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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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June 25, 2014


Jasmine pang

I'm one the culprit who use such phrases as I picked them up from my predecessor. So I've learnt a very good lesson today. I use them cos I thought it was polite way of writing.


Alas, I keep having to edit such meaningless out of the correspondence I review for many ESL colleagues. One day maybe they will go the way of the do-do.

Sanjay I was learning indeed however may I kindly request you to give one or two correct phrases which can be used when there are attachments to be emailed?


Jeannette Paladino

Thanks for this post, Lynn. "Enclosed please find..." drives me wild. I'm glad you've shown the alternatives.


Interesting article, Lynn. As the majority of my correspondence is by email, I normally use "Please see attached..." or "(attached)" as befits the context.
I do get bugged by writers who abbreviate this to "PSA"; I'm afraid I put them in the same category as those who sign off with "Rgds" or worse "BR". Strikes me as plain lazy... But that's another topic for another day!

Anna Banks

Is it still ok to say "Please see attached" when faxing something?


Anna, when faxing something, I use, "Please see accompanying..." because it is not attached, but it does accompany.


I wouldn't get worked up over these three words. In fact, I'd be pleased that someone used the word "please"! And this use of "find" is consistent with the dictionary definition:

verb (used with object), found, find·ing.
to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort: to find an apartment; to find happiness.

I can think of many other writing tics that are much more annoying.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, Jasmine, Joanne, Sanjay, Jeannette, Paul, Anna, Trecia, and Christina. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Sanjay, when you review the blog post again, notice the examples that include the word "attached." All of those are fine for emails.

Paul, PSA? OMG. I have never seen that abbreviation. I agree about BR and Rgds. How much regard do they communicate?

Anna, I like Trecia's suggestion, and I believe "attached" also works. You can use a variety of expressions other than "Please see attached." Notice the ones I listed.

Christina, thanks for sharing a different view.


Lavaida Vandelia

I use "enclosed please find" when I am referencing a specific enclosure in the envelope and there are multiple enclosures.
When there is only one enclosure, in addition to the letter, I omit that directional phrase.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Lavaida. You might also want to try "Also enclosed is" or "The enclosed . . . describes . . . "



Quite an interesting post! I have been working in an international relations context (UN etc.) in the last few years where such expressions are standard (e.g., "Please find attached") and I thought they were the norm in regular business English as well.
Thanks for alerting me to this.


that's a very interesting post. I attended Business English classes run by an American native speaker who is also a very experienced journalist writing for Bloomberg. What she said was something different. While she agreed there are other newer forms, she said that "Enclosed please find/attached" is still commonly used in the business world. We studied Business English using books like "Intelligent Business" or "Market Leader" and this expression is still taught there. What's more, I work for Citibank and receive a lot of emails written by the Americans or the British, and they still use these expressions in their correspondence. And they're quite young people ...So I don't know what to say because you're saying these are obsolete forms, whereas my American and British colleagues and their bosses prove the opposite! I'm confulsed!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Kamila,

You will notice above that I wrote, "I have seen the phrases 'attached please find' and 'enclosed please find' countless times in other people's writing." Seeing them repeatedly should not convince us that they are good writing.

I have not seen the texts you refer to, so I cannot comment on their contents.

I try to help people write effectively. That often means they must write differently from the people around them.

Thanks for asking your excellent question!



While I do appreciate Lynn's intentions to improve some patterns in business writing, there are some standards and you can't change them just because you feel something else will sound better.

With all due respect, you specialize in linguistics, and this is a topic for business world. This is like starting to change English grammar BY YOURSELF to make it "make more sense".

"Please see attached ...", "Enclosed please find ..." are totally fine. Moreover you SHOULD you them in a PROFESSIONAL business correspondence.

You are lucky you haven't worked with legal documents much - they are full with what is called "legal language" and legal terms that can be labeled as exceptions or as "incorrect" from a general perspective of a linguist. You can't change them either, just to make them sound more down-to-earth. I'm not even a lawyer (I'm a business owner with operations in several countries), yet I know what standard and CORRECT language is used in legal world, business world, and some other specific areas. You shouldn't look at everything through one narrow single prism and try to bring it under one standard.

