Just say ‘thank you’

Just say ‘thank you’


“With reference to …” is rather old-fashioned. I remember using the phrase years ago. Have you read it before? Do you use it? Such as in: “With reference to your letter …”.

My recommendation? Just say “thank you”. Something like: “Thank you for your letter”. Or “Thank you for contacting us.”

Instead of writing: “With reference to our meeting last week”, you could write: “It was a pleasure meeting you in Cologne last week”. Or even: “I very much enjoyed meeting you in Cologne last week”.

And instead of writing: “With reference to our conversation yesterday”, you could write: “I enjoyed talking to you yesterday”.

I find these phrases much more personal. Do you agree?



Giving instructions

Instead of asking someone to “kindly send the papers to your customer”, it’s much better to use the phrase “Please could you … “. As I’ve said again and again, simple phrases are the best!


Rather than writing that you need something “immediately” or “without further delay”, say that you need it “as soon as possible”. Doesn’t that sound more polite to you?

You might like to use the following sentence:

“As this matter is urgent, I would appreciate a reply as soon as possible.”

Making a request

Instead of using “Would you be so kind as to … ” (I nearly always see “Would you be so kind to … ” which is wrong!), use “Please could you …” or “I’d be grateful if you could …”. Simple phrases are the best!