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I wonder if it's appropriate to say "see you shortly" when we both know that it's going to happen in a week's time. What I'm trying to say is that I'm looking forward to see the person, but I already used "I'm looking forward" and I don't want to sound repetitive.

I only heard "see you shortly" to refer to periods of time shorter than a day, so my concern is that it might sound confusing when we are talking of an entire week.

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What about "see you soon"? – Paola May 6 '12 at 21:24
Yes, "see you shortly" would be confusing. Instead, you could say ta ta for now. – jwpat7 May 6 '12 at 21:27
Shortly is a relative measure of duration. If a week is a short time relative to the other intervals of separation you have had then shortly works- especially of both parties are aware of when the next planned meeting is to be. If you've been meeting daily, then shortly probably isn't such a good choice. – Jim May 6 '12 at 21:29
@jwpat7. What sweet memories has "ta ta for now" brought back! I hadn't heard it for over 30 years and I only knew one person who used it, a guy from Milwaukee I used to know a lifetime ago. – Paola May 6 '12 at 21:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Firstly, "see you shortly" does not mean "I am looking forward to seeing you" and does not work well as a replacement. It does work as a reenforcing statement but it is hard to tell without a fuller context.

Secondly, "see you shortly" is not attached to any particular time frame. It is typically associated with smaller periods than a week but it is not restricted to them. "See you soon" would be a little more customary but it really comes down to intonation and context.

If you are looking for another form of "I am looking forward" you can use something along the lines of these (depending on intent):

  • Until next time
  • I can't wait
  • I eagerly await
  • Next week cannot come soon enough

If you simply want to avoid confusion about when you will see them you could say, "See you next week."

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I would find "see you shortly" to be confusing in the general case. However, if a friend from overseas I hadn't seen in years were planning a trip to see me, then in an email making final arrangements I would not feel it odd if they said "see you shortly." (Well, I might find "shortly" an odd choice of words if my friend were American; "shortly" seem rather British to me.)

To your larger purpose, I would not feel "see you shortly" conveys enthusiasm the way "looking forward to seeing you" does. I would suggest instead something like can't wait to see you or counting the days until we meet again or this is going to be fantastic or simply I'm so excited.

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I think in this context I would use, "See you in a week." That way there will be no confusion, but you keep the general tone of the sentence.

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"See you shortly" is a British structure. If you meet someone everyday at a specific time, you can use this as the meaning of "See you in a short time" or "I am waiting for you to be here/there on time." It does not mean "I'm looking forward to see you" because they had already been meeting each other.

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