Please don't confused people with such articles. At least you should clearly say that this is your OPINION and that those expressions ARE standard in business writing and are correct. Please post information online responsively. There are many native speakers and non-native speakers who are looking for real answers that will help them in their career.

Another quick note: "please" is very important in business correspondence and any correspondence with someone you don't know well, and this communicates your POLITE attitude and you show you are being friendly. "Enclosed please find" is not even only a standard, it is also much more polite than "enclosed are ...".

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Paul, thank you for your comment.

Yes, "please" is a polite word, which we should all use whenever we ask a favor or make a request. However, "attached please find" and "enclosed please find" are wordy, old-fashioned, silly expressions. They are NOT standard in good business writing. People should not copy those phrases just because they see others using them.

I am not a linguist. I have been in business for more than 25 years and have worked in a wide range of companies and other organizations, including law firms.

I read business writing experts and style guides to keep my knowledge fresh. I strongly encourage you to do the same. Reading the experts will help you recognize good business writing.


dear all

how to write letter to applogise sending wrong document


Hello Everyone. Please help me on the following sentence: "Attached are the bank statement, marriage certificate and medical letter. Is this sentence correctly formulated? If not, any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Yes, Paula, your sentence is correct.


My company and its partners from Europe & USA usually write:

"Please kindly check attached (or enclosed) quotation for your inquiry."

Is it wrong? How is it to be?

Thanks in advance.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Betul, this version is clearer:

"Please kindly review the attached (or enclosed) quotation in response to your inquiry."



Thank you for prompt reply Lynn.

I would like to ask you one more:

How can we write correctly to check if one has been able to have a look at our proposal that we have sent before? I mean can we use the word "consider"?
For ex. "Have you been able to consider our poroposal?"


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Yes, it's fine. Or you can send additional information or try either of these:

Do you have any questions about our proposal?

Would you like to schedule a time to discuss our proposal?



Hello Lynn,

I am using the word kindly for my boss and please for my colleagues and junior staff its correct or not? and not using thanks end of mail just use to with regard word only m i Correct ?


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Rekha, I want to answer your question correctly, but I need more information. Would you please write the entire sentence you use "kindly" in?

Also, please show me how you end your messages so I can understand your comment about "thanks" and "regard."


Learning Secretary

This is an old habit that is hard to break. Almost all of my communications is via email. When sending documents via email, is it proper to use the phrase "Please see attached" document for your review? OR "Please see the attached" letter for your review? It sounded like you said to use other expressions but did not say whether or not it was acceptable to use. Thanks!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

I recommend using language that sounds natural rather than wooden or wordy. If you want someone to review a document, why not write "Please review the attached document" or "Would you please review the attached document?"

"Please see attached document for your review" and "Please see the attached letter for your review" are not wrong. They have been used for decades. But other wording can come across as more natural.



Its correct

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please kindly review the attached our company brochure in below.

Best regards


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Reda, your example is not correct yet.

First, you may use "Dear Sir or Madam," but if you know your reader's name, use it. For example:

Dear Mr. Cho,

Then you might write this sentence:

Please kindly review our company brochure, which is attached.

You might also tell your reader why he or she should read your brochure. How will reading your brochure benefit your reader?



I would like to send my boss biography of someone that I have recommend it to my boss to be as a guest speakers for graduation events.
can you help me pls.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Howaida, I recommend that you get a biography from the speaker.



Can we use please and kindly
Ex: please kindly refer to the attachment?


Lynn, you are helping a lot of people in improving English language.

Great job.

Thank you.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Vijay,

Yes, you can use "please kindly" together.

Thank you for the compliment.



Is this still acceptable?
Thankyou, Nancy

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Nancy,

I believe you are asking about using "enc" as an abbreviation beneath the typed signature at the end of a letter. "The Gregg Reference Manual" shows several versions as commonly used:

2 Enc.
Enc. 2

It does not show "enc."

Beyond that, you need to spell out the word when you use it in a sentence.



I used to. Until now. I'm stopping, right now. I did because I was copying people who did, because I didn't know better. But now I do! Thank you!

