You might use “what are the next steps?” to ask someone what their plans are. However, is it the most acceptable phrase?
To help answer that, this article will explore some alternatives you can include in an email.
Other Ways to Ask “What Are the Next Steps?”
- How do we proceed?
- What’s the plan?
- What comes next?
- What should we do next?
- Do you have any ideas?
- Please advise on the next steps
- Please let me know the next steps
- Have you thought about the next steps?
- We should discuss the next steps
- What do we do now?
- What is our next move?
- Have you decided what to do?
- “What are the next steps?” is grammatically correct and very effective.
- “How do we proceed?” is a great formal alternative, asking for information on the process.
- “What’s the plan?” is more informal, making it better suited to ask your friends.
Stay with us as we’re about to show you a few good examples of the most useful formal and informal forms.
You can refer to the final section to see whether the plural or singular form works for the question. We’ve summed it up to help you if you’re looking for a quick explanation!
How Do We Proceed? (Formal)
“How do we proceed?” is an excellent formal synonym for “what are the next steps?” It shows that you want to learn what comes next without using the phrase “next steps.”
The phrase is formal and respectful. It’s also a good question to show eagerness to learn the following process. It lets someone know you’re thinking ahead, which is good to show at the end of an interview.
“What are the next steps?” and “how do we proceed?” are on par with each other in terms of what’s best for formal writing. Using “next steps” is a bit more specific, so people prefer using it when asking about the procedure that follows.
How about checking out these examples to see how this formal alternative works:
So, how do we proceed? I know you said you would contact me, and I’m interested in learning more about what comes next.
I have thought about this long and hard. How do we proceed? Do you have any ideas that might help me here?
What’s the Plan? (Informal)
“What’s the plan?” is the best informal synonym for how to ask for the next steps. It shows that you want someone to come up with a “plan” that should tell you what to expect next.
Since “what’s the plan?” is a more informal alternative, we don’t recommend using it after the interview process or a meeting. Instead, you should use it when trying to discuss plans and stages with your friends or coworkers.
We still encourage using “what are the next steps?” in formal writing. You do not need to worry about how to ask for the next steps professionally when using the already suitable “what are the next steps?”
Here are some examples that will demonstrate how to use this informal question:
So, what’s the plan? I thought you had a better idea than I did.
I’m still not sure about this. What’s the plan? Because we need to be on the same page here.
Is It Correct to Ask “What Are the Next Steps?”
“What are the next steps?” is a correct question when finding out what to do next. It works well formally and shows you’re interested in learning what to do next from someone.
While the other alternatives are useful after a meeting or interview, you’re still better off with “what are the next steps?” It’s one of the simplest ways to ask someone what you can expect to happen next.
Generally, you would ask “what are the next steps?” where “steps” is plural. You do not want to use “what are the next step.”
- Correct: So, what are the next steps?
- Incorrect: What are the next step?
However, the singular form, “step,” works when you replace “are” with “is.” For example:
- So, what is the next step?
It’s up to you to determine whether the singular or plural form works better for you based on the context.
The plural form, “next steps,” implies that multiple things have to happen before progressing.
While the singular form, “next step,” implies only wanting to know the next most important thing.
The difference between the two forms is simple enough. However, feel free to bookmark the page to come back to it when you need a quick refresher. That way, you’ll also always have our list of synonyms at hand!