I frequently use "the same" as in the following sentence.

I need the details of XYZ project. Could you please send me the same as soon as possible?

Is this grammatically correct? I have not been corrected till now, but I have not seen the usage from native speakers very much either.


Seems like my example sentence was ambiguous. Hope the following sentence is better.

I need the documents for the meeting. Could you please send me the same as soon as possible?

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    Thank you and I'm so glad I'm not the only one here who is experiencing this. I hear that so often but yes, the Indians do it a lot and I just believe it is grammatically correct, but just needed some confirmation for the same.
    – user123330
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 1:34
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    Same is only used for referring in law and legal purposes.It should not be used anywhere else. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 14:43
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    Not true. "The same" is widely used in many contexts.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 15:26
  • @paragagrawal citation needed.
    – asgs
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 13:01
  • @Chenmunka But it is a bit formal - perhaps, in Britain, old-fashioned civil service/police/military speak. The definite article is not required. "I would like to order three cartons of XYZ. Please send same to the above address".
    – WS2
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 19:43

7 Answers 7


The first time I saw it was from an Indian colleague in 2009, and I've only ever seen it in emails or instant messages from Indian colleagues since.

An example:

The document is dated 25/06/08/ Is there any updation to the same?


could u tell me the command for executing the unit test from command line or any link or ppt .. for the same

As a British English speaker from the UK, I found it a bit strange at first, but I've got used to it now. However, I wouldn't advise using "the same" in this way as it might not be understood by people not familiar with it. Instead, when the context is clear, use a simple "it" or "them". If the context isn't clear, state explicitly what you mean.

So I would change your (updated) example:

I need the documents for the meeting. Could you please send me the same as soon as possible.


I need the documents for the meeting. Please could you send them to me as soon as possible?

Also note the second sentence is a question, so ends with a question mark.

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    Yes, this is an expression that is common in Indian business English. It used to be common in UK business-speak too, but has gone out of fashion there - but not so on the subcontinent, apparently :) (BTW I don't agree that the last example needs a question mark - though it's phrased as a question, it's actually effectively a command, and it's fairly common to punctuate it as such :)
    – psmears
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 9:08
  • @psmears: yes, still very much used in Indian English and emails along with PFA (Please find attached), but was not aware "the same" had a BrE origin.
    – JoseK
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 10:09
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    @psmears I know it's effectively command but I'd argue "Please could you send ..." makes it a question (which I can answer "no, the dog ate them"). "Send me" is a command, albeit not very polite. However if you're being polite and phrasing a command as a question, then use a question mark. Covered here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/9332/…
    – Hugo
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 10:30
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    @psmears I know it's quite common, but doesn't mean I agree with it. I did say "I'd argue..." :)
    – Hugo
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 13:43
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    For the life of me, I couldn't figure this out... and it seems to be used by Indians only... I always thought this is grammatically wrong... from now on I will replace 'the same' with 'it/them' and re-read the sentence again. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 9:19

Grammatically it's unexceptionable, but it is rather formal for normal chat (such as email).


This is correct usage. "the same" or "same", used as a noun, is a placeholder for the object of the previous sentence or clause; here, "the details of XYZ project". IME it's not common colloquially, but in business communication it's everywhere.


This kind of use of "the same" is very frequently used in patent texts. For example: "Method for producing a laminated object and apparatus for producing the same"



It is OED (sense 4a) of the pronounal form of same.

4.a. the same, †that (or this) same: the aforesaid person or thing. Often merely the equivalent of a personal pronoun; he, she, it, they. Now rare in literary use; still common in legal documents; also (with reference to things) in commercial language (where the is sometimes omitted). Cf. German der-, die-, dasselbe.

Examples exist from the 14th century, but the two most recent ones are as follows:

1966 G. W. Turner Eng. Lang. in Austral. & N.Z. vi. 135 A different influence of written language is seen in the use of same as a pronoun equivalent to it, as in ‘put the tailboard up and secure same with a length of wire’ from New Zealand (Wally Crump, 1964), a facetious borrowing of lawyer's English which is quite common.

1973 N.Y. Law Jrnl. 24 July 4/4 The following sentence in a brief is typical of its misuse as a noun: ‘Waldbaum purchased the soda..then stacked it on the shelves in order to sell the same.’


It's grammatically correct and acceptable, but still I'd say "the same" in the context of your example sentence is a little ambiguous, and looks like it may be missing a noun. I'd suggest replacing it with "the aforementioned", or even better, "said project".

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    I think most people would simply replace "the same" with "them" in that example sentence and there would still be no ambiguity or confusion.
    – ghoppe
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 22:15
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    Ah, well there's the ambiguity right there. :-) I saw 'the same' as referring to the project, not the details. Shows that "the same" is rather ambiguous unless it's very clear what it's referring back to, because it doesn't even hint at a quantity (singular/plural).
    – Jez
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 22:23

"However, we would like to inform you that we are yet to receive ________. So requesting you to please provide the same to us, just in case it is available to you."

"Same" means identical or is used as a comparison that shows something is equal, such as, "the same as". The dictionary says it's an adjective, pronoun, or adverb. In this case, as in the above, it's being substituted for a situation or object, making it a noun. The above 2 sentences was one of the many grammatically incorrect emails I see from Indian colleagues. Try to think about what "the same" is a placeholder for. If it's "the same project", then the sentence would read, "So requesting you to please provide the same project to us, just in case it is available to you." What does "the same project" mean? The same as what? The same as itself? The sentence is unclear at best. Also, if it's a word usage that you only see from non-native speakers, why would you try to find justification for it instead of just doing what is more commonly done? Just replace "the same" with the subject or object you're referring to. It will confuse native speakers less.

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