I would like a polite (formal) way to say:

The changes you intend to make will not do us any good.

or should I say "intend on making"?


You could say:

"We feel that the intended changes will be of little benefit."

This avoids directly saying "you", which could come across as impolite.

Although not quite the same, you could also use "the proposed changes".

  • Thnak you, that's perfect! – Nniiss Jan 2 '13 at 17:09
  • 3
    @Nniiss: Strictly speaking, the fact that you're apparently happy with a rephrasing suggests your question is effectively Off Topic "style advice/proofreading". This answer makes no attempt to address the question you appeared to ask, about any possible difference between intend on making,intend to make – FumbleFingers Jan 2 '13 at 17:44
  • I wasn't sure how to put it.. I just created my acc – Nniiss Jan 2 '13 at 18:10
  • @FumbleFingers I answered her first question. – James Jan 2 '13 at 19:05
  • @FumbleFingers Also my question was edited by Matt Эллен – Nniiss Jan 2 '13 at 19:16

Apparently, intend on is a common error in English usage:

You can plan on doing something, but you intend to do it. Many people confuse these two expressions with each other and mistakenly say “intend on”*. Of course if you are really determined, you can be intent on doing something.

  • I don't agree that to intend on [doing something] is an erroneous/ungrammatical form caused by conflation of intent on/intend to. As you say, you can plan on doing something, so there's nothing apart from convention to stop you intending on doing it. And since I intend on has been around for centuries, I suggest it's well-established enough to be considered a "standard" grammatical form. – FumbleFingers Jan 2 '13 at 20:41
  • @FumbleFingers: But it's not included in the dictionary (at least not in the famous ones that I checked) and your search yielded 19k results only. I still think it's a common error. – Gigili Jan 3 '13 at 6:20
  • Yeah, well I reckon on calling it a day then. I'm not about to concede that I'm an incompetent speaker, and you obviously think intend has some special quality distinguishing it from words like plan, reckon in such constructions, so I don't think either of us is about to change our minds. :) – FumbleFingers Jan 3 '13 at 13:26

Notice that the first answer suggests several different improvements, each of which makes it more polite:

(a) It replaces the stark "not do... good" with the softer "little benefit" (which avoids "no" or "not").

(b) "Any" is often added for emphasis, so "not... ANY good" means especially worthless! On the other hand, "will not do us good" sounds awkward.

(c) It adds "We feel that..." which makes it an opinion rather than an absolute (even though it's about benefit to us, so it works out as absolute). Any time you qualify a statement with "in my opinion" you are being a bit more polite.


Perhaps something like this would be more polite:

I don't understand how these proposed changes will help you or me.

  • yeah, but in a formal letter directly saying "you" could come across as impolite. – Nniiss Jan 3 '13 at 19:01

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