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Do you overuse ‘reference’ in strange UN ways?

In emails, we often refer to a previous email we received. How do we do this?

You could use one of the following:

  • Re: Your request for a leave form
  • I refer to your email dated ….
  • I am writing with reference to job announcement number 23.
  • With reference to your email dated X, I have attached the information you requested.

However, in the United Nations, we often see strange-sounding uses of ‘reference’. Other strange-sounding words or phrases are also underlined. How can you rephrase the following to sound English?

  1. Reference to your email below, kindly find attached task 1, as per your request
  2. Reference is made to the below email.
  3. Reference is made to your preliminary agreement to technically edit the report.

Suggested answer key

  1. With reference to your email below, please find attached task 1, as requested. (formal)

Please find attached task 1, as requested. (less formal)

2.I refer to your email below. (note position of ‘below’)

3. I refer to your preliminary agreement to technically edit the report.

______________________________________________

Carol Waites (PhD)
Email:  carolswritingtips@gmail.com

For more writing tips, consult my website:
http://professionalwritingtips.weebly.com/writing-tips

Presentation/editing by Christina O’Shaughnessy (editor)
worldwidewriting.org/

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