Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to give a friendly reminder in English

Have you ever used a friendly reminder in English?

Has somebody else used a friendly reminder with you?

Today we are talking about how to get someone to do something in a friendly way in English.

Usually when we are asking someone to do something we don’t want to come off as bossy or rude.

We don’t want it to sound like an order, but we really need them to handle it for us. 

We don’t want to nag or feel like we are bothering on the person too much.

Today we’re going to explain how to remind someone to do something in a friendly way and why you need this skill for connection.


Let’s start with a great question question today:

Hi Lindsay!

A long time without writing you.  I’ve heard you were planning to come to Nicaragua, my birth country (I’m living in Costa Rica). I hope you’ll enjoy Ometepe, it’s a beautiful island in the middle of Nicaragua Lake (its name is Cocibolca). By the way, I have a doubt about using the phrase “Just a friendly reminder”. Is that phrase rude? What other polite phrases can I use to refer about a topic that need to be reminded by someone? Thank you for all your hard work. Thank you to Michelle and Jessica too. Best regards,Geovanny Martínez.


A new phrase:

Okay so again this phrase “just a friendly reminder” comes before we ask someone to do something that’s important- but we don’t want to sound too bossy.

Do you like this phrase?

Do you use it?

Who else might use it?

Managers to employees, teachers to students

Maybe coaches to players- but it may be too formal for that.

It is usually used in an organized situation like work or adult education.


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Let’s get more specific.

So let’s break this down so that you can fully understand how it can be used and why you might use it.

There are other ways to get someone to do something in a polite way.

Can you remind somebody of something in a nice but more indirect way?


Here are a couple of ideas or examples to ask someone to do something:

  • Would you mind verb + ing…. (would you mind calling our clients when I am away) **this is a little less of an order, more like inviting someone to do something
  • It would be amazing if you would take out the trash at lunch time…
  • Any chance you could… (also less strong)
  • I’d love it if you would…

Notice how so many of these are conditional.

Also notice that they are indirect, kind and friendly, and yet they get the point across in a way that will be well received. 

You want to get the person to do something, but you don’t want them to be pressured by it.

You could also say: “will you…” or “please…”?



So remember we can use a friendly reminder as a way of getting somebody to do something without putting pressure on in English.

You can ask them nicely and build the connection.

Today you have learned some natural phrases so try using friendly reminders in the right context.

Be careful with directly asking somebody to do something and coming off aggressively in English.

Always smile and be positive when trying to give a friendly reminder.

If you know how to use them and how to ask for something, then you will always win the other person over in the best possible way. 


What questions do you have for today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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