“Please get back to me by the end of the day.”
You are writing an email to a coworker to ask him a question about something important. You need to know the answer soon. At the end of your message, you write this.
Please get back to me by the end of the day.
Writing "Please ___" is a formal way to ask a question. You can use "Please ___":
- for very important requests
- when you are angry at someone and don't want to be too friendly with them
- when you're writing to someone who you don't know
- when you're writing or making an announcement to a group of people
For a friendlier, but still very polite, way to make a request, you can write:
If you could get back to me by the end of the day, that would be appreciated.
To "get back to" someone means to respond to their question later. For example, if you ask me a question and I don't know the answer, I can say:
I don't know off the top of my head, but I'll get back to you this afternoon.
You use the word "by" to indicate a deadline.
You would use "by" in this way:
We're presenting this on Monday morning, so remember to get Henry's approval by Friday afternoon.
"Before" is similar in meaning to "by", but "before" doesn't carry the same meaning of "deadline". Instead, it's used when you need to do things in a certain order:
Remember to get Henry's approval before you present it to the client.
This is something you would say if a coworker is going to make a proposal to a client, but she is supposed to ask Henry, who's the Director, for permission first.
When you say "the end of the day" in a work situation, it means 5:00, 6:00, or whatever time most people leave work.