When writing to another party to communicate a change of terms, initiate a course of action, or resolve a dispute, you want to make sure the reader does not miss certain information. Is it correct to say “please be informed” to emphasize the pertinent information?
It is correct to say, “please be informed.” This imperative clause directs the reader’s attention to a particular term, condition, or instruction that affects the reader’s action or the relationship with the writer. It is in the passive voice despite the active voice preference for most semi-formal correspondence today.
Read on to learn more about ways to use “please be informed.” We will use multiple examples to examine the scenarios that prompt us to use this imperative clause. We will also explore situations where a different phrase is more suitable and review the grammar of imperative clauses.
What Does “Please Be Informed” Mean?
The phrase “please be informed” instructs the reader to ensure his or her knowledge of specific facts or information.
Beginning the phrase with “please” does two things. First, “please” alerts the reader that he or she is the recipient of the following command or request. Second, “please” establishes the writer’s desire to be polite and cordial to affect a mutually beneficial interaction.
Using the imperative “be” conveys an instruction, command, or suggestion to the reader commensurate with the reader’s relationship with the writer.
“To inform” is to provide knowledge to another party about a particular matter. “Informed” is the past participle of the verb “inform,” which indicates the completion of an action.
When combined, the resulting is an imperative clause in the passive voice. This means that someone other than the reader is informing, and the reader is receiving the specified information. In this case, the writer is the active party that informs the passive reader.
How Do You Use “Please Be Informed”?
Use “please be informed” at the beginning of a sentence, followed by a subordinate clause containing the referenced information. Though “please be informed” is a grammatically complete sentence with an implied subject and a verb, it is not a complete thought without specific details.
Sometimes, “please be [adjective]” is a complete thought that needs no further elaboration. For example, parents routinely tell their children “please be good” or “please be careful” without modifiers.
“Please be informed” works differently because it is a passive-voice clause that uses a participle. For the reader to be informed, something or someone must actively notify the reader. If you use “please be informed” and nothing else, the reader will anticipate more information.
The simplest and most common way to include this information is to use the conjunction “that” to join a subordinate clause containing the information. In this usage, “that” indicates a clause that modifies or complements the preceding clause (source).
When Can You Use “Please Be Informed”?
Use “please be informed” in formal writing when regulation or contract requires notice or when the information conveyed is necessary for performing future actions. In this way, the clause establishes a record of what information is vital and who possesses the information.
In legal and regulatory matters, “notice” refers to the act of informing another party of specific information or to the fact that another party has (or should have) detailed knowledge (source). “Please be informed” fulfills this requirement by connecting the requisite information directly to the addressee.
Even if no law, regulation, or contract requires notice, you might find that conveying pertinent information to another party is beneficial to a business relationship or the completion of specific objectives. You may use “please be informed” in these situations as well.
In What Context Can You Use “Please Be Informed”?
“Please be informed” is a helpful phrase in many formal and semi-formal contexts. For example, you can use it in situations where regulation or contract requires the transfer of information or where the addition of information produces a more complete or correct response from the recipient.
Here is a list of situations where you may find “please be informed” a valuable asset in your writer’s toolbox.
- Change of terms/rates/conditions
- Clarification of existing terms to correct a misunderstanding
- Formally disclose completed actions
- Inform of pending actions/conditions
Some situations require disclosure, while others benefit from it. For example, you might provide notice before or after completing a specific action, depending on the situation. In each scenario, using “please be informed” to introduce critical information is suitable.
To demonstrate the different contexts and circumstances in which you might use “please be informed,” let’s check out some examples from everyday life.
A sentence such as this one might appear on your credit card statement to provide you required notice of a rate change.
- Please be informed that your interest rate will increase to 5.99% effective next month.
A school administrator might include this sentence in a written warning to a habitually tardy student.
- Please be informed that classes begin promptly at 8:20.
In this example, the bank is documenting that a prior request has been satisfied.
- Please be informed that the bank has closed your account per your written request.
An office, school, or hospital might use this sentence to alert visitors to a change in operations so they can plan their visits accordingly.
- Please be informed that the main entrance will be closed during renovations.
In each of these examples, “that” is the conjunction that introduces the communicated information. Each of these examples also provides the recipient information that might prompt further action or that might fulfill the sender’s duty to provide certain information.
Using “Please Be Informed” in a Full Sentence
Use “please be informed” only at the beginning of a sentence followed by a subordinate clause containing the information.
Because the subject of an imperative clause does not need to be stated, there is no need to add anything before “please be informed” in a sentence.
However, the subordinate clause is not optional so you must include it every time you use “please be informed” to complete the action of informing the reader, as the previous examples show.
When Not to Use “Please Be Informed”
We use “please be informed” to introduce specific information in the same sentence immediately. However, it is incorrect to use “please be informed” to direct the reader to information that is separated from the clause or contained elsewhere in your communication.
