Have you ever received an email within a multinational company where someone to you to “Revert to us”? What did they mean, and is this phrase grammatically correct?
“Revert to us” is a phrase you may hear in a business setting, but you should avoid using “revert to us” to mean “reply” in the U.S. since it uses the term “revert” incorrectly. “Revert” means to return to something, so it can mean going back to a previous position, condition, practice, or topic. It also can indicate when property returns to a group of heirs.
“Revert to us” can be correct in British English as, colloquially, the phrase means to reply. And while some use the phrase in a business setting, especially in emails, it is not technically correct in American English.
We will break down these terms and discuss “revert” and “revert to us” below, so keep reading.
What Does “Revert to Us” Mean?
“Revert” is an intransitive verb that means coming back or going back to a previous condition, state, or subject (source). If you say “revert to us,” the literal meaning is that you are asking someone to return to you, or you are asking that someone return something to you.
- He needs to revert to us because the other team won’t accept him.
- They reverted the order to us.
- The company took too long to deliver, so the money reverted to us.
“Revert” can also refer to the return of property or items from an estate to an owner or his or her heirs. And it can also apply to religious situations when someone moved away from a particular religion but then returned, sometimes with the notion of “regression” (source).
- When his sister died, her inheritance reverted to him.
- I refused the property, so it reverted to the previous owner.
- After they broke up, their relationship reverted to landlord and tenant.
- We hope that you will revert to us after you’ve explored other beliefs.
British English “Revert to Us”
In Indian English, which is heavily influenced by British English, “revert to us” means “get back to us” or “reply to us” in a colloquial sense (source).
- I’m waiting on your email, so please revert to us as soon as possible.
- Revert to us on the policy concern.
- I need you to revert to us urgently.
“Us” is a plural pronoun that includes you and at least one other person. Within a business setting, “us” often shows the company or organization for which you work. It can also work in a group setting.
Therefore, when you use the Indian English phrase “revert to us,” it should refer to either yourself and a partner, colleague, team, or the company itself. It’s best not to use “us” if you only refer to yourself.
Using the entire phrase “revert to us” in this context in an American setting may be confusing, so remember to avoid it entirely. Instead, you can say “reply to us” or “return to us,” depending on the context of your message or communication.
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Revert to Us”
“Revert to us” is not incorrect, grammatically, as a phrase to mean “return” or “go back.” At times, it is best to use “revert” on its own in a sentence rather than “revert to us.” However, remember that it is incorrect in American English to say “revert to us” if you are asking for a reply.
You can use the term “revert” on its own to indicate that you want to change something back to its previous condition, such as in “Please revert the program back to its original state to fix the issue.”
If you want to use “revert to us” in a sentence correctly, you can do so despite other phrases being more familiar. We’ll discuss how you can use the full phrase in a sentence next.
How Do You Use “Revert to Us”?
Remember that the word “revert” shows a return to a previous position. You would use it to show that something that has changed is now back to its original form, space, or position.
When you say “revert to us,” you are asking that someone or something return to you since you are adding the pronoun “us.”
Using “Revert to Us” in a Full Sentence: American English
“Revert” is a verb, so it should appear with a subject and a predicate within a sentence. As an intransitive verb, it does not require an object. When asking someone to revert something, you can add “please” to soften the tone.
- Once we won the war, the island reverted to us.
- Please revert to us after you have finished reading the new-hire manual.
- I don’t like this program setting; please revert it to the previous one.
- Revert to us if you change your mind about your decision.
“Revert” is an interesting word in English as it’s quite prone to misuse, especially if you work in a multinational company. The easiest way to know if you are using it correctly in American English is to use the synonym “return” instead. If “return” fits the context of your sentence, you are using “revert” correctly.
- Britain uses the pound, so they did not have to revert their currency after Brexit.
- This item reverted to us since they no longer needed it.
- We often revert to bad habits when under stress.
If you’re looking for other workplace phrases, read “Is It Proper Grammar to Say, “Looking Forward to Talking to You”?” to discover what kind of grammar is acceptable in both verbal and written communication.
Using “Revert to Us” in a Full Sentence: British English
In British or Indian English, the word “revert” on its own has a significantly different meaning from “revert to us.” When using “revert to us,” you ask someone to respond to you as a part of a team or organization.
You would use this term in the following scenarios: when you require a response or feedback when speaking or writing in a formal setting and when you should address your answer to multiple people or a team of people.
But again, just remember that this is not a common way to use this phrase in American English. It has become part of some business jargon, and there are some who will use it at the end of an email to mean “reply to us.”
Still, while others who are not familiar with British English will likely understand the meaning, it is better to say “reply” instead.
If you are communicating in an international setting and choose to use “revert to us” as a standalone imperative sentence, you should precede it with some kind of subject, whether it’s a person or a pronoun. The word “please” can precede it to make the request more formal.
After the phrase, you should mention the object that needs reversion. A preposition like “about” or “with” usually accompanies it.
- Please revert to us with your decision.
- I need you to revert to us about the policy change.
- We request that you revert to us on this.
When Can You Use “Revert to Us”?
You can use “revert to us” in a sentence to show that something is returning to its original condition or when you are asking a person to return to you. You generally should not use “revert to us” as a standalone phrase in American English, even though it is acceptable in British English.
