“To do so” is used when referring to how to do a specific task mentioned previously in your writing. It’s wise to have a few formal synonyms ready to go when you need them, though. Repeating “to do so” in your writing will make it much less professional.
Other ways to say “to do so” are “to complete that,” “to get that done,” and “to work on that.” These are great ways to call back to a previous task or thing that needs completing. It gives the reader a guideline to complete the task in a specific manner.
1. To Complete That
“To complete that” is a great phrase you can use in this situation. It shows that you have a plan or task, but you need to explain what has to happen “to complete that.”
Generally, a small command or order will come after “to complete that” to let the reader know what they have to do.
- We have a task to do. To complete that, we must put all these resources in one place. Do you think you can manage that?
- I want you to get this all done. To complete it, I need you to be on your best behavior. Please, tell me you can do that.
- It’s time to complete the system installation. To complete that, you must go through a few checkpoints.
2. To Get That Done
“To get that done” is a great choice if you’re trying to complete a task quickly. “Get that done” shows that you need people to get in gear to ensure something is completed swiftly and efficiently.
It will usually give them a rundown of what to expect when completing the task.
- I want this all completed in time for the deadline. To get that done, I’m going to need you all to pull your fingers out.
- I thought I told you to complete the tasks. To get them done, I need you to work together. Why aren’t you doing that?
- She mentioned that you weren’t happy about the time it was taking. To get it done quicker, why don’t you work with her?
3. To Work on That
“To work on that” gives people a reason to work toward a goal or task. It allows them to see what your plans are when using it as an introductory clause after explaining what the task is.
- I told you to work on that, but you’re not listening to me. I really need you to get it all completed before tomorrow. Okay?
- I’m not sure why you’re sitting around. We need to work together to work on that correctly. Does that make sense?
- I want to work on that, but I’m not sure if I know how to do it. I think we should come up with a better game plan.
4. In Doing So
“In doing so” is a great synonym in this context. It shows what will happen when you do something in a specific way. It must always link back to the previous sentence to help it make sense.
- I will need your full cooperation here. In doing so, we should be able to figure out some of the answers they’re looking for.
- The system will be completed in a matter of minutes. In doing so, you will have full access to the database that comes with it.
- I told you not to act on it. In doing so, you have caused a problem to occur where it was unnecessary.
5. To Do This
“To do this” is a simple but effective choice. It shows that you have a plan in place, but you need things to go a certain way to ensure things work smoothly.
“To do this” might seem simple, but it’s a good way to get your readers to listen to you. It’s not as commanding as some of the other choices, but it still works well.
- This is the task I expect you to complete for me. To do this correctly, I’m going to need you to work with each other.
- I expect you to get the system up and running in no time. I’ll leave you to do this to ensure everything is in working order.
- We have got to complete this task today. To do this, I have put forward a plan of action that should help us figure it out.
6. With Your Help
“With your help” means you are relying on other people to help you come to a conclusion or complete a task. It shows that you depend on the people in your team and require their “help” to complete something.
- With your help, this task should be sorted out quite quickly. It makes the most sense if we pool our resources and work together.
- I think this system needs rebooting. With your help, it shouldn’t be complicated. You know where the switch is, right?
- I want to complete these projects. With your help, we’ll be able to double our work rate, making it much easier to finish.
7. If You Follow Me
“If you follow me” is a good way to show someone that you’ll take the lead. This alternative shows that you’re happy to be in charge, but you still need people to follow your instructions to complete a task.
It’s a good way to show you are confident in your abilities. Most people like seeing someone fill a leadership role by using a phrase like this.
- I’ll do what I can with this task. If you follow me with it, we should be able to get it done much quicker than they want.
- If you follow me, I think we can come to a solution together. I think it’ll be much more efficient to team up rather than go solo.
- I want to get the system online. If you follow me, I think I have a good idea that should help sort it out before the next meeting.
8. In Order to Do That
“In order to do that” is a good synonym, but some people think it’s redundant. “In order” can be removed from the phrase, leaving you with “to do that.” The meaning will stay the same.
If you would rather keep things simple, “to do that” works a charm. “In order to do that” should only be used once in your writing to keep things unique.
- We have got to complete this now. In order to do that, we have to find two other people to join our team and work with us.
- I’m sorry, but I need that task on my desk. In order to do that, I expect you to be back in your office working on it pronto.
- We need the assignment completed. In order to do that, you have got to find some people who are willing to act as subjects.
9. We Need To
“We need to” is a great command to show that people need to work with you. Using “need” encourages people to listen to your order because it shows you know what you’re talking about.
- The study hasn’t been finalized yet. We need to find more people who can help us get the answers we’re looking for.
- Why have you not completed this survey? We need to get this sorted before the boss starts asking for it, and we have nothing to give her.
- Can we complete this task? We need to work together to get it right. I want to make sure everything is working smoothly.
10. If We Could
“If we could” is a slightly less confident alternative you can use. “If we could” implies that you need help with something, but you’re unsure whether you are asking the right people to help. That’s why “could” is used, just in case you have the wrong people.
- I need your help on this one. If we could just figure out the next step, things would go a lot easier for everyone involved.
- I’m sorry, but this assignment must be your top priority. If we did this first, we could move on to the next steps more easily.
- I want to get the system finished. If we could just focus on that, it’ll make things a lot easier for us. Does that work?
What Does “To Do So” Mean?
“To do so” means “to do the thing previously mentioned.” It is only correct when it comes directly after an order or command you would like to complete.
It asks people to help you come to a solution by “doing so.” Usually, this is an instruction in your writing to remind people what you expect from them.
If you want to see how to use “to do so” in a sentence, you can refer to these quick examples:
- They needed to work on it, but any attempt to do so was met with difficulty.
- We have to work together now, people. What will it take to do so?
- We need to complete this task together. To do so, it’s best if we use teamwork.
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.