There’s nothing wrong with asking someone to clarify information in an email. If anything, it’s a surefire way to ensure you have all the information correct before moving forward.
This article has gathered the best phrases to politely ask for clarification.
- I would like to clarify with you regarding
- Could you please clarify
- Do you mind clarifying
- I would like to clear up
- I would like to confirm some details
- Just to make sure
- Just to check
- Could you please explain
- I would like to verify
- To ensure we’re on the same page
Keep reading to learn how to ask someone to be more specific via email. We’ve also provided examples for each alternative.
1. I Would Like to Clarify With You Regarding
It’s wise to be clear and direct when asking for clarification. The more obvious you are, the easier it is for the reader to follow what you’re saying. That’s why we think “I would like to clarify with you regarding” is such a great alternative.
You can use it to politely ask for clarification in an email. For instance, you may want to use it when emailing a colleague.
If you’re working on a team project with them, it’s good to clarify a few things before you figure out whether you’re on the same page.
You can also refer to the following sample email:
I would like to clarify with you regarding the previous email. I’m unsure whether we should proceed as originally planned.
2. Could You Please Clarify
Why not go for an extra polite alternative and ask a clarifying question? Starting your email with “could you please clarify” is a really polite way to find out whether someone can provide more information.
You can ask this when emailing new team members. It shows you would like to find out more about them and their ideas. Perhaps you should clarify a few things with them in a business setting before you start pooling your ideas together.
Here is an example to help you understand it better:
Could you please clarify the meaning behind this? I want to be certain before I begin working with you.
3. Do You Mind Clarifying
Another great question showing you how to ask someone to clarify professionally is “do you mind clarifying.”
It’s great to include it at the start of an email to show that you would appreciate more information.
Generally, this polite question works best when emailing your boss. It shows that you respect them and want to find out what they mean when setting you a task. Then, you can ensure that you have your information correct before you start work.
You may also refer to the following example email:
Do you mind clarifying the details with the team and me? I need to know what our next steps will be.
Thank you so much,
4. I Would Like to Clear Up
Knowing how to write a polite email asking for clarification is simple with “I would like to clear up.”
A clear and direct phrase is the best way to ensure you’re on the same page with the recipient.
You should “clear up” something by asking for more information. It shows that you’re intrigued about a task, but you need to know more before you can start working on it properly.
Perhaps this example will help you understand it:
I would like to clear up a few things before we proceed. Then, I can be certain we’re on the same page with the project.
All the best,
5. I Would Like to Confirm Some Details
“I would like to confirm some details” is a great phrase to ask for clarification.
It shows that you’re diligent and want to make sure of a few things before you take a project or task further.
Generally, you’d use this when emailing your boss. It shows you’re interested to hear from them and want to clarify some details before you continue working on a task they’ve set for you.
You may also refer to the following email example:
I would like to confirm some details with you if that’s okay. Do you have any ideas as to how we should go about this?
6. Just to Make Sure
If you want to sound slightly more informal (while still retaining politeness), try “just to make sure.”
It shows that you’d like to clear some information up in a more casual tone.
You would find this phrase most useful when emailing colleagues. It works best if you have a close relationship with them and neither of you minds using slightly more informal language to get your points across.
Check out the following example if you’re still unsure:
Just to make sure, are we meeting to discuss this on Friday? I don’t believe we’ve clarified the exact plans yet.
7. Just to Check
Another great informal alternative is “just to check.” It works well when you want to clarify minor details about something.
Generally, “just to check” works best in low-pressure situations when the information isn’t very important.
We recommend using it when emailing coworkers. It shows you want their input on something. Perhaps you trust their judgment or need to clarify something before you feel comfortable enough to move to the next stage.
Perhaps this sample email will help you understand a few things:
Just to check, do you have any more information that might help me understand this case?
Thank you so much,
8. Could You Please Explain
You could say “could you please explain” when you would like to hear more about something.
It’s an honest and open question that shows you need someone to clarify information because you don’t understand it.
Generally, this question works best when emailing your boss. After all, they’re more likely to have information that you might not understand. So, it’s worth asking them for some help before you finalize any details.
Here’s a quick example to show you more about it:
Could you please explain what you mean by this? I want to proceed, but I’m not sure if I understand your points.
9. I Would Like to Verify
Verifying and clarifying are very similar procedures in the workplace. Therefore, “I would like to verify” is great to include in a formal email.
It shows that you want to have the facts straight before continuing with a task.
For instance, you might email a team member to verify a few details about a team project. It shows that you want to work closely with them, but you need to check that you have similar ideas before doing so.
You can also check out the following email example:
I would like to verify whether we’re working together on this. I still don’t understand a few of the points you’ve made.
10. To Ensure We’re on the Same Page
“To ensure we’re on the same page” is a great way to ask for clarification in a formal email.
It shows you would like to run your ideas by the recipient to see whether they agree with you or if they would change anything.
This is a very effective way to clarify details between two parties. If you run your ideas by someone first, they can then agree or disagree until you both settle on something that works for you.
Here is an email sample to show you more about it:
To ensure we’re on the same page, could you please confirm a few of these details? I still want to work with you on this.
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.