Saying things like “does it work for you” are good ways to check whether someone can work around what we’ve proposed. Of course, it’s not the best way to talk to someone in a formal email, and it would help to learn from this article to find out what’s better.
The preferred version is “does that sound acceptable?” It’s a great question we can use to confirm plans with someone before finalizing anything. It gives them a chance to pause and check their diaries and schedules to make sure they are fit to agree to the plans we laid out.
Does That Sound Acceptable?
“Does that sound acceptable” is the best synonym we can use. We keep the initial “does that” here because there’s nothing wrong with using it. We replace “work for you” with “sound acceptable” to make it a bit more punchy. It allows us to get to the point quickly.
We only want to find out whether something is “acceptable” for someone’s schedule. If it is, they’ll let us know they can make it. If it isn’t, they’ll let us know, and we can agree on a different plan if it’s easier for them.
- Hey Martin,
- Does all of that sound acceptable? You have to be there, so let me know if anything needs to be changed.
- Thank you,
Would That Be Okay With You?
“Would that be okay with you” is a good question as well. It works because we can use “okay” as a positive feeling to find out whether something works for someone (usually based on a time or date that might have been set).
- Dear Tom,
- We’re going to conduct the meeting on Friday at three. Would that be okay with you, or are you busy at that time?
- Thank you for your time,
- Sarah Martin
Is That Alright With You?
“Is that alright with you” is a slightly simpler variation to what we used above. It works well because “is that alright” is still formal while also allowing us to get to the point quicker than “would that be okay.”
The only issue is that some people don’t like formally using “is that alright.” They think it sounds a bit unprofessional. It works best if you’re familiar with the person you’re emailing and you know they won’t mind the tone.
- Dear Mr. Boss,
- I’m going to be coming in on Friday for the meeting. Is that alright with you?
- I look forward to our meeting,
How Does That Sound?
“How does that sound” is a great question we can use. It’s versatile, too, meaning it works both formally and informally. Formal emails can make use of it because it asks someone whether something “sounds” good to them or not.
We can use “how does that sound” to a great effect. Many native speakers are familiar with “sound” as a way to check whether they’re comfortable with something or not.
- Dear Michael,
- How does that sound? I want to make sure we have the best possible meeting we can, and we need you there for that.
- Let me know,
- Mr. Gray
How Do You Feel About That?
“How do you feel about that” is another good question. It works when we want to ask about someone’s thoughts or feelings. Generally, the response relates to feeling bad if they can’t make it or good if they can (if it’s an appointment or meeting time, that is).
- Dear sir,
- How do you feel about the agreed time for the meeting? It would be good to have you there.
- Let us know what you think,
- Mr. Farmfield
Is There Anything Preventing You From Being There?
“Is there anything preventing you from being there” is a slightly different approach to the question. We use this form when we want to check whether someone already has plans laid out that might make it difficult for them to agree to join us.
- Dear Mrs. Cloak,
- Is there anything preventing you from being there with us on Monday? You seem a bit hesitant to agree.
- All the best,
Is That Okay?
“Is that okay” is a great way to keep it simple. Formal emails don’t need to be overwhelmed with complicated messages or over-polite questions. “Is that okay” simply works to check whether what we’ve suggested is suitable for someone else.
- Dear sir,
- Is that okay? If not, please let me know a time that will work better for you. I’d like this meeting to go well.
- Kindest regards,
- Mrs. Arthro
Can You Work With That?
“Can you work with that” is a good question we can use when we’ve made plans. It’s usually more final, which means that we’ve decided to do something at a specific time, and we don’t have a lot of wiggle room.
“Can you work with that” asks someone whether the previously agreed time is suitable. Unfortunately, this question usually doesn’t allow us to change the time even if it’s not. It simply means that the person we’re speaking to won’t be able to attend something.
- Dear Craig,
- Now that I’ve told you the plans, can you work with that? I’d like you to be there, but I understand you’re a busy man.
- Let me know if you’re available,
Can You Make This Work?
“Can you make this work” is similar to the above. It’s a final question, meaning we don’t have a lot of wiggle room to offer someone if they’re not able to make an agreed time. Still, it’s worth asking them to check whether they’re free for something.
- Dear Mr. Timeout,
- Can you make this work? It’s important that you’re there because I’d rather you didn’t just read the notes.
- Thank you,
- Mrs. Walkon
Are You Content With This?
“Are you content with this” is a good question to check someone’s thoughts or feelings about plans. “Content” can be replaced with any positive adjective like “happy” or “pleased.” We just think that “content” works the best in most formal contexts.
- Dear Jules,
- Are you content with the plans I’ve laid out for you? I think it’s best if we both agree on the same thing before meeting at the wrong time.
- All the best to you and yours,
Will You Be Able To Make It?
“Will you be able to make it” is great when arranging specific times or dates. It allows someone to go and check their diary to make sure there isn’t any overlap.
If they do have an overlap, the simple question allows them to say “sorry” or “no, I can’t.” Both of these responses then give us a better chance to arrange a time that does work.
- Dear Terry,
- Will you be able to make it at the specified time? I want to make sure everyone is there who needs to hear about this.
- Let me know if you’re free,
- Mr. Smith
Are You Available At This Time?
“Are you available at this time” is similar to the above question. We use it when we want to know whether someone has a free schedule. If they aren’t free, this question allows them to let us know, which creates a good communicative channel to select a better time.
- Dear Christie,
- Are you available at this time? I want the meeting to have everyone present, so I need to know if you’ll be there.
- Thank you for your time,
- Jon Appleton
Are You Free Then?
“Are you free then” is one of the more simplistic questions. It still works formally, but some people don’t like to use it because it seems too simple or rushed. Nevertheless, it’s a simple way to ask whether someone has the time to do something.
- Dear Mrs. Young,
- Are you free on Monday? I’d like to have a discussion with you about these things in private, if that’s okay?
- I hope to hear from you soon,
Does That Sound Good To You?
“Does that sound good to you” is a good way to check whether someone is happy with the scheduled date or time. Using “good” in this context helps us to understand someone’s feelings about a specific arrangement and whether they have the time for it.
- Dear Walter Weiss,
- Does that all sound good to you? Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to change about it before I finalize anything.
- Best wishes,
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.