Instructions for a colleague

Learn how to write instructions for a colleague.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text


1. You can start a note with just the name of the person you are writing to or Hi ... . You don’t need to use Dear … .

2. Make sure dates are very clear. Include the day, date and time.

3. Explain the reason for the instructions.

4. Write clear and polite instructions. Use phrases like Can / Could / Would you please … ?

5. At the end offer the chance to ask questions and check the instructions.

6. Finish the note with Best, or Thanks, and then your name underneath.

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Worksheet93.24 KB

Language level

A1 English level (elementary)

Submitted by cesarasg on Thu, 15/09/2022 - 00:09


When you have to give someone instructions, do you prefer to write them a note or speak to them? Why?
I prefer to write them. Because I want the instructions to be clear, I don't want to forget them.

Submitted by ridoan on Thu, 01/09/2022 - 15:53


I prefer call the colleague before send the message with precise instructions.

Submitted by GraceZ on Mon, 08/08/2022 - 14:56


I typically write a note for simple instruction, If the instruction is quite complicated and contains important details I prefer to speak in person to get straight to the point and follow through the task.

Submitted by Amelle-TechLea… on Fri, 22/07/2022 - 18:46


Well, when the instructions contain a lot of details and information, I prefer to write them a note. But it is better to speak to them if you do not have many instructions. The note will be a helpful reference for them to use in order to check the instuctions, organise their work and do it effectively without forgetting any details.

Instructions for a colleague

From: Amelle
To: John Smith
Subject: Things to do for the teachers meeting


We have a teachers meeting at the school library on Sunday 24 July at 9.30 a.m. We are receiving 20 teachers.

• Could you please check if the library will be available next Sunday ?
• Would please provide a data-show and a computer for the presentation ?
• Can you email our guests to tell them the time and the place of the meeting ?

Thank you for the effort you providing to help me organise this meeting and don’t hesitate to contact me for further information on my home or office numbers.



Submitted by Fzt_abidin on Tue, 07/06/2022 - 10:48


Instructions are always understood wrongly if they are given the written because of that ı would like to give the verbal instructions

Submitted by Waleed kasem on Tue, 31/05/2022 - 21:29


To whom is a concern,
We have a team meeting in the meeting room on 14 August at 10 a.m.
there are 15 members who will come to the meeting, so could you please prepare 15 pens and notes.
thank you very much for your help

Submitted by Jaci Anita on Sun, 01/05/2022 - 20:23


That dependes. Sometimes I prefer to speak in person and othertimes write them a note. But in these days is easier to write via whatsapp. Because it is easier.

Submitted by Shirinagha on Sun, 01/05/2022 - 02:04


Mostly, I speak rather than writing.

Submitted by Anwar68 on Thu, 14/04/2022 - 12:04


I have to give my team instruction in these cases
1- If we have to a new high instruction.
2- discussion some problems
3- implementation of a new work plan.
As a manager in the company has to offer my instruction to the team by email, but there are urgent somethings need to directly phone.

Submitted by Coffee Cup on Thu, 14/04/2022 - 08:05


I prefer to give instructions with an email. If it is an important instruction, I give it call.

Submitted by nadyanightingale on Mon, 04/04/2022 - 09:52


Personally, I would like to write a note, therefore my colleague can have all the information he or she needs written. It wont lead to some kind of misunderstanding.

Hi Timoty,

I'm organising the event tomorrow evening. Could you do me a favour? We're expecting 30 members of out international team to be there. Could you please prepare 30 copies of my presentation? Please would call all the team member who are going to participate?

Thank you for your help. If you have any questions, let me know. I'll be in the office tomorrow morning.


Submitted by sandro1776 on Fri, 28/01/2022 - 13:53


Hello everybody, I prefer to give instructions in an e-mail.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Fri, 19/11/2021 - 12:20


I would prefer to give instruction directly by words beacause it's easier to be understood !

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Sat, 30/10/2021 - 10:13


if possible i would like prefer to speak with them because it's easier for us to get straight to the point.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Fri, 29/10/2021 - 13:15


When I give instructions to anyone I usually speak to them and tell them if any problem then speak me. Because I don't have much time at work I always busy to doing things.

