A colleague emailed me saying

I need your help

but offering no further details. Now, what what be a formal reply to this which doesn't promise too much nor seem cold or unhelpful?

a) Sure. How can I help?
b) Tell me?
c) Regarding?

Which one of the above seems most appropriate? Or there is some other sentence or phrase more appropriate for this kind of situation?

  • 2
    Too localised / not a real question / etiquette, not English language as such. Take your pick. – FumbleFingers Feb 29 '12 at 18:28

Your answer / reply should be based on your opinion of whether or not you want to help. If this is a trustworthy friend or colleague then your answer may be ...

"Sure, what can I help you with?" or "Let me know what you need, I'd be glad to help."

If in your opinion the friend is not trustworthy, then it may be ...

"Please let me know what you are needing help with."


It mostly depends on your level of familiarity with your colleague.

If the two of you are on casual, friendly terms, any of those would be fine (although I'd change "sure. How can I help?" to "Sure, how can I help?").

However, if the two of you don't know each other all that well, something a bit more formal might be better, such as:

I'm willing to help, but you'll need to furnish some details first.

  • By the way, make sure you're not dealing with spam or a virus. An email that vague sounds vaguely suspicious. – J.R. Feb 29 '12 at 17:53
  • No, it was not spam/virus :) – CuriousMind Feb 29 '12 at 19:57

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