I am writing an email to a senior and want to say if he agrees to my suggested changes and if no I will modify it further. So is this ok to say:

Kindly suggest if you agree to this revised proposal or else.

I am concerned about the use of word "else". I like it because it has made my sentence short but not sure if it is conveying the meaning.

  • 'Suggest' may sound like hedging but is inaccurate. 'Indicate' or 'let us know' is required. Jan 13 '16 at 10:13
  • It's best not to use the word kindly in this way. It can be very counterproductive and easily cause offence. Jan 13 '16 at 10:30
  • 2
    The phrase "or else" is generally a threat in English. "Give me your money or else" is a vague threat, where you are left to fill in "...or else I will kill/hurt/beat you".
    – jimm101
    Jan 13 '16 at 12:28

No, do not say "or else." Saying "or else" at the end of a sentence veils a threat. It doesn't mean "otherwise," it means that you are telling him to make the suggestion or you're going to either hurt him or kill him even. So let's not threaten murder.

If you want to say it to mean "otherwise," write it as follows:

"Kindly suggest if you agree to this revised proposal or not."

Another way to write it would be as follows:

"Kindly suggest whether or not you agree to this revised proposal."

If you don't want to sound like you are from India, then exchange "kindly" for "please" and don't say "suggest," for example:

"Please let me know whether or not you agree to this revised proposal."

  • It is also idiomatic to say or otherwise.
    – Lawrence
    Jan 13 '16 at 9:07
  • +1 for dealing with "or else", though I think murder may have been over-egging your point slightly.(I believe you include it in error in your final sentence.) But I am also interested in your association of kindly with India. Plenty of Britons of both Anglo-Saxon and Asian descent might use the word kind as part of a request. However the adverb kindly as in kindly take your rubbish away can come across as bossy. To convey politeness I always think a please would helps. Please would you (be kind enough to) indicate whether you agree...
    – WS2
    Jan 13 '16 at 9:23
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    Note that it is just "or else" on the end that has this meaning. "Or else" followed by an alternative is fine, though it wouldn't be used if the alternative were just the negation of the first alternative. But "Please let me know if you agree to this proposal, or else suggest an alternative proposal" would be perfectly good.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 13 '16 at 10:09
  • @WS2 : I actually noticed my little extra 'or else' in my final sentence as well. I've since removed it. Maybe I was slathering it rather thickly with 'murder', but then imagine getting a letter asking you to kindly answer me 'or else'. I had mental images of the man befalling some ill-fated accident and the police finding this letter then hauling poor Shazra off to prison. It was all a bit too farcical to let go. As for 'kindly', while I do agree with you regarding its broader use, you must admit that the Indians have rather hijacked the word with all of their 'Kindly' this and 'Kindly' that. Jan 13 '16 at 10:50
  • Thank you all for the nice suggestions. I have made the changes in my email accordingly and also replaced "kindly" with "please" :). Will do so in future too to hide my identity:) I have recently joined this forum and find it very interesting and useful. By the way I am based in Saudi Arabia.
    – shazra
    Jan 19 '16 at 9:00

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