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Please Advise (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What Does Please Advise Mean

A colleague at work sends you an email and finishes her statement by saying “please advise”.

What is she trying to say?

What does please advise mean anyway?

“Please advise” is often used in business correspondence and email communications where a writer formally asks the recipient for information.

Today, the phrase “please advise” is used in business communications, commercial exchanges, emails, official documents, and other types of communications.

This phrase appears to have been used in formal communications as early as the 18th century.

The idea was for the writer to politely ask the recipient for information.

The term “please” is used to remain polite and “advise” is to request information.

For example, “please advise by no later than next week”.

This means, please respond by no later than next week.

Keep reading as I will further break down the meaning of please advise and tell you when to use it.

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When To Use Please Advise

Today, the most common setting where you will see the use of please advise is in business emails.

Typically, a person will formulate a request to another and will ask that the person responds by saying “please advise”.

For example, “The client states that she did not receive the package, did you send it to her? Please advise”.

In this example, the writer of the email is asking the other person to respond to the question that was formulated.

It’s important that you use the phrase please advise carefully as in some cases, it may appear as passive-aggressive or even forceful.

If you are truly looking to be polite, perhaps you should avoid using “please advise” and say something like “I appreciate it if you can get back to me” or “Thanks in advance for your response”.

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Drawbacks To Using Please Advise

Using the phrase please advise should be done when it’s appropriate.

It’s important that you understand the main drawbacks of using this phrase.

Here are three important reasons why this phrase should be avoided.

The first drawback is that it should be passive-aggressive and bossy.

Depending on the tone of your email or business communication, the recipient may find that you are not polite and bossy.

The second reason why this phrase should be avoided is that it may sound too official and impersonal.

If you are speaking to someone with whom you have a relationship with, you may want to write in a more casual way.

The third argument is that some people argue that the phrase please advise is imprecise.

If you want advice on something or if you want someone to answer a question, you should be clear about what you are writing.

Please advise may appear to be lacking in specificity and lack the precision needed to get a meaningful response.

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Alternatives to Please Advise

The phrase “please advise” may appear too formal or even outdated.

Here are some alternatives that you can use to express yourself:

  • Let me know 
  • I would appreciate it if you could get back to me 
  • I look forward to your response
  • Thanks for your answer

You may also simply formulate your question and don’t end your email with “please advise”.

Sometimes, less is more!

To avoid sounding too harsh or passive-aggressive, consider using another phrase to express the same thing.

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Please Advise or Please Advice

Sometimes, there’s confusion about the use of please advise.

Should you use please advise or please advice?

The correct use of the phrase is “please advise”.

Advise is a verb meaning “to give advice”.

Since you are asking someone a question or need some information, you want to be “advised”.

However, the word “advice” is a noun meaning “suggestions for what to do”.

So if you want someone to give you information or answer your question, you should say “please advise”.

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Please Advise Meaning FAQ

Is please advise wrong?

Some argue that please advise is wrong as “advise” is a transitive verb that needs to have an object.

This means that the phrase needs to state who must be advised.

However, in business writing, when someone sends an email to another stating “please advise”, it is clear that the writer of the email is the one looking to be advised.

In other words, “please advise” is an obvious shortcut for “please advise me”.

How to use please advise in an email?

There are many ways you can use the phrase please advise in an email.

Here are some examples of how people often use please advise in their email exchanges:

  • Please advise on this matter
  • Please advise as soon as possible 
  • Please advise at your earliest convenience
  • Please advise immediately
  • Please advise by no later than tomorrow
  • Please advise as to your availability 
  • Please advise the team 

What are alternatives to please advise?

Here are some alternatives to please advise:

  • I appreciate your response
  • Looking forward to your response
  • I appreciate it if you can get back to me
  • Thanks for getting back to me
  • Let me know
  • I appreciate your input
  • Is this something you can help with

Is please advise the same as please be advised?

Please advise is not the same thing as please be advised.

Please advise is a phrase that is often used to ask someone for advice, request information, or get an answer to a question.

Please be advised is a phrase used when the person writing the message informs the other person of something.

In essence, the writer is notifying the recipient of a certain message or statement.

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Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does please advise mean in business writing?

In a nutshell, the phrase please advise is typically used to ask someone for information or have someone respond back.

However, depending on the context where the phrase is used, it can also mean “what are your thoughts” or “I’m waiting for your response”.

Keep in mind that depending on the tone of your email, the phrase please advise can be seen as bossy, aggressive, and impolite.

Be sure you are mindful of who is the recipient of your email and the tone of your communication when using “please advise”.

Now that you know what “please advise” means and how to use it, good luck with your business writing!

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Author

Amir K.
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and I love it!). I'm also an expert SEO and content marketer. On this blog, I share my experience, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy! Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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