“At Your Earliest Convenience”: Meaning & Alternatives (+8 Examples)

It is often said that there are around 25,000 idioms used in just the English language, with nearly all of them being either adapted or have evolved to be used in regular day to day conversation. Most times, we use these idioms or phrases at will, without actually understanding what their original context or root was. The aim of this article is to highlight one such idiom’s root and original context. Lets begin!

What does “At your earliest convenience” mean?

“At your earliest convenience” is used when you require something to be done immediately or at a certain time but don’t have the authority to make it an order. Additionally, “At your earliest convenience” also is a polite way of making a request or order. “At your earliest convenience” can be seen as a literal way of saying “please do this as soon as it’s practical or easy for you to”. This phrase is especially used in letters, emails or any other formal writing format

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Where does “At your earliest convenience” originate from?

“At your earliest convenience” originates from a time when it was seen as “proper” to be polite. It can be said that “At your earliest convenience” is a way to pass across the pertinence of a task without coming across as authoritative or rude, particularly in a time when it was socially wrong to be.

3 examples of how to use “At your earliest convenience” in a sentence

Using “At your earliest convenience” in a letter to politely prompt someone to do something for you

As said earlier, “At your earliest convenience” is mostly used in formal settings, particularly in letters. This phrase is used when you want people to do something as soon as they can. In this instance, you can say something like:

“Please call back at your earliest convenience”

When you want someone to return your call.

“We hope to receive a cheque from you at your earliest convenience”

This is used in a business environment, from one business to another.

Using “At your earliest convenience” in a business setting

This instance can be used between two businesses, perhaps in the course of a sale or transaction:

“We request the favour of your reply at your earliest convenience”

“Please remit the money for the goods sent at your earliest convenience”

“Please return the underlined documents at your earliest convenience”

“Please deliver the products at your earliest convenience”

Using “At your earliest convenience” to get someone to do something immediately without coming off as impolite

This instance is typically used in somewhat informal settings. considering “At your earliest convenience” is quite formal, it can be seen as sort of passive aggressive way to get your point across without coming off as rude. For example, you could be having a conversation with your friend or loved one and you need them to do something without making it seem like you are ordering them around:

“Can you please clean your room at your earliest convenience? I wouldn’t want to tell you again”

“The proposal isn’t done yet? We really need it if we want to land this big account. Please do it at your earliest convenience”

Alternatives to saying “At your earliest convenience”

“As quickly as possible”

There are some individuals that believe requests that include “As quickly as possible” can come across as impolite. However, this is instance is typically used in an informal setting, perhaps between colleagues or friends:

“Can you send me the report as quickly as possible? I need to add a few things to it”

“Can you come pick me up as quickly as possible?

“Please be informed that the contract will be due for renewal as quickly as possible”

“We request the favour of your reply as quickly as possible”

“Please remit the money for the goods sent as quickly as possible”

“Please return the underlined documents as quickly as possible”

“Please deliver the products as quickly as possible”

“As soon as possible”

“Can you send me the report as soon as possible? I need to add a few things to it”

“Can you come pick me up as soon as possible?

“Please be informed that the contract will be due for renewal as soon as possible”

“We request the favour of your reply as soon as possible”

“Please remit the money for the goods sent as soon as possible”

“Please return the underlined documents as soon as possible”

“Please deliver the products as soon as possible”

You may also like: 6 Polite Ways To Say “As Soon As Possible”

“At the earliest opportunity”

“Please call back at the earliest opportunity”

“We hope to receive a cheque from you at the earliest opportunity”

“Please be informed that the contract will be due for renewal at the earliest opportunity”

“We request the favour of your reply at the earliest opportunity”

“Please remit the money for the goods sent at the earliest opportunity”

“Please return the underlined documents at the earliest opportunity”

“Please deliver the products at the earliest opportunity”

You may also like: 10 Polite Ways To Say “At Your Convenience”