Busy schedules can make things difficult to manage. You might not know whether your schedule will allow you to fit something in until it comes up.
Therefore, you can use “if time permits.” But is it the most effective phrase?
This article has gathered some alternatives to show you how to say “if time permits” in other ways.
Is It Professional to Say “If Time Permits”?
It is professional to say “if time permits.” It’s quite a popular choice when you’re unsure if your schedule will allow you to do something until it gets closer to the time.
“If time permits” means you will do something if it fits your schedule.
This example will also show you how to use “if time permits” in a sentence:
If time permits, I will address the meeting myself. Please bear with me while I sort this out, though.
- It’s very professional and understanding.
- It shows you don’t want to make any promises without being rude.
- It’s fairly impersonal and might sound like you don’t care about a plan.
- It’s quite generic and overused.
While “if time permits” is one of the most effective ways to suggest your schedule is busy, it’s not the only one. It’s worth exploring some alternatives to see what’s out there.
Keep reading to learn another phrase for “if time permits.” You can also review the examples we provide under each heading.
What to Say Instead of “If Time Permits”
- If I have time
- If there’s time
- Depending on the schedule
- If I can make time
- Time permitting
- If time allows
- If it suits my schedule
- If you can work around me
1. If I Have Time
It’s good to know how to say “if time permits” in different ways. But first, you need to understand that it refers to making time on a busy schedule.
Therefore, “if I have time” is a good substitute. It shows you’re willing to make plans, but you don’t know whether you can fit those plans in.
The idea here is that the email recipient will have to wait to hear back from you regarding your availability. It suggests you might be free, but the event isn’t taking priority over your other work.
You can use it when emailing coworkers. It suggests you’re willing to work with them on something, but you still need to figure out your timings.
You can also refer to this email example:
If I have time, I will begin working on the project. Thank you so much for reaching out to ask about it.
2. If There’s Time
Another great alternative to “if time permits” is “if there’s time.” It’s much more conversational and works well in some informal emails.
You can use it when emailing colleagues. It shows you’re trying to find a good way to fit something in, but you can’t make any promises.
This allows you to remain friendly and polite with them. However, it also suggests that you might be too busy to do something with them.
Check out the following sample email as well:
If there’s time, I will meet with the client. Otherwise, I’ll have to ask that you meet with them and report back to me.
All the best,
You can use “time-dependent” as another way to say “if time permits.” It’s a great one that works slightly differently.
A phrase like “if time permits” is usually an introductory clause. It shows you’re willing to do something if it fits into your schedule.
However, “time-dependent” is a phrasal adjective. It allows you to describe an event or situation as “time-dependent,” showing you might not be able to attend.
Generally, this allows you to work around your schedule to determine whether you have the time to do something.
Here’s a great example to help you understand it:
This project is time-dependent, of course. I can only take part in it if I can find a way to change my schedule around on Monday.
4. Depending on the Schedule
Your schedule is there for a reason. It helps you to stay accountable and keep on top of tasks. Also, it helps you to avoid overlapping tasks to create more problems for yourself.
That’s where “depending on the schedule” comes in. It’s a suitable formal synonym for “if time permits” that keeps things professional and clear.
You can use it at the start of an email. Include it when emailing a client to show that you’re trying to work a meeting around your schedule.
You may also review this email sample:
Dear Mr. Martha,
Depending on the schedule, I may be able to fit this in on Friday. I’ll let you know closer to the time whether this is possible.
5. If I Can Make Time
You can use “if I can make time” as another way to say “if time permits.” It’s a bit more conversational and friendly, making it a good choice if you already have a good relationship with a recipient.
For instance, you can use it when emailing a customer. It shows you want to meet with them, but you might not be able to find the time in your schedule.
Of course, to use this phrase appropriately, you must know the customer well. They should be a recurring customer who trusts you to use more informal language when they need your help.
This sample email will show you how it works:
Dear Ms. Bittsy,
If I can make time, I’ll be there. I really appreciate you coming to me to let me know this meeting is taking place.
Thank you so much,
6. Time Permitting
You can streamline the original phrase “if time permits” by simply removing “if.” “Time permitting” is a more formal and concise phrase to include in your emails.
It works well at the start of an email. You can include it when emailing an employee to let them know whether you’ll be attending an event they set up.
Generally, this phrase shows you’re quite busy. It’s a polite way to say you will do your best to make time for someone, but you can’t make any promises.
If you’re still unsure, this email example will explain it:
Time permitting, I will attend the event. I’ll let you know on Monday whether anything has come up that might prevent me from coming.
All the best,
7. If Time Allows
Another phrase for “if time permits” is “if time allows.” Of course, it’s not the most challenging synonym to figure out. After all, we’re only changing “permits” to allows.”
However, if you want something more direct and simple, you can use “if time allows.”
It shows that you’d like to do something, but you need to work around your schedule.
Don’t worry; it’s still useful in professional cases. We recommend using it when contacting your boss.
Check out the following sample email as well:
Dear Dr. Warner,
If time allows, I’ll be there to see you off. Otherwise, I hope you have a good time, and I’ll see you later.
8. If It Suits My Schedule
You can also use “if it suits my schedule” as a more confident and honest phrase. It works well in formal emails because it shows that you might not be able to make time for something.
Generally, saying that something might not “suit” your schedule suggests that it isn’t as important.
For example, an employee might ask you to attend an event. However, if you have important tasks to attend to, you may prefer to focus on them.
Therefore, we recommend using this when emailing employees. It shows that your workload takes priority.
This email sample will also help you with it:
If it suits my schedule, I’ll let you know. Unfortunately, I’m a bit too busy at the minute to tell you whether I can attend.
9. If You Can Work Around Me
This last alternative is something slightly different. It shows that you can’t fit something into your schedule, but it changes up the formula too.
“If you can work around me” means you can’t make something work. However, it suggests you’re happy for someone else to move their plans around for you.
This only works if you’re the boss. After all, you can expect employees to move plans around to accommodate you.
Here’s a helpful example to show you how to use it:
If you can work around me, I will let you know when I’m free. Of course, I don’t mind missing the meeting if this is the only day you can do it.