You want to ask for additional information or to provide further details in an email. But is the phrase just to clarify suitably polite to include in work correspondence?
We’ll address this question in the article below. Furthermore, we’ll show you 10 other ways to politely seek clarity at work.
Is It Correct to Say “Just to Clarify”?
It is perfectly correct to use the phrase just to clarify in a professional context. It is a good way to introduce extra information or to ask for more information when you are unsure of something.
Additionally, you can use this phrase at the start of a sentence, or you can add it to the end.
This phrase is perfectly polite, and its level of formality makes it suitable to use regardless of the size or nature of your organization.
Therefore, we’ve drafted two email examples to show you how to use this phrase in practice:
Just to clarify, will we be meeting with the client in person or online?
You can also rephrase this expression as just for clarification. You can use either variation interchangeably, although just for clarification comes across a touch more formally.
Dear Ms. Pepper,
I have provided an example of the statement below, just for clarification.
Feel free to ask any questions about the content once you’ve had a look.
Next, we’ll look at a common punctuation mistake people make when employing this phrase:
Mistake: Failing to include a comma
- Incorrect: Just to clarify I will be arriving an hour prior.
- Correct: Just to clarify, I will be arriving an hour prior.
As just to clarify is an additional clause being added to the sentence, you should include a comma after it when you place it at the start of a sentence.
Likewise, you should place a comma before this phrase when you add it to the end of your sentence, like so:
- Incorrect: I will be arriving an hour prior just to clarify.
- Correct: I will be arriving an hour prior, just to clarify.
It is also correct to write just to clarify like so:
Variation: Replace clarify with to be clear
- Correct: Just to clarify.
- Correct: Just to be clear.
So, we know that just to be clear is a correct phrase. However, it is used commonly in work settings and may be considered quite standardized.
Therefore, you can use one of the alternatives we’ve compiled to zest up your language and keep your work emails diverse.
10 Alternative Ways to Say “Just to Clarify”
Below, you’ll find 10 examples of what to say instead of just to clarify in a professional email:
- For the sake of clarity
- Can you elaborate?
- Just so I understand
- For the record
- Just to be sure
- Let me explain
- For clarity
- Am I correct?
- To remove any doubt
- Let me make this clear
1. For the Sake of Clarity
For the sake of clarity is a more formal way to say just to clarify. You can use this phrase in an email to a client before providing extra information.
In this context, “for the sake of” essentially means “for this purpose” or “in order to provide.” Therefore, this phrase means that the purpose of the information you provide is to clarify your overall position, advice, or instructions.
To see what we mean, check out the email example below:
Dear Mr. Cobain,
I have attached a sketch of the plan for the sake of clarity.
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further concerns.
2. Can You Elaborate?
If you want to ask for clarity in a formal tone, you can use the phrase can you elaborate?
This phrase comes across as polite and respectful, making it perfectly suitable for an email to your boss. For example, if your employer has issued some vague instructions, you can ask can you elaborate to gain a better understanding of what is expected of you
Consider the following sample email:
Can you elaborate on how you would like the research to be organized?
I can go by the present size of each organization or the date on which they were incorporated.
3. Just So I Understand
You can use the phrase just so I understand in an email to a colleague.
This phrase is rather informal, so it wouldn’t be suitable for an email to your boss or a client.
However, if you generally have a casual dynamic in your office, you can do away with the formal phrasing and be more to the point in your emails.
Just so I understand is rather tonally neutral, so you can use it in an email to a colleague you aren’t particularly close with. It won’t come across as rude or impatient, as long as the tone of your message remains courteous.
See the example below:
Just so I understand, will we present the data together, or would you like me to compile it for you to present?
I am happy to go about it either way.
4. For the Record
A different way to say just to clarify is for the record. This phrase essentially means that you are saying something important and want it to be recorded or remembered.
For the record is also a great way to make your position on something clear in a concise way. Therefore, you can use it when you’re discussing a project with a coworker so that they know where you stand on an issue.
Have a look at the email sample below:
For the record, I think it will be essential to access Mr. Tone’s records back to 2019 to get a clearer picture of his business practices.
Let me know if you agree.
5. Just to Be Sure
Just to be sure is another informal way to seek clarity when you are speaking to a coworker with whom you are close.
If you and your colleagues have a friendly dynamic in the office, you can use plain language and casual phrasing in your work discussions. Just to be sure is a straightforward and comprehensible phrase that you can use in any informal circumstances.
Just to be sure, will you be keeping Miss Dylan’s file with you?
6. Let Me Explain
If a client has expressed uncertainty over some advice you’ve provided, you can use the phrase let me explain to introduce further information.
Let me explain is clear, concise, and straightforward. Thus, it’s an ideal phrase to use if you’re trying to explain yourself as comprehensibly as possible.
Therefore, let’s see an example that includes this phrase:
Dear Mr. Henricks,
Thank you for your question, and I apologize for any confusion.
Let me explain our policies more clearly: –
7. For Clarity
Another way to say just to clarify is for clarity.
This phrase is concise, yet it comes across formally enough to use in an email to a superior, such as your employer.
In particular, you can use it when you’re providing extra information in your email after predicting that something will need to be explained further.
Dear Ms. Joel,
The memorandum you requested is attached below.
Furthermore, I have provided a list of my sources and stats for clarity.
8. Am I Correct?
You can use the phrase am I correct to double-check your understanding of an issue with your boss.
In short, you can use this phrase if you think you understand something but want to seek clarity, just in case. It never hurts to make sure that you’re on the same page as your boss. After all, it’s better to ask now than make an avoidable mistake later!
Let’s see this phrase in an email example:
Am I correct in my understanding of Mr. Portman’s dispute?
9. To Remove Any Doubt
If a junior member of your team has asked you to clarify an instruction, you can provide further information with the phrase to remove any doubt.
Essentially, this phrase means you are quelling any uncertainties on the side of the receiver. It is plain enough to be comprehensible to a new member of the team. However, it maintains a suitably professional tone.
See the sample email below:
It’s good that you checked before getting started.
I’ve attached an example of how to carry out this task to remove any doubt.
10. Let Me Make This Clear
Our final synonym for just to clarify is let me make this clear. This phrase has a rather stern tone. Therefore, it may not be ideal for an email to a superior or a client.
However, if you are in the midst of training a new recruit, it helps to be as clear as possible when you are issuing pertinent instructions or information. This is especially the case if you work in a high-stakes business environment where mistakes can be costly.
Have a look at how we’ve used this phrase in our final email sample:
Let me make this clear: the client should only be contacted as a last resort if you cannot find the information you need in their file.
Please do not call for anything that can be found upon investigation.