I've got one coworker from my company (working in another location than mine) who sent me an email as if I had already asked him something, but I didn't send any mail to him. I don't know him at all.

How can I tell him in a polite way that I don't understand what he is talking about?

  • 1
    Is there something about the relationship between your two offices or this person in particular that makes you so concerned about not being seen as polite? Do you get a lot of feedback that your email comes across as impolite? This person could have very easily selected your name from an email list by accident.
    – user8365
    May 29 '15 at 13:24

By far the preferred option is:

  • Reply to his email, with the comment that he has perhaps sent it to you instead of his intended recipient, as that is almost certainly what has happened.
  • 2
    If you want to be professional, always reply.
    – moffeltje
    May 28 '15 at 9:09
  • 1
    I will answer to him, i think in fact he sent it to the wrong people.
    – Med
    May 28 '15 at 9:29
  • 1
    moffeltje - there are more types of people/teams/organisations out there than I ever imagined. If you have not encountered that type of culture, then be glad :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    May 28 '15 at 9:33
  • 1
    @RoryAlsop - surely, in these "strict security environments", the professional approach would be reply only to the sender informing that you have received an email you think you shouldn't have, with assurances of deletion, and then delete. Otherwise, you've just allowed a potential ongoing security breach.
    – HorusKol
    May 28 '15 at 23:40
  • 1
    @RoryAlsop I was actualy looking for an expansion on that option. I've never worked in an environment like that so I'm quite curious.
    – Myles
    May 29 '15 at 13:24

How can I tell him in a polite way that I don't understand what he is talking about?

Just respond in a polite way.

"Sorry, Mr. Coworker.

When reading through this email, it seems that you feel as if I asked you X. I think there may be some confusion, as I don't recall doing that."


This happens quite often. Maybe there is another person with a similar name and they misentered. I would say - "hi there. Was this note intended for me?"

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