Before booking a slot with someone, you must check if they’re available. So, you could ask “are you free?”
However, is “are you free” really a suitable choice in professional writing?
Luckily, this article has the answers for you. We’ve gathered someone synonyms to teach you how to ask someone if they are free formally.
Is It Professional to Say “Are You Free”?
It is not professional to say “are you free.” The question on its own is very casual and sounds like something you would ask your friend rather than a coworker or your boss.
Since the question is informal, it’s best to avoid using it in business emails. However, that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect.
Check out this example to see how to use it:
Are you free to discuss this more on Monday? I’d certainly like to hear your opinion.
- It’s polite.
- It’s a friendly way to learn someone’s schedule.
- It’s too informal.
- It’s quite generic.
We recommend using something other than “are you free” to keep your writing professional.
Luckily, we have also gathered some alternatives to help you with this.
Keep reading to find out how to ask someone if they are free to meet. The examples under each heading will also help you understand each synonym better.
What to Say Instead of “Are You Free”
- Let me know if you are free
- Please tell me if you have time
- Please let me know your schedule
- Will you be free
- Can you be free
- Are you available
- Are you ready
- Tell me if you can make time
- What is your availability?
- What availability do you have?
1. Let Me Know if You Are Free
“Let me know if you are free” shows you how to say “are you free” professionally. Sure, it doesn’t change much about the original phrase, but it words it in a more respectful way.
Firstly, starting with “let me know” is a good way to encourage the recipient to get back to you. You can use it when planning meetings with clients.
From there, you can use “if you are free.” It shows you’re willing to consider someone else’s schedule before booking anything with them.
Check out the following email sample as well:
Dear Mr. Trent,
Let me know if you are free tomorrow. I’d like to discuss this with you, as it’s quite an important thing to get through.
2. Please Tell Me if You Have Time
You should always try to politely ask for availability. The more polite you are, the more receptive the reader will be.
That’s where “please tell me if you have time” comes in.
It’s very polite and respectful of someone’s busy schedule. Therefore, it’s one of the best options to use instead of “are you free.”
While it isn’t a direct question, it’s still a great way to show interest in meeting someone.
Use it when emailing your boss. It’s a good way to respect their busy schedule but encourage them to meet with you soon.
Here’s a great email example if you’re still unsure:
Dear Mrs. Smith,
Please tell me if you have time to talk about this soon. I’d like to hear your verdict on the situation before I continue with anything.
All the best,
3. Please Let Me Know Your Schedule
Starting any request with “please” is a good way to remain polite. “Please let me know your schedule” is a great alternative to “are you free.”
It gives the recipient a chance to discuss how busy they are. They can set a time and date based on their schedule rather than you providing one for them.
This ensures both parties are free before finalizing plans. It’s one of the most effective ways to avoid rescheduling anything.
Here’s an email sample to help you with it:
Please let me know your schedule tomorrow. I’m interested in setting up a meeting to discuss these problems in person.
All the best,
4. Will You Be Free
Asking “will you be free” is very polite and friendly. It works best when you have already decided on a date and want to find out if someone is available.
Generally, including “will” here shows you’re open to other ideas. It shows you’ve set a date, but you don’t mind if the other party isn’t free and needs to change anything about it.
We also recommend reviewing the following email example::
Will you be free for a call on Monday? I’m trying to get the team together to discuss our next steps.
5. Can You Be Free
“Can you be free” works very similarly to “will you be free” from above. However, using “can” instead of “will” makes things slightly more interesting.
If you ask “can you be free,” it implies you’re asking someone to clear their schedule.
The implication is you’ve already set a date and would like to know if someone can come along. This is a great way to let someone know they don’t have to be there, but you’d like to see them anyway.
Check out this example to see how it works:
Can you be free now? I’m keen to hear from you, and I’m worried our schedules might not overlap next week.
All the best,
6. Are You Available
For a more direct and polite question, start an email with “are you available.” It’s not all that different to “are you free,” but it’s certainly a more formal synonym.
“Are you available” is a professional way to say “are you free” because it removes “free.” “Free” is the biggest problem with “are you free” that makes it sound slightly more informal than it needs to be.
Therefore, directly asking a client “are you available” is much better suited to a business email. It’s polite and shows you’re open to other suggestions if they’re not free.
Feel free to review this example if you still need help:
Dear Ms. Hillary,
Are you available tomorrow for a call? I’d like to hear your ideas to decide what to do next with this project.
7. Are You Ready
You can go back to something more friendly if you need to as well. Friendly doesn’t mean informal. Sometimes, being friendly is the best way to communicate in emails.
That’s where “are you ready” comes in. Sure, it’s more conversational, but it works well as a formal substitute for “are you free.”
Using “ready” instead of “free” keeps things simple yet polite.
Check out this example if you’re still unsure:
Are you ready now? It’s important that we get this meeting sorted out as soon as possible before continuing.
8. Tell Me if You Can Make Time
Another way to say “are you free” is “tell me if you can make time.” It’s very polite and shows you’re willing to work around someone’s schedule.
Generally, this works when you know someone’s quite busy. For instance, you can use it when emailing new clients.
It’s important to keep your clients happy. Therefore, starting an email with this when arranging your first meeting with them shows you’re thoughtful and want to work around them.
Also, this example will help you understand it more:
Dear Ms. Tyler,
Tell me if you can make time for a call. I’d like to get to know you better, and I believe that’s the best way to do it.
All the best,
9. What Is Your Availability?
There’s nothing wrong with being direct. A good question to be as direct as possible is “what is your availability?”
It shows you’re open to time or date suggestions from the other party.
They can refer to their diaries to see what times work best for them. From there, they can get back to you and let you know when they’re available to meet.
Here’s a helpful example to also show you how to use it:
Dear Mrs. Fox,
What is your availability this week? We really need to discuss the next steps of this proposal.
All the best,
10. What Availability Do You Have?
The more polite you can sound, the more receptive someone will be in their reply. Therefore, you should try “what availability do you have?” to sound polite and formal.
It’s great because it shows you’re asking directly for a schedule. This gives you a chance to find out what times work best for both you and the other party.
Generally, this is a good professional option. It’s also much clearer and more respectful than asking “are you free.”
This email sample should help you understand it better:
What availability do you have? It’s important that we decide on a time to do this now before we continue.
All the best,