“Please alert the development team if you receive any error messages.”

English Lesson: Please alert the development team if you receive any error messages.

Your company is using a new software program for managing information about customers. There might be some problems with it, and you want to find the problems so that they can be fixed. You write this in an email to all of the employees who are going to use the program.

Please alert the development team if you receive any error messages.

receive (something)

To "receive" something basically means to get it from someone. 

The word "receive" is pretty formal. It's used in official documents or in business communication. In normal conversation, "get" is more common:

We got over a hundred submissions.

"Receive" is often used in a pair with the word "give" - there's a famous saying "It's better to give than to receive."

Please alert (someone) of (a problem)

If you want people to tell you about something, you can use this expression in formal English:

Please alert Management of any issues with the equipment.

"Please alert (someone)" means "Please tell (someone)." You "alert" people like:

  • the police
  • tech support staff
  • building owners

of things like:

  • crimes
  • suspicious activity in your neighborhood
  • problems with machines

"Alert" is more formal than "tell" and it sounds more serious and urgent.

the development team

Groups in a company who create new products are often called the "development team". A "development team" might make things like software programs or new packaged food products.

error messages

When a computer program has a problem, it might show you an "error message". This is a little window or section of text that describes a problem that the program has had.

Some other kinds of computer messages are:

  • confirmation messages
  • alert messages
  • warning messages


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