Would you like to know some information but are unsure how to start a formal question? Maybe you’ve thought about starting a sentence with “I was wondering.”
However, is it a good professional choice?
This article will explore some formal synonyms for “I was wondering.” We’ll also help you understand whether the phrase is already suitable.
Is It Formal to Say “I Was Wondering”?
It is not formal to say “I was wondering.” You cannot use it in business emails because it’s unprofessional and sounds very unconfident if you’re asking to understand something.
However, it is quite polite. You can still use it in informal situations to ask a question or find out what someone thinks about a situation.
I was wondering whether you’d like to discuss this situation more with me.
- It’s polite in most situations.
- It works well as an informal way to ask for someone’s opinion.
- It’s not formal.
- You should avoid using it in emails.
Clearly, “I was wondering” is not the best phrase to include in an email or professional setting. So, you should know other ways to say “I was wondering.”
So, read on to learn how to say “I was wondering” professionally. We’ll help you understand all there is to know about some of these synonyms.
What to Say Instead of “I Was Wondering”
- I’m curious
- I’m intrigued
- I’d like to know
- Can you tell me
- Do you mind telling me
- I want to ask you
- I want to find out
- You need to tell me
- I would be grateful if
- If I may ask
1. I’m Curious
You can use “I’m curious” in a professional email to show that you want to learn about something. Curiosity is a great way to explore ideas and find out what a recipient knows.
So, starting an email with “I’m curious” shows that you’d like the recipient to explain something to you.
For instance, you can use it to email colleagues. If you think they might know more information and be able to fill in some gaps for you, this is a great one to include.
You can also look at this email example:
I’m curious about this situation and would like to know more. Would you be able to share some information with me?
All the best,
2. I’m Intrigued
Another way to say “I was wondering” in an email is “I’m intrigued.” It’s a great alternative that shows you’re willing to learn from the recipient.
If you have a question to ask, we recommend starting it with “I’m intrigued.” It allows you to maintain a formal voice in your emails, so it works regardless of the recipient.
Try using it when emailing clients. It shows that you’re happy to discuss something with them, as long as it results in you learning something about a situation.
Here’s a great sample email if you need a hand:
I’m intrigued by this idea, and I would like your input on the situation. Do you want to meet to discuss this further?
Thank you so much,
3. I’d Like to Know
“I’d like to know” is a great option that allows you to remain more informal when emailing people at work. You can use it when you’re willing for the recipient to tell you their thoughts.
We highly recommend it when emailing your coworkers. It shows you have a more friendly connection with them and want to see what they think of something.
You should use it when you already have a good relationship with your coworkers. Otherwise, the tone might sound a little off.
Check out this sample email if you’re still unsure:
I’d like to know whether you’d be open to this becoming a team project. I think you’d be a valuable asset to my team.
4. Can You Tell Me
So far, we’ve only touched on statement alternatives. You can also ask a question directly to show that you were wondering about an answer.
“Can you tell me” is a professional way to say “I was wondering” that allows you to ask a question. It shows you’re happy to learn the answer to something you have to ask.
We also recommend reviewing this email example:
Dear Mr. Kang,
Can you tell me what you think about this situation? I’m very curious to learn whether this is the best course of action.
All the best,
5. Do You Mind Telling Me
Another great question alternative is “do you mind telling me.” It works well when emailing your boss. After all, it shows that you respect their knowledge and would like to learn from them.
For instance, let’s say your boss has set you a project. You can ask “do you mind telling me” at the start of an email if you need to confirm any details before starting work on it.
Here’s a great sample email to show you how to use it:
Do you mind telling me if this is the only way to complete the task? I think I have some alternatives that might work better.
6. I Want to Ask You
For a more direct and honest alternative to “I was wondering,” try “I want to ask you.” It works well because it shows you have a question to ask someone.
You should use it when emailing a coworker. It shows you’re interested in hearing their opinion about something.
Generally, you would use this to find out if your coworker’s opinion aligns with your own. It’s a great way to find out what they think about new changes at work.
If you’re still stuck, review the following example:
I want to ask you about your thoughts on the new system. I’m unsure whether it’s going to be better for our business.
All the best,
7. I Want to Find Out
If you’re looking for other ways to say “I was wondering,” you can try “I want to find out.” It’s a simple phrase that shows you’re willing to ask questions to learn from the recipient.
We highly recommend using this when emailing your boss. It’s a respectful way to show you’d like to learn from them and see what they have to share with you.
Of course, your boss may not be willing to share more information. However, you won’t know until you ask!
Check out this email example to see how it works:
Dear Mr. Bryant,
I want to find out what you know about the applicants. Is there any information you can share with me at this time?
8. You Need to Tell Me
Although it’s slightly more demanding than other phrases, you can also use “you need to tell me.” It works well when you require information from the recipient.
However, because it’s so demanding, you should only use it when emailing employees. It shows you have authority over them and would like for them to tell you more about a situation to help you understand what’s happening.
This email sample should also help you understand it:
You need to tell me more about this because I don’t think I get it. Something seems to be off about it.
All the best,
9. I Would Be Grateful If
Feel free to use “I would be grateful if” to help you mix things up as well. It’s a very respectful synonym for “I was wondering.”
You can use it to share your gratitude with the recipient. We recommend using it when emailing employees if you want to appear more friendly and interested in them.
Good bosses will often try to go for a more friendly tone with their employees. That’s why this phrase works well, as it shows you respect them enough to seek information from them.
Check out this sample email as well:
I would be grateful if you could update me when you have more information. It’s important that we work together on this.
10. If I May Ask
“If I may ask” is an excellent formal question to start an email with. It shows that you’d like to learn information, but you don’t want to waste the recipient’s time.
So, using “if I may ask” instead of “I was wondering” lets the recipient decide if they’d like to reply.
We recommend using it when emailing your boss. It’s very respectful and shows that you’d appreciate a response. It also implies that you will understand if your boss can’t respond because they’re too busy (or don’t want to).
Here’s a great example to help you with it:
Dear Mr. Richardson,
If I may ask, can you help me understand more about this situation? I feel like I’m not getting something important.