Requesting and replying to requests for information- speaking and email writing lesson!

Requesting and replying to requests for information- speaking and email writing lesson!  (Download full lesson)

How to Be an Effective Team Member Article (Reading exercise)

So much communication between colleagues is about giving and asking for information, whether it’s over the phone, in meetings or by email. This lesson covers several aspects of this process, such as asking for information, and then further information; asking for clarification; and, asking for instructions. In the lesson there are two dialogues and two emails for students to practice.


  • Requesting information and responding – Asking for further information and responding!


  1. Requesting information

I wonder if you could…?

I wonder if you could send me the minutes for yesterday’s meeting.


Would it be possible to…?

Would it be possible to give me all the data you have?


Would you mind…?

Would you mind updating me on the project’s status?


I’d like to know…?

I’d like to know about the project’s background?


  1. Responding

No problem. I’ll send you the minutes right away.

Yes, I’ll send you the data as soon as I have a chance.

The point we are at in the project is…

The project’s background is…


  • Asking for further information


Can you give me further details about…?

Can you give me further details about the customer’s requirements?


Could you elaborate on…?

Could you elaborate on how you intend to make this work?


Is there any additional…?

Is there any additional information to consider before moving on?


Could you provide…?

Could you provide some extra information on the touch-screen market?


  1. Responding

Sure. The customer requires us to…

We can make this work by…

Before we move on you should also consider…

Of course! The touch screen market is becoming increasingly competitive…


Role-play: Have a short conversation with your colleague/classmate requesting information regarding your current project and asking for further information after getting a response!


  • Asking for clarification and responding – Asking for instructions and responding! 

  1. Asking for clarification

What exactly did you mean…?

What exactly did you mean when you said the customer is not satisfied?


Could we go over… again?

Could we go over the previous point again? I didn’t quite get it.


Would you please clarify…?

Could you please clarify whether the code was written correctly or not?


Could you make clear…?

Could you make clear how that is going to work?


  1. Responding 

What I meant by not satisfied was…

Ok. Let’s start from the beginning, again.

The code was written correctly but there was a problem with…

It will work if we stick to this plan…


  • Asking for instructions

How can I…?

How can I execute this program?


What is the correct way to…?

What is the correct way to implement this new guideline?


Can you instruct me on how to…?

Can you instruct me how to write this report in the appropriate format?


Could you fill me in on…?

Could you fill me in on how this process is carried out?


  1. Responding

 You can execute this program by…

The correct way to implement this guideline is by…

This is how you can write this report in the appropriate format.

This process is carried out by…


Role-play: You need clarification on some points about your project and also need some instructions on how to carry out an aspect of your task. Ask a colleague for clarification and instructions.


  • Requesting information email!


Email sample:


Hi Mike,

I am writing this email to request your assistance on a few topics. I know you are very busy so I hope this doesn’t put you out.

I was wondering if you could give me more information about the customer’s requirements for the project and I’d also like to know how flexible they are with the deadline. Writing this program is taking longer than we had anticipated.

Also, could you clarify a couple of things for me?

  1. Do you want us to build a WordPress website?

  2. What font do you want us to use on the website?

Finally, how can I integrate the new software with the older version?


Thanks for your time.


Jimmy Li.


Fill-in the blanks with the correct word from below.


Dear April,

I am writing to _____________ about some _______________ information regarding our current project for your company.

It was recently brought to my _______________ that some of the original requirements have changed but I am a little _______________ as to what these changes are. I hope you can bring me __________________ on this so that we can move along with the project.

  1. Is it correct that we should ____________ the dimensions of the screen? If so, what are the new dimensions?

  2. Should we use the same processor you ________________ asked for or would you like the newer version Pentium have just ________________?


Also, could you ____________ a couple of points about the prototype’s appearance?

  1. Do you want the ____________ of the cell phone to have a matt finish?

  2. Do you want the ____________ to be protruding by 1.5mm?


Lastly, could you ________________ us on how we should send the prototype to your office in California _________________?

Thanks for your time and I would ________________ if you could reply in a timely manner so we can proceed.

Best Regards

Tommy Zhang


body, instruct, attention, initially, up to date, safely, appreciate, alter, additional, released, clarify, logo, unclear, enquire

Exercise: Write an email to a colleague asking for information on the project and also asking for clarification on some points. Also ask for some instructions on doing something you are having some difficulty with.


Useful phrases:

I am writing this email to ask your assistance on a number of topics.

I hope I am not asking too much of you.

I was wondering how you could…?

Could you clarify some points for me?

Could I trouble you to tell me how to…?

How should I complete this…?

Thanks for your time.


Fill-in the blanks with the correct word from below.

Hi Tommy,

I am writing this email in reply to your ______________ for information about our project.

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your _________________ to the project. It has been a very ___________________ experience working with you so far.

I apologize if there has been some ______________________ about the new changes. Please let me _________________ with you the details of the changes.

  1. We would like to alter the ___________________ of the screen. The new dimensions are 5.5 x 2.4 inches.

  2. To keep up to date with the __________________ technology we would also like you to use the latest Pentium processor.


Also, to clarify the points you asked about.

  1. We would like to body of the phone to have a _____________ matt finish.

  2. And, we do want our logo to be ________________ by 1.5mm.


Finally, please send us the prototype by DHL _____________ delivery service and ask them to mark the package as ______________ to ensure the phone doesn’t get damaged?

Attached to this email is a full ________________ of the product specifications.

If you have any more _____________ don’t hesitate to ask.

Best Regards

April Jones.


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Exercise: Write an email to a colleague responding to a request for information and clarifying some points you were asked about. Also give some instruction on how to do something he/she asked you about.


Useful phrases:

I am writing this email to reply to your requests for information.

Attached is a full review of the project you requested.

Before you move on you should consider…

Also, just to clarify a few points…

The best way to implement that strategy is to…

If you need any more help don’t hesitate to ask.

Nice working with you. Take care!