I was having a debate with someone about how this phrase sounds, as it seems incorrect to me but it's been proofread many times in e-mail (yes at an american company), without anyone saying anything about it.

EDIT: I don't know why it's wrong (if it is), which is why I'm asking the question. The current answer won't be accepted unless the author can elaborate.

EDIT 2: I was writing to a recruiter that I know on a professional level, and was getting help on a way to eloquently request that I add them as a connection on a certain social networking site. The way I would have worded it would have been "I would like to connect with you..." or something of the sort.

EDIT 3: I was trying to focus more on the placement and usage of the word "please" in this sentence, as it was the part that stuck out to me the most, and the sentence sounds more correct without it. To that point, maybe it's the tense of the verb that's odd about it? What if the sentence was, "I want to please connect with you"?

  • Sounds like an Indianism to me. The 'American' proof-readers could have been of the same opinion and considerate, perhaps.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 6:30
  • @Hanky웃Panky That's not a comparable structure.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 6:30
  • Agreed, that's not the same sentence structure, @Hanky웃Panky
    – BrDaHa
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 6:48
  • Welcome to ELU! You might find you have to wait a bit before your question is answered. Please be patient, and one tip, wait until three or four users have answered (ideally) it makes awarding the "green tick" easier for you. Could you please add more context to the question. For example, who is writing and to whom?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 7:37
  • If you need to use past tense with please, you could use "It would have pleased me to have connected with you". In present/future tense "It would please me / be a pleasure to connect with you" or in a more begging sounding sentence "Would you please connect with me?"
    – mplungjan
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 9:05

5 Answers 5


Parentheticals can be inserted into matrix sentences with far fewer restrictions than would normally apply.

“I wanted to (please) connect with you”

sounds a little odd, but I can't see that anyone could judge it ungrammatical. Whether or not the intrinsic parenthetical nature of the politeness discourse marker 'please' allows its insertion here without the brackets is debatable, but I think that there is a move towards greater freedom in this area. Certainly

“Could you please get in touch with me”

would normally be written without brackets, and in exactly this way, though placing the 'please' in initial or final position rather than medially (within the matrix sentence) seems more logical.

The check I feel with using OP's version is that "I wanted to connect / get in touch with you" is such a heavily hedged request that it appears not to be one at all – making the use of 'please' dubious.

  • So your point is that the word "please" is extraneous in this context?
    – BrDaHa
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 4:54
  • Which flavour of extraneous ([Google] synonyms: irrelevant, immaterial, beside the point, unrelated, unconnected, inapposite, inapplicable, superfluous)? I'd want to use a hedge / politeness marker here, so 'please' or a less clumsy rewrite is not inapposite from a pragmatic point of view; mplungian's suggestions work, but your "I would like to connect with you..." is fine in that respect. I'd say the original is clumsy, unnatural-sounding, rather than outright ungrammatical. (Which can occasionally be worse, in my view.) Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 6:36
  • Thank you, I had to look up what a matrix sentence was, but after reading your answer thoroughly, the original sentence does make sense, although clumsy.
    – BrDaHa
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 6:55
  • Just a convenient term for the sentence without the parenthetical. It must be a sentence, from the definition of parenthetical. A parenthetical is usually set off by commas, brackets or dashes; I think it's reasonable to include pragmatic markers in the class even when they do not have such punctuation. Could you kindly speak to the poor boy? <==> Matrix sentence Could you speak to the poor boy? but not in Could you speak kindly to the poor boy? where 'kindly' is not a pragmatic marker but an adverb. Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 7:07

My one and a half cents worth would be- you are combining two (different) ideas in one sentence.

One is expressing your desire to connect: "I wanted to..." This is an expression of your feelings, and does not relate directly to the person you are addressing.

The second is a request: "please..." This is a way of asking to connect.

Assuming you want to convey both concepts (doubtful), I believe it would be more appropriate to use two sentences: "I want to connect with you. May I, please?"


I wanted to please connect with you

just sounds wrong to me. If I read that I would assume it was written by a non-native speaker.

I would like to connect with you

sounds much better - the "would like" conveys the "please" part of the sentence by making it politer than just saying "want". It is also a change of tense - but I am assuming that the speculative future is what's desired, since "I wanted to connect with you" could imply you don't want to any more!

Even better still, I would go with something like

I would like to get to know you


I would like to arrange a meeting with you

depending on what you/they actually mean. These sound like more natural English than using "connect", unless you are talking about connecting on a social network. "Connect" is used more commonly in a romantic setting than a business one (apart from "connect on LinkedIn", "connect on Facebook" etc.) so it is even possible you might be misconstrued.


The sentence does sound a bit odd to my ears, I think it's the verb "connect with " that bothers me the most. If someone invited me to connect with him or her, I'd hesitate before accepting. Nevertheless, between two men, and in the right context I'm sure the request would be viewed as an attempt to be friendly and polite.

In view of the OP's second edit may I suggest the following adjustments; rather than use the term connect, which @starplusplus pointed out may be misconstrued, I'd use the word contact which Google defines as:

v. Communicate with (someone), typically in order to give or receive specific information.

You contact someone via e-mail, on Facebook, on any social network, even on Stack Exchange if you visit their chat rooms.

In addition, it sounds more idiomatic and natural to say:
Could I contact you on...? I'd like to contact you... May I contact you on...?

The following expressions are less formulaic and friendlier:
How/What about if I contacted you on... ? Is it OK if I contacted you on... ? I'd really appreciate contacting you on... ; Lets contact each other on...

However, if you prefer to maintain a certain distance and formality try this solution:

Would you mind if I contacted you via/on [name of social network]?

  • The use of the word "connect" is appropriate in the context, although it would be ok if it wasn't used. I was more curious if the word "Please" could actually be inserted in a sentence like that and still be grammatically correct.
    – BrDaHa
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 4:55
  • Grammatically correct is not necessarily synonymous to how native or advanced English speakers actually speak. For example, "I want (or wanted) to please offer you dinner." Makes sense, and maybe it is Indian English, I don't know. However, polite formal offers such as this one are mostly rendered with "Would you like..." and "May I ...".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 7:51

American here - it sounds weird because we usually reserve the word want for things and experiences, not people. The only time we use want for people is when referring to romantic partners

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