Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

show flexibility in English wiggle room

Do you know how to ask someone in English if there is any flexibility or “wiggle room” in their plans?

Does this sound confusing to you as if they’re talking about physical movement?

Today we’ll help you to understand what this phrase actually means and how to use it in everyday conversation and at work so that you can build and maintain connections.


Flexibility In The Context of Conversation

If you listen long enough, you see that “wiggle room” is used in conversation quite a bit.

You get the idea that this has to do with flexibility, but is there more to it?

Wiggle room implies that changes can be made. This usually has to do with scheduling.

You might ask if there is any wiggle room with a price or with timing of something.

This may be a very cultural thing, as it seems that Americans ask or talk about wiggle room quite a bit.


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Various Ways To Speak To Flexibility

When you use the term “wiggle room” you are trying to understand if the deadline or cost or whatever else can be moved around a bit.

There are several different ways to speak about flexibility or ask for an exception, all of these can work quite well.

  • Wiggle room: This is cute sounding and definitely a more informal way of asking for something. It’s very common and you may hear about it in conversations quite a bit.
    • “I was just wondering if there was any wiggle room at all with the deadline of Monday.”
  • Leeway: You’re also asking for some flexibility here too, but in a somewhat more formal way. You want to try to get an extension or an exception, and you are asking for it in the nicest way possible.
    • “I was hoping there was some leeway on the payment schedule, but they told me that I have to stick to the guidelines unfortunately.”
  • Flexibility: You are asking for a bit of help in the most direct way possible. You want to know if there is any possible way to get an exception, and so you are just asking for it outright.
    • “I wish I could commit, but there’s no flexibility on his end at all.”


All of these phrases help to convey and ask for flexibility, and they all sound natural and native in conversations.



It’s important to have the language to talk about flexibility.

You may need to ask someone if there is wiggle room on a schedule or on a price, and now you know how this works.

Don’t assume that there is wiggle room in the schedule if you haven’t asked for it. This can vary dramatically across cultures.

That’s why having these phrases can help you maintain both personal and professional relationships.


If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

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