Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am a contracts engineer working in the construction industry in the Middle East. A part of my job description is to manage official correspondence with the client. I am not a native English speaker, but I think I do have a fair sense of language.
I often come across the following concluding line:

"You are hereby kindly requested to provide with us the missing equipment..."

I am aware that "You are kindly requested" is a polite way of asking but I personally think kindly had better be used for the addressee, as in "you are requested to kindly provide us..."

Secondly, I think "...provide us with" is correct and "provide with us" is lame. I need an expert opinion.

I would request that you kindly reply to this post only if you are sure of the answer by experience or qualification.

share|improve this question
    
You’re right that “provide with us” makes no sense. Regarding the other, it doesn’t much matter, and I don’t know that anyone would notice which place you put the kindly. –  tchrist Jul 3 '13 at 3:45
    
It was probably uttered by a non-native speaker. I think the use of kindly requested... is unnecessary. It doesn't add anything to what you are trying to convey. –  Noah Jul 3 '13 at 4:58
    
In the closing sentence, “I would request that kindly reply” is garbage (that is, it makes no sense; is non-standard; isn't idiomatic; isn't grammatical). You ought to replace it with “Please reply”. –  jwpat7 Jul 3 '13 at 5:15
    
I'm in favor of being direct, but polite. What's wrong with "Please return the missing equipment as soon as possible"? Flowery phrases may have their place in Shakespearian sonnets, but in business communication, they are superfluous, UNLESS you are in a culture where "beating around the bush" and using more words than necessary is the norm and is therefore expected. Is that the case where you are? –  rhetorician Sep 10 '13 at 1:15
add comment

3 Answers

"You are hereby kindly requested to provide with us the missing equipment..."

Yes; flowery politeness. The type of padding that is common in corporate correspondence. It's fine though.

.......................................

but I personally think kindly had better be used for the addressee, as in "you are requested to kindly provide us..."

"you are requested to kindly provide" is not, IMO, a good choice. It is better as is. The asker is stating that they are 'kindly requesting' (which is polite). The suggested edit is asking the receiver to provide, kindly - to provide something in a kind way. The original text may be overly polite, but the suggested edit is condescending, which is not what you want.

...............................................

Secondly, I think "...provide us with" is correct and "provide with us" is lame. I need an expert opinion.

Yes, "provide us with" is correct. "provide with us" is a non-standard construction.

...............................................

I would request that you kindly reply to this post only if you are sure of the answer by experience or qualification.

American, native speaker, writer/editor, business person.

share|improve this answer
add comment

To answer your second — and easier — question first:

… provide us with is correct
… provide with us is not 'lame' — it is plain wrong!

As regards the first part of your question:

You are kindly requested …

As you correctly say, this is intended to be polite, but the kindly is in the wrong place.

You are requested to kindly provide us …

This has kindly in an appropriate place, as @AndrewLeach has indicated in his comment.

Personally, I suspect that this question touches as much on cultural issues as on language issues. As a Westerner (UK), I would characterise this language as "old-fashioned politeness" of the type that (in my experience) continues to be used (for example) in the Indian sub-continent. From my cultural viewpoint, I would now regard it as excessive over-politeness — but that is not to say that it doesn't still have a place in business cultures in other regions. With that background, only you can judge whether it is appropriate for your situation.

If I were wanting to write something similar — and still (very) polite — I would suggest:

We would be grateful if you would please provide with us the missing equipment at the earliest opportunity.

Still polite, but not excessively so:

Please provide with us the missing equipment as soon as possible.

share|improve this answer
1  
I agree with @z-- that “You are kindly requested to” is preferable to “You are requested to kindly”, and I don’t see how you find support for the opposite view in Andrew’s comment. How does one kindly provide someone with equipment? The most idiomatic phrasing (using the same expressions) would to me be, “We kindly request that you [please] provide us with …”. “We would/should be grateful if …” works too, but is to me less urging and leaves more of a choice to the person being asked. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 11 '13 at 7:57
    
@JanusBahsJacquet Equally, what does "kindly request" mean? How can a request be kind "friendly, helpful, well-meaning, generous, benevolent or considerate." Would you say "I kindly ask how you are today"? As regards Andrew's answer, he said " Instead of the request being kind (and not demanding) it's the provision which must be kind (and not dutiful)." Why is being grateful "less urging" than kindly request or kindly provide? It's less OTT! –  TrevorD Aug 11 '13 at 16:31
1  
Requesting something in a friendly manner is not logical to you, but providing something in a friendly manner is? “We should be grateful if” is less urging to me because no actual, direct request is made—the provision is put into a hypothetical situation, rather than in a direct request. As I read Andrew’s comment, he is simply describing what the meaning of the later placement of ‘kindly’ is, not endorsing it. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 11 '13 at 22:56
    
@JanusBahsJacquet You misunderstand my meaning. "Kindly request" is talking about one's own kindness - but we don't usually go around talking about how kind we are: one normally speaks of someone else's kindness. I understand "kindly provide" as a shortened way of saying "Would you please be kind enough to provide" - where you are asking someone else to be kind. I wouldn't say "I'm being kind to you and asking you to do this ...", but, in order to be polite, I might say, "Would you please be kind to me and provide ...?". –  TrevorD Aug 12 '13 at 10:44
    
I guess we understand the phrase differently, then. To me, “we kindly request” implies that we are requesting, but also specifies we are doing so in a friendly and polite manner, rather than in a more demanding and insisting manner, which makes perfect sense to me. It’s not that “kindly provide” in itself is unidiomatic to me, but in combination with “We [kindly] request”, it is the less idiomatic of the two. “Kindly provide us with the documents” (without the requesting bit), on the other hand, is perfectly idiomatic to me. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 12 '13 at 11:16
show 1 more comment

"You are requested to kindly provide..." contains a split infinitive. It is not incorrect, but some would prefer "you are kindly requested to provide..." on that ground.

"To provide with us the missing equipment" is incorrect — or rather, it is equivalent to "to provide the missing equipment with us," which is probably not what was intended.

share|improve this answer
2  
[Not my downvote, but...] It's not that it's the split infinitive which is the issue, but that it moves the being kind from the request to the result. Instead of the request being kind (and not demanding) it's the provision which must be kind (and not dutiful). Moving kindly changes the meaning entirely. –  Andrew Leach Jul 3 '13 at 6:16
    
@AndrewLeach, you are absolutely right. And that part of my question was regarding the meaning and not the grammar. The point is that what is more appropriate. Whether the manner of your your request is kind or you would rather show respect to the addressee by linking the disposal of request as an act of kindness. –  MAK Jul 3 '13 at 11:06
    
@sjy, yes it is a split infinite. But reconsider my question with respect to above comment o mine. I agree with the second part of your answer. Thanks –  MAK Jul 3 '13 at 11:09
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.