I am replying an email which ask me to submit extra documents. But I think I do not need to submit it.

So I want to ask if it is necessary to do it:

Thanks for your email. But may I confirm with you that I do need to submit these documents please? As I have been studying as a PhD student for a year and I'd like to make a transfer application to follow my supervisor who will teach in your University.

Thanks in advance and best regards.

Would you please give me some suggestions to make it more polite and more likely to what a local will say?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


I'd do it this way:

"Thank you for your email. Can I please confirm that in order to make a transfer application I need to submit the following documents? [list]. I have been studying as a PhD student with [professor's name] for a year, and I'd like to follow my supervisor who will soon be teaching at your University. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Kind regards [your name here]"

If submitting a hardcopy add a handwritten signature as well as the typed name.

  • I would replace "Can I" with "Could you" or something along those lines (or just leave it off entirely). Technically, I can't "confirm" anything because I don't have the answer.
    – ScottM
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 19:53
  • 1
    @aesking, I don't understand your comment. I am not advocating the use of "can"; I am suggesting that the subject of the sentence should be you, not I.
    – ScottM
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 21:12
  • @ScottM Oh, I see! Well what I meant was “Can/could I please confirm with you that...” would work as equally well as “Can/could you please confirm that...”. The former is tautological but may be more polite. I got confused over the can vs could thing because you showed preference for could in your comment.
    – aesking
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 21:32
  • 1
    @aesking I think this is one of those case of slight dialectic differences in acceptable syntax where I'm from "can I confirm...", or "can I get..." in the first instance, is an accepted form for asking a person for information but it may not be strictly speaking grammatically correct.
    – Ash
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 15:06
  • @Ash Yes, personally when I upvoted your answer I didn't see anything wrong with it because I'm also susceptible to the same dialect where the syntax "Can I confirm" or "can I..." etc. is acceptable. I wouldn't say it is grammatically incorrect; but rather informal. The phenomenon is referred to as conversational deletion or subject omission.
    – aesking
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 15:15

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