Corporate Byte

Mastering the Art of Business Writing: The Meaning and Usage of ‘Please Advise’

What Does “Please Advise” Mean? Have you ever received an email that ends with the phrase “please advise”?

Perhaps you’ve used it yourself in your business correspondence. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and usage of “please advise,” its historical context, and when it is appropriate to use this phrase.

Definition and Usage of Please Advise

“Please advise” is a common phrase used in email communications and other forms of formal correspondence. It is typically used when the sender of the email requests information or guidance from the recipient.

The phrase itself serves as a polite and formal way to ask for a response or advice. It indicates that the sender is actively seeking input and expects a timely reply.

The usage of “please advise” can be traced back to the 18th century when formal communications were highly valued. It was common practice to use such phrases to convey respect and professionalism in written exchanges.

While the language and conventions of communication have evolved over time, “please advise” has remained a steadfast phrase in business correspondence.

When to Use Please Advise

While “please advise” can be used in various situations, it is most commonly found in business emails where a request for information or guidance is being made. Here are some common settings where you might come across or use this phrase:


Business Emails: “Please advise” is frequently used in professional settings when requesting information or guidance from colleagues, clients, or superiors. For example, an employee might email their manager saying, “I have encountered a problem with the project timeline.

Please advise on the next steps.”

2. Requests for Information: When seeking information from someone, especially in a professional context, “please advise” is a polite way to solicit the necessary details.

For instance, if you are coordinating a meeting and need additional information, you may write, “I am finalizing the meeting agenda. Could you please advise on the topics you would like to discuss?”

Politeness vs.

Passive-Aggressiveness in Using Please Advise

While “please advise” serves as a polite and formal way to request information or guidance, some individuals perceive it as passive-aggressive or overly demanding. In an effort to be more inclusive and considerate, alternatives to this phrase have emerged.

Here are some options you can consider:

1. Could you please provide guidance on this matter?

2. I would appreciate your input on this issue.

3. Your advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

By using these alternative phrases, you can maintain a polite tone while avoiding any potential negative connotations associated with “please advise.”

In conclusion, “please advise” is a widely used phrase in business correspondence, particularly in email communications. It is a formal way to request information or guidance from the recipient.

While its historical context stretches back to the 18th century, it remains relevant in modern professional settings. However, it is essential to be mindful of the perception of this phrase and consider using alternatives when seeking to strike a more inclusive and considerate tone.

So, the next time you send or receive an email ending with “please advise,” you will have a better understanding of its meaning and appropriate usage.

Drawbacks to Using Please Advise

While “please advise” may be a commonly used phrase in business correspondence, it is not without its drawbacks. In this section, we will explore some of the potential downsides to using this phrase and why you might want to consider alternatives for effective communication.

Passive-Aggressiveness and Bossiness

One of the main criticisms of using “please advise” is that it can come across as passive-aggressive or even bossy. The phrase implies that the recipient has a duty to provide advice or guidance, which can be perceived as demanding or condescending.

It may unintentionally create tension or strain in professional relationships. Consider the following example: “I have completed the report.

Please advise on any necessary revisions.” While the request is valid, the use of “please advise” can make the tone sound more forceful than intended. Instead, you can rephrase it to be less assertive, such as, “I have completed the report.

I would appreciate your input or suggestions for any necessary revisions.” This alternative phrasing maintains politeness while avoiding any potential negative implications.

Official and Impersonal Tone

Another drawback of using “please advise” is its formal and impersonal tone. In today’s world, where interpersonal connections and informal communication styles are often favored, using such a rigid phrase can create a sense of distance or formality that may not be desired.

When seeking a more approachable tone, consider alternatives that can help foster a warmer and friendlier atmosphere. For instance, instead of ending an email with “Please advise,” you might try phrases like:


“Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions.”

2. “I would appreciate it if you could provide your insights on this matter.”


“I look forward to hearing your perspective.”

These alternatives maintain a respectful and professional tone while also incorporating a touch of informality and friendliness.

Lack of Specificity

Another drawback of using “please advise” is its lack of specificity. The phrase does not provide a clear framework for what type of advice or guidance is being sought.