As we’ve mentioned previously, when using “revert to us” in British English, the expectation is that the phrase requires a response on behalf of a team or organization. This phrase would most often come out in a business email or meeting.
It has a similar meaning to “reply” but should only appear in the correct context and, again, not in settings where the expectation is that you are using American English.
In American English, remember that you can use “revert to us” when you want someone to go back to their former position or condition or when you are referring to a person’s estate and the return or property to the proprietor or original owner.
- We asked that the jewelry from the estate be reverted to us.
- The candidate reverted to us when he chose to change his political affiliation.
In What Context Can You Use “Revert to Us”?
Generally, you should avoid the usage of “revert to us” in American English except when referring to the reversion of property, as this is the most common use for the phrase. Still, you can use it in other contexts as well, as long as you are using it similarly as you would the word “return.”
The most common context in which you’ll find the phrase “revert to us” is within the context of an estate, an ancestral type, or even a return to a previously held belief or religion.
Remember that when using “revert to us,” you can only do so in a British or Indian setting where “revert” can mean “reply.” Regardless, try to avoid it in this context, as not everyone will be likely to understand your meaning.
When Not to Use “Revert to Us”
You should not use “revert to us” when writing for an American audience or within the American context as a synonym for “reply.” The phrase is not grammatically accurate given “revert” means to “return,” and this may confuse your listeners or readers.
While some people use “revert” as a synonym for “reply,” they do not have the same meaning.
If you would like someone to reply to you, you can use words like “reply,” “respond,” or “answer.” You should also not use “revert” in an informal setting as it is a relatively formal term.
What Can You Use Instead of “Revert to Us”
Depending on the scenario, you can use several synonyms for “revert.” If you are asking for someone to move things, then you can use “return,” “go back,” or “come back.” You cannot use these interchangeably, and they are dependent on context.
Again, avoid using “revert” as a synonym for “reply.” Instead, you can use any of the sentences below.
- I would really like it if you could return my call.
- I need you to come back with an answer.
- I’m going to go back with my response.
If you are using it to mean “reply,” then you can use the following examples:
- Please reply to us at your earliest convenience.
- Please respond to us whenever you can.
- Please send us your answer to the question as soon as possible.
When using synonyms, it is essential to try and avoid redundancy.
Redundancy in English
Redundancy refers to a process in a language where someone says something more than once. An example of redundancy would be “clever genius.” Both “clever” and “genius” have a similar meaning, i.e., smart, so using both in a phrase is redundant.
Similarly, “revert to us” can also suffer from redundancies. For example, saying “revert back” is redundant. We already know that “revert” means to come back, so using “back” is unnecessary repetition.
Redundancies can become a regular part of speech and writing within a corporate culture. To find out more about the phrase “With That Being Said: Meaning and Use of This Common Phrase,” read this helpful article.
It’s often important to get to your point quickly. We have to reduce repeating the same ideas and aim for concise writing to do this.
For instance, double negatives create redundancies as we use more words to state two negative ideas (source). Not only would we consider them bad grammar, but they are also more confusing.
Instead of saying, “There’s no way I’m not going to the Christmas party,” you can say, “There’s no way I’m missing the Christmas party.” This states the same idea but without confusion and in fewer words.
You also need to avoid unnecessary filler words and phrases.
Some common filler words include “basically,” “very,” “just,” “so,” and “seriously.” While these words have a meaning, we often use them to pad our word counts, and many students have filler words in academic essays.
- Can you just come over?
- Basically, I’m done with the relationship.
- Seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about!
Filler words can often emphasize the clause they’re attached to, and we’re barely conscious of them in speech, but they become more apparent in written text.
Filler phrases are worse, and often, we don’t even realize that we are using them, especially in written texts. “Matter of fact,” “needless to say,” and “in my humble opinion” are all examples.
Instead of saying, “In my humble opinion, Nickelback is an amazing band,” you can say, “Nickleback is an amazing band.” It’s unlikely that you would be feeling humble about your opinion, and false modesty does not work in this situation.
Idioms and Phrases
An idiom is a phrase in a language with a figurative meaning attached to it and its literal meaning (source). Idiomatic expressions are so common that we don’t often realize that we are using them.
Here are some examples:
Charlie: You got away by the skin of your teeth. I told you it was dangerous!
Janet: You need to get over it. I’m fine, aren’t I? Alive and kicking.
Charlie: I haven’t slept one wink; I was that worried about you.
“By the skin of your teeth” means to get away with something barely. “Get over it” means to move past a situation. “Alive and kicking” indicates that the person is healthy and active. Finally, “haven’t slept a wink” is hyperbole to say the subject didn’t get much sleep.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
One can argue that “revert to us” is also an idiom. Initially, the phrase meant a return of something, but idiomatically, it means to reply to someone. But again, this only applies to British or Indian English.
“Revert” is a common word that is easily understandable. You would most often use it in business settings or similar as a formal term, and we’re more likely to find it in written communication.
“Revert to us” is more ambiguous. Strictly speaking, it is not a grammatically accurate phrase on its own in American English. However, if you live in certain parts of the world, you may find it more acceptable to use.
In American English, it means that something returns to a group of people, while it means “reply to us” in British English.