For example, you wouldn’t write, “Please be informed of the attached fee schedule” or “Please be informed of the updates listed below.” Instead, you will use a more suitable phrase to refer to details and additional information that cannot fit into a single sentence.
To learn more about how to refer a reader to supplemental information, check out our articles “Is It Correct to Say “Please Find Below”?“ and “Attached is or Attached Are: Subject-Verb Agreement.”
Often, the information you introduce with “please be informed” is only a summary statement. In such situations, you will want to provide the reader with more comprehensive information or additional details to support your summary.
You might use one of the above supplemental clauses to elaborate on your topic after introducing key information with “please be informed.” Let’s use an earlier example to demonstrate:
Please be informed that the main entrance will be closed during renovations. Attached is a diagram of alternate entrances and parking.
In this example, “please be informed” introduces the main topic, and “attached is” presents helpful details. In addition, the main topic tells the reader why the attachment is helpful.
We generally use “please be informed” in formal or semi-formal written communication. However, you would not use this phrase when speaking or writing in a casual or familiar setting. For example, a civic club or a church regularly communicates information about dates and events but will use a warmer tone to do so.
Imagine reading “Please be informed that the potluck lunch has been rescheduled” in a newsletter. It sounds too impersonal and businesslike for the occasion.
Similarly, as a parent, you would not tell your child, “please be informed that the dog has no water.” Instead, you would simply skip the disclosure and proceed straight to telling the child to fill the dog’s water bowl.
In these examples, formal language seems out of place. The relationship between the speaker and the audience, as well as the purpose of the writing, determine the appropriate level of formality for any given communication (source).
When speaking or writing to someone you personally know or for a casual purpose, you do not need as much formality in your writing.
What Can You Use Instead of “Please Be Informed”?
Here are some alternatives to use instead of “please be informed.” Some phrases convey the same formality, and others express a more relaxed tone.
- Please be advised
- Kindly note
- Please be aware
You could use any of these phrases in place of “please be informed” and achieve the same level of formality. Each conveys a similar meaning and directs the reader to a subordinate “that clause” containing necessary information.
- Please note
- Please understand
- Keep in mind
These phrases also demand the same sentence structure as “please be informed” and express the same meaning. As a result, these options lack the original phrase’s formality, making them useful alternatives for semi-formal or personal correspondence.
Let’s try using these options in the earlier examples where “please be informed” sounded too formal.
Note how the following sounds natural and appropriate for the occasion:
- Please note that the potluck lunch has been rescheduled.
The sentence below sounds like a parent trying to maintain a little patience despite delivering a repeated reminder about the dog’s water. This is much more suitable than our earlier, formal example:
- Keep in mind that the dog’s water should always be full.
Formality isn’t the only consideration when choosing how to write. As stated earlier, “please be informed” is in the passive voice. This construction enables the writer to form a useful imperative with the verb “be,” but there may be situations when you wish to avoid using the passive voice.
Here are some suggested alternatives:
- I write to inform you
- It is important to note
- Draw your attention to
These examples use a mix of different sentence structures. In the first example, “I” becomes the subject, and the reader becomes the direct object. In most academic writing, you may use first-person pronouns to describe actions but not opinions (source). Since “I write” describes an action, this is acceptable.
The third example retains the imperative mood but does not depend on a subordinate clause. You might choose this option when you need to refer directly to a table, chart, or some other data set that you cannot succinctly summarize in a single phrase.
We use imperative clauses to express a command, suggestion, or instruction to the reader. We expect the reader to respond by completing the desired action when we use imperative clauses (source).
Imperative clauses seldom include a written subject. The addressee is the implied subject of the imperative clause.
When we write, “please be informed,” we must also ensure that the communication is obviously addressed to the person or persons that we expect to become informed. The addressee might be a specific person (“Dear Mr. Smith”) or a defined group of people (“Dear Cardholder”).
The imperative’s composition conveys the formality of the relationship between the speaker and the reader as well as the level of authority. For example, a parent, supervisor, or teacher can issue a command such as “Do your work.”
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
The business communications we would use “please be informed” are more often between parties of similar standing. Since we don’t have the authority to command the other party to “read this notice,” we use a phrase that conveys an instruction or recommendation to the reader.
The phrase “please be informed” is an imperative clause that directs the reader to the specific information in a subordinate clause in the same sentence. It is helpful in formal written communication to establish that the reader knows specific facts.
It is common in business and legal correspondence when formal notice or disclosure satisfies a regulatory requirement or is necessary before performing a subsequent action. Because of its common uses, the clause “please be informed” sometimes sounds businesslike or adversarial. When writing informally, use alternative phrases that convey a friendly and relaxed tone.