This can lead to confusion or delays in receiving the desired response. To mitigate this potential issue, it is essential to be more precise in your requests.

Instead of relying on a generic phrase like “please advise,” articulate your needs and expectations more explicitly. For example:


“Could you please provide recommendations on the best marketing strategy for our new product launch?”

2. “I am seeking your expert advice on how to improve customer satisfaction.

What strategies have you found successful in your experience?”

By providing more context and specificity, you are more likely to receive relevant and valuable advice in a timelier manner.

Alternatives to Please Advise

Considering the drawbacks mentioned above, it is beneficial to explore alternative phrases that can effectively convey your request for information or guidance without the potential negative connotations associated with “please advise.” Here are a few examples:

1. “Let me know if you have any further information on this matter.”


“I would appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on the next steps.”

3. “Thanks for your answer in advance.

It will help me make an informed decision.”

4. “If you have any insights or suggestions, I would be grateful to hear them.”

By using these alternatives, you can maintain a professional and polite tone while avoiding any potential misinterpretations or negative undertones.

In conclusion, while “please advise” may be a commonly used phrase, there are drawbacks to its usage. Its potential for passive-aggressiveness, the official and impersonal tone it conveys, as well as its lack of specificity can hinder effective communication.

By considering alternative phrases that are more inclusive, warm, and precise, you can create a more positive and productive environment for exchanging information and seeking guidance. So, the next time you find yourself tempted to use “please advise,” think about these drawbacks and make a conscious choice to foster a more open and collaborative communication style.

Please Advise or Please Advice? One common confusion surrounding the phrase “please advise” lies in its correct usage and the distinction between “advise” and “advice.” In this section, we will delve into the appropriate use of the phrase and clarify the difference between these two similar-sounding words.

Correct Use of the Phrase

The phrase “please advise” is grammatically correct and commonly used in business correspondence. However, it is essential to understand its proper construction.

“Advise” in this context functions as a transitive verb, which means it requires an object. Consider the following example: “I am facing a technical issue with my computer.

Please advise.” In this sentence, “please advise” is asking the recipient to provide advice or guidance regarding the technical issue. The object of the verb “advise” is implied but can be inferred from the context of the email or conversation.

Confusion between Advise and Advice

The confusion between “advise” and “advice” can be attributed to their similarities yet distinct grammatical functions. “Advise” is a verb that suggests giving guidance or recommendations on what someone should do.

On the other hand, “advice” is a noun that refers to the suggestions or recommendations offered. To better illustrate the difference, consider these examples:


“Can you advise me on which laptop to purchase?” Here, “advise” is used as a verb, implying that the recipient is being asked to provide guidance or recommendations on the best laptop to buy. 2.

“Do you have any advice for choosing a laptop?” In this sentence, “advice” is used as a noun, indicating a request for suggestions or recommendations regarding the selection of a laptop. It is important to use the correct form of the word, depending on whether you are seeking to give guidance (advise) or receive suggestions (advice).

Please Advise Meaning FAQ

To further clarify the meaning and usage of “please advise,” let’s address some frequently asked questions related to this phrase.

Validity of Please Advise

The phrase “please advise” is valid and commonly used in both written and spoken communication. It serves as a polite and formal way to request information or guidance from the recipient.

As long as it is used correctly and in appropriate contexts, it can effectively convey your need for assistance or input.

Using Please Advise in Email

“Please advise” is often seen at the end of emails, particularly in professional settings where a request for information or guidance is being made. Here are a few examples of how the phrase can be used in email communications:


“I am considering two options for our upcoming conference venue. Please advise on which one you think would be more suitable.”


“We have received your proposal and have a few questions. Could you please advise on the availability of your team for a conference call next week?”

Alternatives to Please Advise

While “please advise” is a popular phrase, it may not always be the ideal choice, as discussed earlier. Here are some alternatives you can consider to vary your language and avoid potential negatives:


“Your insights on this matter would be greatly appreciated.”

2. “I would be grateful for any input or suggestions you may have.”


“Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue.”