Submitted by DW on Mon, 28/06/2021 - 09:37

When I have to give someone instructions, I would rather write them a note than talk to them. It is because they can follow easily. If I just told them verbally, some of them might miss some points. You know, if you just tell them once, it is difficult to ensure that everyone gets all the points.
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Submitted by mirtha on Tue, 04/05/2021 - 18:25

It depends on the situation and the members team. Write an email to someone is an important resource, it is formal, and it is a clear evidence.

Submitted by Ehsan on Sun, 11/04/2021 - 08:55

If it is possible, I prefer to speak with them. because I can explain tasks in detail.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 22:52

I prefer to talk to them because it is easier to explain the tasks to them.

Submitted by Camila Abreu on Thu, 01/04/2021 - 14:10

Depents on the situation and the target audience. Speaking directly to someone or a group of people is more efficient than giving written instructions and vice versa.

Submitted by TIa vinaka on Sun, 14/03/2021 - 03:32

I prefer write a note or e-mail for giving instruction because it's easy for team member and it can be read and checked repeatedly whenever they need.

Submitted by becktoan on Sat, 20/02/2021 - 02:00

i prefer to write a note if i think your instruction is not easy. And when writing a note, it is more formal. But when giving instructions by speaking to them directly, it will take us a little time. Best.

Submitted by Bau on Thu, 04/02/2021 - 19:51

When you need someone to help some works, It means you knew exactly who can do that job for you. However, they sometime can ask if they think the working is not clearly.

Submitted by Leila77 on Thu, 04/02/2021 - 09:40

It depends on the type of the instructions or the situation. Usually, I prefer to write an email, I think it's more professional. But, sometimes, I speak to them when it's an urgent case.

Submitted by In on Wed, 03/02/2021 - 22:36

Depends, I prefer first to explain what I need in person. But if I`m away or I can't do that I send a text or email explaining what I need.

Submitted by khoagia on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 09:16

To me, I prefer to send an email instead of speaking to all the team members. Because the email will hold the main information, especially I can check the content and revise them to make sure the content will be written correctly before sending it to the team member. To make sure everyone is gotten the email, I can re-send that email once again. Best, Mr. Khoagia

Submitted by Leonardo de Souza on Thu, 19/11/2020 - 11:51

So, I prefer send a email rather to call, because the email hold the main informations I need to inform. Besides that I can revise it before send to make sure I wrote all main informations correctly. Generally after send a email if nobody answered me I use to call to confirm the person receive the mensage.

Submitted by Babydoll on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 15:42

My prefer method is to talk directly rather than email because when I talk directly. It’s save my time and I can plan sooner rather than waiting for the email response.

Submitted by joselo on Mon, 12/10/2020 - 18:14

In my opinion, I think that the best approach for giving instructions to someone is by sharing a note or an email with the main points of the request and then offer the other person to get back to you with questions or inquiries that he/she may have. Sometimes, a brief call to better alignment with your colleague is a good practice too, since he/she may need some clarification or examples about what it should be done. I also think it is worth considering that you should always make your request politely and explaining what is the final goal you are looking for by doing it.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 08:17

i think the both ways is good but i prefer texting messages because i have time to write all the instructions without missing some information

Submitted by Moon Wathan on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 07:56

Sometimes, I prefer to write them a note. But the best way is call and speak to them in the meeting. I think it is the best way and suitable for team members because sometimes, If they didn't check the notes or email, it can be trouble for all. I suggested to speak to them is the best way.

Submitted by Pola on Thu, 01/10/2020 - 18:22

No, I don't email. But I'd like to speak throughout a voice message by what's up, it's an easy way and quickly, I am using everyday that thing.

Submitted by OlaFlower on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 06:11

From my perspective it depends on a situation. If I give a short, everyday instructions I definitely prefer the oral ones. But if I give more complicated, composed of many points instructions I prefer the written ones. It can help not to forget about something important.

Submitted by shironeiko on Tue, 18/08/2020 - 11:01

I'd like to write an email note so it look more profession. On the other hand, the information is greater clearly.

Submitted by Maria19 on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 21:02

I think the best way to give instructions is through the two options - talk frontally with a person and also write a note. To me this is a guarantee of perfect understanding.

Submitted by walotaibi on Fri, 14/08/2020 - 02:58

I prefer to call him to tell him what is the instructions. After that, I also prefer to write it to him as a message so that he he will not forget.

