The colleagues in my office often send email starting with "Please kindly". Are the two phrases a bit redundant?

  • 18
    I just want to point out that I disagree with the implicit assumption here that there is something inherently wrong with redundancy.
    – nohat
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 18:27
  • 6
    While the opening Please kindly isn't wrong, per se, it's frequently overused by non-native speakers and Indian English speakers, in my experience. Something to keep in mind. Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 19:21
  • 3
    Half the emails in my email spam folder start with "please kindly".
    – Brendon
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 23:47
  • 2
    See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/14478/…
    – wfaulk
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 3:06

5 Answers 5


Strictly speaking, "please" and "kindly" do serve separate purposes. I can demand that you kindly do a certain task:

Kindly apologize to your mother

The intent is to dictate how you should apologize. Prepending "please" is me politely asking you to do something:

Please apologize to your mother

Combining them signifies that I am being polite and you should be polite:

Please kindly apologize to your mother

In the context of office chatter, I would interpret the original intent of the phrase to mean, "I am asking nicely; don't give me attitude." As it is now bordering on a cliché, I highly doubt anyone is putting much thought into the phrase or its meaning and they are simply being polite.

  • 3
    No, the sentence "Kindly apologize to your mother" is not generally used to instruct the listener how to apologize (by analogy with possible locutions such as "Quickly apologize to your mother") but to soften the imperative speech act. It is equivalent in this context to "please". Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 7:56

Both the adverbs are used in polite requests, and one of the meanings of kindly is please.

In a sentence like "please kindly send me a copy of your paperwork," please and kindly are redundant.

In a sentence like "will you kindly sign the enclosed copy of this letter," kindly is often used ironically.


Yes, they are redundant, as in this context, they mean essentially the same thing.


In this case, kindly is an intensifier. It's similar in use to very in the phrase I am very disappointed in you.

Sure it's redundant, sure it's unnecessary, but it signifies a slightly higher tone of politeness.


What would you prefer me to ask you? Please, would you kindly pass me the magazine, or pass me the magazine.

The please, kindly adds a layer of "politeness" (for want of a better word), and, although effectively it is redundant, it changes the sentence from a request to an order.

  • 5
    Out of those options the first one, obviously, but is there really any difference between Please kindly pass me the magazine and Please pass me the magazine (which I think is the point of this question)
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 14:14
  • @Jonik There is a slight difference in tone, just as there is a slight difference between I am disappointed in you and I am very disappointed in you.
    – ghoppe
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 21:07

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