I’m writing a piece of mail to the manager of some other company, and I wanted to ask him:

On a different note, I wanted to know how you are doing [something].

I was wondering, is there a more formal way of saying I want to know?

Would it be correct to say I am keen to know?

  • From your comment, it seems interested or curious may be what fits better: "I am curious about how you are doing sth." or "I am interested in how you are doing sth."
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 10:19
  • well, he asked me if there is anything else I wanted to know about the procedure of them doin smth, and then I wrote a list of relevant question regrading the procedure, but I wanted to ask some "not-very-relevant" which still could have affect the procedure, I went with on a different note, I would also like to know... and I sent the email... but curious and interested seem fine too. cheers mate.
    – mrz
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 11:08
  • mrz: I've edited your question some. Let me offer you a pointer, since you're new. When people ask for clarifications, try editing the question, instead of leaving comments. If something isn't clear to one person, chances are it won't be clear to others. Avoid making it so everyone must read through all your comments to fully understand what you're asking by putting your clarifying remarks in the question itself. Also, brevity is not always good here, be specific about why you have a question about language. Did you think your initial phrasing sounded too impolite? Too demanding? Not fluent?
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 12:20
  • @Kris May the Lords of the Sith be visited upon thee, good sir!
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 14:46
  • @mrz I’ve edited your question to improve the formatting and clarity a bit; hope that’s ok with you. I should note here that keen is a tad bit old-fashioned sounding.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


Actually, I want to know is perfectly valid. If it’s politeness you’re trying to achieve, you could say I would like to know.

This transforms what might have been interpreted as a demand into a request.

An alternative word would be enquire, such as in I would like to enquire.

  • 1
    Actually, I don’t think that enquire works here.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 14:44
  • You could say something like: On a different note, I wanted to inquire as to how you are doing [something].
    – jsve
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 4:50

You can precede to know with all sorts of verbs. Which you choose depends on the context, and the precise degree of formality and politeness you are striving for. In many contexts, including formal ones, I want to know may well serve the purpose, but occasionally you may, for example, want to write I should like to know. It’s really not possible to say more than that without knowing the purpose of the text you have in mind.

  • I'm writing an email to manager of some other company, and wanted to ask him: "On a different note, I wanted to know how you are doing smth"
    – mrz
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 8:15
  • That could be ok, but I don't understand how you are doing smth. Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 8:31
  • mrz wants to know how (the addressee) is doing something -- the way he is carrying it out, perhaps.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 10:17
  • you're right Kris.
    – mrz
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 11:03
  • Certainly I should like to know sounds more formal, and rather more demanding, than I’m keen to know does. Part of that is the use of the “old” (?) 1st-person I should over I would, but another is the lack of contraction. My unresearched, gut feel is that the keen construct is comparatively rare, at least in North America. But normal speech would just be I’d like to know, which is not quite so stiffly demanding.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 14:39

Alternative expression for I want to know could be something like I enquire, I seek, I investigate, etc.

There’re lots of ways to say it, but you may have to decide which suits you best based on your actual context.

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