Guide: How to Say “We Need More Time”

Gaining some extra time is often essential in many areas of life, whether it’s meeting a deadline at work, completing a task, or even responding to a request. Expressing the need for more time can be done formally or informally, depending on the situation. This guide will provide you with various ways to say “we need more time,” including both formal and informal expressions. Let’s explore some of the methods you can employ to convey this message politely and effectively.

Formal Expressions:

When it comes to formal situations, such as business or academic settings, it’s crucial to maintain a professional tone while expressing the need for additional time. Here are some viable phrases you can utilize:

1. Requesting a Deadline Extension:

If you’re working on a project or task, and you require more time, consider using formal expressions like:

“We kindly request an extension on the deadline due to unforeseen circumstances.”

By using phrases like “we kindly request,” you convey a sense of professionalism and politeness. Remember to mention the reason for needing the extension, such as “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

2. Seeking Additional Time for Preparation:

In certain scenarios, you might need more time to prepare adequately. Here’s a formal way to express this:

“We would greatly appreciate extra time to thoroughly complete our preparations.”

This expression emphasizes the importance of completing preparations thoroughly and demonstrates your commitment to the task.

Informal Expressions:

Informal situations allow for a more relaxed and casual tone. However, it’s still essential to maintain politeness and provide clear reasoning. Here are some informal ways to express the need for more time:

1. Requesting Extension in a Casual Manner:

When speaking with colleagues or acquaintances, you might prefer a more casual approach. Try this expression:

“Hey, do you think we could get an extension on the deadline? We just need a little more time to polish everything.”

This informal request acknowledges the need for some additional time and assures that the extra time will be used to enhance the quality of the work.

2. Asking for Time to Complete Personal Commitments:

In informal situations, you may require more time due to personal commitments. Here’s a way to express this:

“I’m swamped with personal matters this week, so any chance we could push the deadline a few days?”

By being open about your personal commitments and politely requesting a deadline extension, you can demonstrate your honesty and ensure a better outcome for all parties involved.

Additional Tips:

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when expressing the need for more time:

1. Be Honest and Clear:

It’s essential to be transparent about your reasons for requiring extra time. Whether it’s an unexpected obstacle or personal commitments, clearly communicate the circumstances to avoid misunderstandings.

2. Offer a Plan:

Suggesting a revised timeline or proposing solutions to accommodate the need for more time can demonstrate your commitment to delivering quality work.

3. Express Gratitude:

Always express appreciation for any granted extension or understanding from others. Show gratitude for their flexibility and willingness to accommodate your request.


Let’s take a look at some examples that combine both formal and informal ways of expressing the need for more time:

  • Formal Example: Dear [Supervisor/Professor/Client’s Name], We kindly request an extension on the deadline due to some unexpected technical difficulties we encountered during the project. We believe this additional time will enable us to deliver a more comprehensive and high-quality outcome. Thank you for your understanding and support.
  • Informal Example: Hey [Colleague’s Name], do you think we could get a couple of extra days to finalize everything? We stumbled upon a few minor issues that we want to address before submitting. Your flexibility would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Remember, the specific expressions may vary depending on the situation, people involved, and cultural norms. Adapt the provided examples to suit your specific needs while maintaining a polite and respectful tone.


Effectively expressing the need for more time can make a significant difference in both personal and professional settings. By utilizing the formal and informal expressions mentioned in this guide, you can convey your message clearly, respectfully, and increase the chances of receiving the desired extension. Remember to stay honest, offer solutions, and show your appreciation for any granted flexibility. Good luck!

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