10 Formal Synonyms for “I Hope You Understand”

Sometimes, you have to turn someone down or share bad news with them. There’s no avoiding it, but it would help to use a sensitive phrase in an email before letting them down.

So, what can you say instead of “I hope you understand”? Well, this article has gathered the best formal synonyms to help.

Is It Formal to Say “I Hope You Understand”?

It is formal to say “I hope you understand.” It’s a great way to show sympathy towards a client or employee when you have to let them down with some bad news.

Generally, it’s a polite way to turn someone down, and most people appreciate the professional tone that comes with it.

Here’s an example to show you how it works:

I’m afraid we’ve had to go with someone else. I hope you understand.


  • It’s very polite.
  • It’s a professional way to let someone down.


  • It might come across as insincere.
  • It’s overused in negative situations.

You can’t do much better than “I hope you understand” to sympathize with someone. However, you can always rely on alternatives to help you mix things up.

You should read on to learn how to say “I hope you understand” in an email sharing bad news or rejection.

What Can I Say Instead of “I Hope You Understand”?

  • Thank you for your understanding
  • We hope you can understand
  • I hope this answers your questions
  • We are very sorry, but
  • We appreciate your understanding
  • I would appreciate it if you could understand
  • We would like to be clear that
  • Your understanding is greatly appreciated
  • To be fully transparent
  • We trust you understand

1. Thank You for Your Understanding

Let’s start with one of the more common ways to reject someone or share bad news. “Thank you for your understanding” is a great example of how to say “I hope you understand” in a polite way.

It’s a great term to use in customer service settings. After all, it shows that you appreciate a customer for understanding that you may have had to let them down. It’s not always easy to share some bad news, but it’s made easier with phrases like this.

Perhaps this email example will help you understand it better:

Dear Rebekah,

We’re very sorry, but this product has been discontinued. Thank you for your understanding.

All the best,
Tom Redgrave

2. We Hope You Can Understand

It’s worth using “we hope you can understand” when letting someone down. Generally, using “we” instead of “I” shows you represent a company, which makes the phrase slightly more formal and impersonal.

It’s worth using a phrase like this when rejecting an applicant. It shows you cannot take someone on as a new employee. You may go into more detail depending on the situation, but that’s usually up to you as the writer.

You should also refer to this sample email:

Dear Carl,

We’re afraid we’ve had to go another direction with this role. We hope you can understand, and we wish you luck.

Best wishes,
Richard Walker

3. I Hope This Answers Your Questions

A phrase like “I hope this answers your questions” is a professional way to say “I hope you understand.” It shows you’ve done your best to answer someone, but you may have had to give them answers they didn’t appreciate.

You should try using it when emailing an employee and letting them know they can’t finish a project. It’s a good way to answer their initial questions, even if it means you have to share some bad news with them.

This email example will make things clearer for you:

Dear Duncan,

I’m afraid we cannot progress with this project at the minute because of underfunding. I hope this answers your questions.

Kind regards,
Mr. Dunkirk

4. We Are Very Sorry, But

Generally, “I hope you understand” implies you regret informing someone about a rejection. Therefore, it’s worth saying “we are very sorry, but” when offering your condolences because you’ve had to share some bad news.

You may want to use this one when rejecting an offer from a client. It shows that you have already decided to go with someone else and want to apologize directly to the client.

You can also refer to this example email to help:

Dear Jennifer,

We are very sorry, but we have already accepted an offer from someone else. We wish you the best of luck, though.

Kind regards,
Greens & Co.

5. We Appreciate Your Understanding

It’s good to say “we appreciate your understanding” in formal emails. It works well because it shows that someone has received some bad news, and you appreciate that they’ve taken it on board.

Of course, you haven’t received a reply from the recipient yet. So, they might not “appreciate” or “understand” after all. However, it’s still polite to include this phrase when trying to be as professional as possible after rejecting someone.

If you’re still stuck, check out this example:

Dear Russell,

We’re afraid you do not have the right qualifications for this job role. We appreciate your understanding.

Dean Whitehead

6. I Would Appreciate It if You Could Understand

Another great formal alternative to “I hope you understand” is “I would appreciate it if you could understand.” It works really well because it shows you want the recipient to sympathize with your situation.

You may want to use this one to email your boss. It’s a fairly respectful phrase that shows you would like someone to understand where you’re coming from. Generally, it means you can’t complete a task without help from your boss, so it’s always worth asking.

Here is an email sample if you’re still not sure:

Dear Mr. Smith,

I would appreciate it if you could understand my situation. I cannot complete this task alone.

All the best,
Ryan Taylor

7. We Would Like to Be Clear That

While it might seem slightly harsher than other alternatives, “we would like to be clear that” is a great one to include in formal settings. It shows you have to make something clear, even if the recipient won’t like it.

You can certainly use this phrase when turning someone down for specific reasons. The “be clear” portion of the phrase shows that you’ve made your decision and you will not back down from it.

Here’s a useful sample email to clear things up:

Dear Dr. Smith,

We would like to be clear that we have already decided to go to someone else. We’re very sorry about that.

Milo Keating

8. Your Understanding Is Greatly Appreciated

You can use “your understanding is greatly appreciated” in professional emails to people you’re not familiar with. It’s a very formal way to show that you appreciate someone working with you, even if you have to share some negative information.

For instance, you may use it when emailing a client. Let’s say they put an offer in to buy out your company, but you do not want to accept it. This phrase is a great way to let them down, even if you’re not very familiar with them.

You can also refer to this example to help as well:

Dear Howard,

Thank you for the offer, but we cannot accept it at this time. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Tanner Jeffries

9. To Be Fully Transparent

We recommend using “to be fully transparent” when you want to show honesty and sincerity. It’s a great professional phrase to include in a business email when letting someone down.

Generally, this phrase is quite polite. It works really well, even if you have to share something that will be difficult for the recipient to read.

Here’s a useful email example to show you how to use it:

Dear Ms. Houston,

We need to be fully transparent and let you know that we have chosen someone else. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Mr. Albert

10. We Trust You Understand

Using “trust” as a verb in a formal email is a great way to sound professional and polite. It’s quite impersonal, though. You should only use it when emailing employees you don’t know very well and don’t have a strong relationship with.

Generally, this phrase works well when letting someone down. We highly recommend it if someone has presented you with ideas but you’ve decided to go in another direction.

Here’s a quick example to also show you how it works:

Dear Sam,

Thank you for the input. We have considered your ideas but decided to try something else. We trust you understand.

All the best,
Elliot Jacobs