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At Your Earliest Convenience | Meaning, Synonyms & Examples

Emails updated on  December 6, 2023 3 min read
At your earliest convenience is a phrase commonly used at the end of a professional email to request someone to do something as soon as reasonably possible.

The phrase is typically considered professional and polite, but it’s not specific and might cause confusion or miscommunication. In some cases, it’s better to use one of our three alternatives to end an email to make sure the other person understands the level of urgency.


Example: At your earliest convenience
To Whom It May Concern:
...
Please answer at your earliest convenience.
Yours truly,
George Leonards

It’s important that your professional emails don’t contain spelling and grammar mistakes. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.


How to use at your earliest convenience in emails

You can use at your earliest convenience in an email to ask someone to do something (e.g., complete a task, respond to your email) as soon as they can or at a time that fits their schedule.

The phrase is often used without problems, but if you need something done before a specific date, it might be too vague, since you don’t mention a specific deadline.

Example: At your earliest convenience

Dear Miss Lorenzo,

I would like to schedule an appointment with you next week to talk about the charity event your organization is facilitating.

Please indicate your availability at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,

Joe Marvels

Three alternatives to at your earliest convenience

At your earliest convenience can be replaced by an alternative that better matches the urgency and tone of your request. Three common ones are:

As soon as possible

Although as soon as possible doesn’t specify a deadline, it does more directly convey a sense of urgency by omitting the reference to “convenience.” It’s best to only use this phrase is semiformal or informal contexts because it can come across as pushy.

You should always write the phrase out in full in professional communication, but the abbreviation ASAP is used in informal contexts.

Example: At soon as possible in a sentence
Hi Matt
I need your analysis for my annual report, which is due this Monday.
Please send it to me as soon as possible.
Best,
Matteo

Whenever you have time

Whenever you have time is a good alternative for at your earliest convenience in more informal contexts where there is no sense of urgency. It doesn’t convey a specific due date or time, so it should be used in cases where there’s flexibility about the deadline.


Example: Whenever you have time in a sentence
Hi Daphnee
I hope this email finds you well. I've created a first draft of the campaign plan.
Could you have a look whenever you have time?
Best,
Matteo

Mention a specific date and time

In most contexts, it’s best to mention a specific date and time, especially if you’re working with a deadline. This avoids confusion and gives people a clear idea of what you expect of them.

Example: Mention a specific date and time
Dear Sir or Madam,
I have not yet received a response to my formal complaint against your company.
Please respond to my previous email before next Friday 5 p.m..
Regards,
Romeo Quiree

Do you want to know more about common mistakes, commonly confused words, rhetorical devices, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Common mistakes

Commonly confused words

Rhetoric

Whoa or woah

Advisor vs adviser

Metonymy

Theirs or their's

Accept vs except

Synecdoche

Ours or our's

Affect vs effect

Verbal irony

Forty or fourty

Among vs between

Irony

Sence or sense

Anymore vs any more

Grawlix


Frequently asked questions about at your earliest convenience

What is the meaning of earliest convenience?

Earliest convenience is used as part of the common phrase at your earliest convenience. It means “the first moment when you can reasonably find time to do it.”

It’s often used to end an email in a professional setting by asking the other person to do something when they have time in their schedule.

What’s another way to say at your earliest convenience?

At your earliest convenience is a phrase used at the end of an email or other message to ask someone to do something (e.g., reply, complete some task) as soon as they can find the time to do so.

Some alternatives that express the same idea with more or less specificity are:

  • As soon as possible (ASAP)
  • Whenever you have time
  • By the end of next Tuesday (i.e., name a specific deadline when relevant)


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Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

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