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    #1

    early reply - Is this phrase really English

    What are your thoughts on "I look forward to an early reply" -
    Is this really English?

    My gut reaction is "no", because I've never used it or seen it. However, I've now done a bit of googling and noticed that it seems to be a commonly bandied around phrase.

    In my feedback to students I've always highlighted this phrase as "not particularly natural English"- always use "prompt reply" or "I look forward to....... as soon as possible".


    What are other teacher's thoughts on this. Is "early reply" commonly used? - In my XX years of life have I just not seen enough of the world?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    I agree with you. "Prompt reply" is more natural and more accurate.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    "I look forward to an/your early reply" is fairly common in BrE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "I look forward to an/your early reply" is fairly common in BrE.
    Funny that, being a Brit, I'd assumed it was an Amercanism!

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    As an American, I would ask what "early" means. That is subjective at best.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    I think it is taken to mean "at your earliest convenience", another fairly regularly used phrase.
    "An early reply would be appreciated" was a common ending to notes and emails when I was in the Civil Service.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    "at your earliest convenience" I've got no problem with, although I would never use it, but the "early reply" variation is "new" to me.

    Looks like it could be one of those kind of idomatic phrases that unless you're used to it, it feels wrong.
    I spent years correcting "Sincerely yours" to "Yours sincerely" until I found out that it was commonly used in US Eng. Doh!

    The use of early to me doesn't inhibit understanding but it does read to me as if they are saying "early (in the day)".

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    I agree with "at your earliest convenience".

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    Please correct the information in your profile, Jabberwocky.

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: early reply - Is this phrase really English

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Funny that, being a Brit, I'd assumed it was an Amercanism!
    That's 'fairly common in BrE [of a certain vintage]'

    b

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