“Can you follow up with Jay later this week?”

English Lesson: Can you follow up with Jay later this week?

You're at a meeting at work. Your group has asked someone from another group, Jay, to make improvements to a computer program that your group uses. He hasn't done it yet, but you want to make sure he does it. You're telling one of your employees to ask him about it in a few days.

Can you follow up with Jay later this week?

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Can you (do something)?

This is a way to ask someone to do something. It's appropriate for:

  • a boss to use with the people who work for him or her
  • a customer to use with a store employee
  • a parent to use with his or her children
  • asking a friend to help you with something

"Can you ___" is more direct than asking "Could you..."

Sometimes a person will include "maybe" in this question:

Can you maybe call him and tell him to meet us there?

Can you maybe turn the volume down just a little?

later this (week/month/year/etc.)

You can explain when something is going to happen this way:

She's coming by later today.

I'm moving to Miami later this year.

If today is Monday, "later this week" might be Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. If today is Friday or Saturday, you probably won't use this expression.

follow up with (someone) on (something)

"Following up on" something means reviewing it again later. You "follow up" to:

  • make sure that something gets done:
    They're not very reliable. You have to follow up with them two or three times to make sure that anything gets done.
  • ask more questions about something that you didn't understand:
    Make sure to follow up with the professor after class or during office hours if there's anything you didn't understand.
  • get an answer to a question that someone didn't answer before:
    I just wanted to follow up and see if you've given any thought to my offer.

"Follow up" can be used by itself:

You should definitely follow up.

If you want to mention the topic, use "on ___":

Can you follow up on the pricing estimates?