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 18:45

I have to give someone instructions when I was in charge of the task that I had done before. I usually speak to them all things that they have to do and require them to note those. We discuss more the task and have the final agreement. Then, I also write an email to give them a list-to-do. I think this is a good way to give someone instructions.

Submitted by sakura on Mon, 27/07/2020 - 19:41

I usually use both speak and write an email to give my colleagues instructions.I wouldn't bother asking for a favor through email if I had someone I wanted to ask on the spot. When I ask for a favor via email, I use it when the other person isn't around. When I make a request via email, I change the text depending on the person I am asking. For example, a friend will write a polite request but in a slightly more casual way. I start off with a hello and get into the topic. However, I write more polite emails to teachers and college seniors. I'll be more attentive to those older than me and make sure there are no mistakes in my writing before I send them. I've had this experience before. In a club I was in at university, I would check emails with my peers and then again with someone a year older than me to make sure they were correct. It was the first time since I started college that I had to check my email multiple times. I didn't know what was the right way to email my seniors and teachers in high school because I had never sent emails to them before. I'm very glad I had this opportunity to learn how to write emails.I always ask for the latest attention when communicating things verbally. Words are very difficult, so I always think before I start a conversation. Depending on how I'm perceived, I might make the other person uncomfortable. This goes for emails as well. I try to remember to be polite when I ask or request something.

Submitted by Thucuoi on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 08:35

I think it's depend on the situation. In urgent and difficult cases, I prefer speaking to them to writing them a note. because it is quick and they are understand easily. if they have any questions they can ask me directly so also avoid misunderstandings.

Submitted by Ronake on Sun, 05/07/2020 - 22:29

Sometimes is better to write them a note, and to explain in detail what are you asking from them, when they need to do it and how they can help you. Its better to give them all the information that they need, and also to let them know that can contact you any time for the further information. Dear Ana, I would like to ask you a favor/ Tomorrow we are expecting 10 guests from X company at 10 a.m to discuss about the new product that we are going to launch the next month. I need to be well prepared for the presentation, and it will take me time. Can you please help me organize the meeting -Could you please book a room for a meeting, -Can you also contract a hospitality company, to provide me some food and drink for guests? -Would you mind sending an email to all our team members, to tell them when and where the meeting will take place? -Please make sure the room, will have facilities that I need to make my presentation I will appreciate your help, If you need any information from me, don't hesitate to contact me at any time.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Sun, 28/06/2020 - 16:18

I think both ways are important. You can't ignore conversation face-to-face, it's important to have eyes-contact with colleagues but giving instructions by notes or emails is also very useful

Submitted by Selin on Sat, 27/06/2020 - 19:39

For me it is depends on what kind of things . if the thing is urgent and important , I prefer to call someone to make a instruction. if not I prefer to email them and give instructions.

Submitted by Omer_moh on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 19:47

It is better to write instructions specially when the work environment is so stressful. When you write the instructions the person you asked wouldn't ask you again because it is written but if you just speak with him/her the possibility of forgotten would be more.

Submitted by Bella on Fri, 19/06/2020 - 17:30

I usually use both speak and write an email to give my colleagues instructions. By speaking, I can describe all of my ideas and make sure that my colleagues understand them. After that, I usually write the instructions via email and send it to colleagues relevant to this problem to ensure they remember and strictly follow it. I think it more effective than we just apply to speak or write.

Submitted by Dilnoza Sulaymonova on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 07:57

Good luck

Submitted by eshan.saif on Thu, 04/06/2020 - 20:24

I would like to speak to someone rather than write a note to give them any instructions. Because I want to make them a clear idea about what I actually want to get and the time schedule. Besides the opponent could have any questions to be clear themselves so it would be a very effective way of answering their every query to provide them a clear idea about instruction.

Submitted by Clarissa on Fri, 29/05/2020 - 11:13

Yasmin, We'll receive in our locals the ONG President and her husband. They will arrive next Friday 11 November at 10 a.m. Could you email all members of our team and ask them to be here at the moment the couple arrive? This is a personal demand of the President. Would you organize a collective lunch for all the team and our guests? As they'll spend the rest of the day at our locals, it would be nice to have some snacks and drinks to offer. Thanks for your help. If you have any questions about this just let me know. I'll be at my office tomorrow morning, as usual. Best, Clarissa

Submitted by Sino on Sat, 02/05/2020 - 05:11

I prefer speak to them becouse it's easy