These alternatives maintain politeness while offering a fresh approach to requesting advice or guidance.

Difference Between Please Advise and Please Be Advised

“Please advise” and “please be advised” may sound similar, but they have different meanings and functions. “Please advise” is a request for guidance or suggestions, as we have discussed earlier.

In contrast, “please be advised” is a phrase used to inform or notify someone of a specific matter or piece of information. For example, “Please be advised that the meeting time has been changed to 3:00 PM” is informing the recipient about a change in the meeting schedule.

In this case, “please be advised” is used to convey important information rather than requesting guidance or suggestions. In conclusion, understanding the correct usage of “please advise” and avoiding confusion with “please advice” is crucial for effective communication.

While “please advise” is a valid and widely used phrase, it is essential to use it appropriately and consider alternative phrases when necessary. By being mindful of the nuances of the words “advise” and “advice” and varying your language, you can enhance your communication skills and foster more effective and respectful interactions with others.


As we conclude our exploration of the phrase “please advise” and its various aspects, let’s summarize the key points to remember when using this phrase in business writing. We will also discuss important considerations to keep in mind and offer well wishes for success in your business communication endeavors.

Summary of Please Advise Meaning

In summary, “please advise” is a commonly used phrase in business writing that formally asks for information or guidance. It is a polite way to seek assistance from the recipient of the communication.

The phrase originated in the 18th century and has persisted as a staple in formal correspondence. Understanding the correct usage and implications of “please advise” is essential for effective communication.

Considerations in Using Please Advise

When using “please advise” or any other phrase in your business writing, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Tone: Be mindful of the tone you convey when using “please advise.” While it can be seen as polite and formal, it may also come across as passive-aggressive or demanding.

Carefully consider the phrasing and the overall tone of your email to ensure it is respectful and considerate. 2.

Politeness: Politeness is essential in professional communication. Whether you choose to use “please advise” or opt for an alternative, ensure that your language is respectful and courteous.

Consider how your words might be perceived by the recipient and adjust them accordingly. 3.

Recipient Awareness: Be aware of the recipient’s perspective and level of familiarity. If your correspondence is with a client or superior, maintaining a more formal tone might be appropriate.

However, when communicating with colleagues or peers, it may be more suitable to use language that is slightly less formal to foster a more relaxed and approachable environment.

Good Luck with Business Writing

Effective business writing is a valuable skill that can contribute to your professional success. As you navigate the intricacies of expressing yourself in written form, here are a few tips to help you along the way:


Focus on Clarity: Clearly state your requests or intentions in your business writing. Use concise and specific language to ensure that your message is easily understood by the recipient.

2. Consider the Format: Different forms of business writing require different approaches.

Whether you are writing an email, a memo, or a report, tailor your language, tone, and formatting to suit the specific needs and expectations of the medium. 3.

Edit and Proofread: Take the time to review and revise your writing. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure that your message is cohesive and flows logically.

A well-edited and polished piece of writing will reflect positively on your professionalism and attention to detail. 4.

Seek Feedback: Don’t hesitate to seek feedback on your business writing. Asking for input from trusted colleagues or mentors can help you refine your skills and identify areas for improvement.

In conclusion, the phrase “please advise” is a widely used and established form of requesting information or guidance in business writing. However, it is important to consider the potential pitfalls and alternatives available to ensure effective and respectful communication.

By being mindful of your tone, maintaining politeness, and tailoring your language to the recipient and context, you can enhance your business writing skills and increase the likelihood of successful outcomes. Good luck on your journey to becoming a proficient and confident business writer!

In conclusion, understanding the meaning and usage of the phrase “please advise” in business writing is crucial for effective and respectful communication.

While commonly used, it is important to be aware of its potential drawbacks, such as passive-aggressiveness or impersonality. By considering alternatives and being mindful of politeness and tone, we can foster a more inclusive and collaborative atmosphere.

Additionally, remembering key considerations in business writing, such as clarity and formatting, can lead to successful outcomes. So, let’s strive to enhance our communication skills and approach business writing with a thoughtful and considerate mindset.

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