sentence polite. It shows request.
    – Sweet72
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:28
  • that's a nice answer, but I wish if you could consider changing the order of 'please', 'could' and 'you.' In my view, 'Could you please advise...' is a better sentence structure.
    – aarbee
    Sep 8, 2013 at 19:35

While writing formal English, to request anything : Please is used as it makes the sentence polite. So, you can write like this :

I have downloaded the e-book ( name of the book) which is password protected. May I please know where can I find the saved passwords for the downloaded e-books?

Registered University : ( University Name)

Registration No : ( If applicable)

This will make more convenient for them to find it in their records.

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