Sarabjeet Singh Arora

Dear Lynn,

I Sarabjeet Singh Arora working in a multinational company in India, First of all I really appreciate your efforts towards English Language.
My Enquiries are given below, kindly help to understand
1.Can we write together please and kindly in one sentance as you write in above said blog.
"Please kindly review the attached (or enclosed) quotation in response to your inquiry." Lynn - See more at:

2 With reference to above please find enclosed herewith S.O. no 023 of Mukim Traders. You are requested to dispatch the material as per the S.Os. to the respective party tomorrow.(Is it grammatically OK)


Hello is my sentence correct

"Dear Sir

I am sending you my tour plan 20th June to 25th June."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Sarabjeet Singh Arora,

Yes, you may add the word "kindly" to a request.

This sentence is grammatically correct but unnecessarily wordy:

With reference to above please find enclosed herewith S.O. no 023 of Mukim Traders. You are requested to dispatch the material as per the S.Os. to the respective party tomorrow.

Consider this revision:

Regarding the above, enclosed is S.O. no 023 of Mukim Traders. Please dispatch the material as per the S.Os. tomorrow.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Sabyasachi,

You asked about this opening:

Dear Sir,

I am sending you my tour plan 20th June to 25th June.

Here are suggestions:

Address the reader by name. If you are writing to the individual, you must know his name.

I would revise your sentence this way: "Here is my tour plan for June 20-25."



Hi Lynn

First of all appreciate your views which are very infomative. I use to send email such as

"Attached is the minutes of today’s tool box meeting for your information"

But I received a complaint that the sentence lacks respect to the receiver of the mail... wondering how to bring in "respect" to the sentence..please help me out


Anu Bk

When we want to write an email to client, we would like to start a phrase with "Please".So pl suggest how do I write.
Now we write as below
'PL find attached the subjected drawings for your approval'

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Hrishi,

If one of your readers feels that your sentence does not communicate respect, perhaps he or she can suggest a way to write it differently.

You might include a greeting before your sentence such as one of these:

Hello Team,
Hello everyone,

Or you might change "for your information" to "for your review." Sometimes "for your information" communicates a critical tone although I don't think that is true in your sentence.

Because the word "minutes" is plural, you should use the verb "are."

Good luck!


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Anu,

If you want to start your sentence with "Please," you can certainly do so. Another way to handle the message is this:

As promised, we have attached the drawings for your approval.

I am not sure what "subjected" means in your sentence.



Hello Lynn,

In my country Bhutan, people from all walks of life still use this old-fashioned phrase "Please find attached" in email writing. I tried to correct some of my friend's email saying that there are many better phrases to replace that old ones but to no avail. Even our ministers, secretaries and college lecturers use that old-fashioned phrase. It seems I am the only one not using that phrase. How can I convince them that it is literally wrong?

Thank you for your time.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Sky,

I suggest leading by example. Continue to write your modern, fresh sentences that communicate clearly. Eventually someone will say, "But Sky does it THIS way, and it seems crisp and clear."

A movement starts with just one person. Although you may feel lonely now, your clear writing will make a difference.

Thanks for your comment.



Hello Lynn,

Thanks for this post. Please help me on the following sentence:
" please see below our comments to your technical proposal for your consideration and kind reply." Is this sentence fine? If not, any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Khosro,

It is fine to write "please see below."

Normally, the expression is "comments on" rather than "comments to."

I would not use "kind" if you are writing to a U.S. audience. It is not incorrect, just flowery. An alternative is to end the sentence with the word "consideration." Then add "We look forward to receiving your reply."


Renato Flavio Cunha

Hello Lynn!
I'm very surprised to know that use '' enclosed please find or please find enclosed '' is not a correct form.
So I'd like to change and improve my writing. May I say as follow:
- Attached you can find the statement of facts containing times of operation until this afternoon for your approval and comments if necessary.
I also use '' keep you posted '' in the final of message. What do you suggest? keep like this or change.
Thanks in advance!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Renato, you can shorten the beginning to "Attached is the."



Please see attached letter for signature and kindly email back to me once signed.


Mam pls correct.
Please see attached letter for signature and kindly email back to me once signed.
Thank you.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

"Please sign and return the attached letter."



Hi Mam
Whenever we write mail to clients, in the subject field itself we maintain the details of the attachment.
But again in the letter we write
Please find attached the subjected document for your approval (instead of repeating the details we use the word "subjected"
Pl correct.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Consider this approach:

Attached is the document for your review and approval.


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