'Please Find Attached File' or 'Please Find the Attached File': Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 10, 2022

Wondering whether to write ‘please find attached file’ or ‘please find the attached file’? We’ll clear that up in this article and teach you how to use the phrase appropriately in a sentence.

The short answer is:

  • That ‘please find the attached file’ is correct. It’s not grammatical to say, ‘please find attached file.’

Which is Correct – ‘Please Find Attached File’ or ‘Please Find the Attached File’?

As you learned above, the correct way to say the phrase is ‘please find the attached file.’ It’s ungrammatical to say, ‘please find attached file.’

Just like phrases like ‘play by ear,’ ‘sorry to bother you,’ and ‘drive safely,’ this phrase often has incorrect variations being spread around.

Definition and Meaning

The definition of ‘attached,’ according to Merriam-Webster, is:

  • connected or joined to something
  • emotionally connected: having strong feelings of affection or concern
  • permanently fixed when adult

The definition of ‘file’ is:

  • a tool usually made of hardened steel with cutting ridges for forming or smoothing surfaces, especially metal
  • to rub, smooth, or cut away as if with a file
  • to arrange in order for preservation and reference
  • to place among official records as prescribed by law
  • to send (copy) to a newspaper
  • to return to the office of the clerk of a court without action on the merits
  • to initiate (something, such as a legal action) through the proper formal procedure

It also means:

  • to register as a candidate, especially in a primary election
  • to place items in a file
  • to submit documents necessary to initiate a legal proceeding
  • a device (such as a folder, case, or cabinet) by means of which papers are kept in order
  • a collection of papers or publications usually arranged or classified
  • any of the rows of squares that extend across a chessboard from one player’s side to the other player’s side
  • to march or proceed in a single file

But files can also be electronic.

So, what does the whole phrase mean?

Typically, it’s used in a corporate setting, meaning someone has attached a file to an email for your review.

Less Annoying Synonyms and Alternatives

This phrase has been so overused in the corporate world that it’s become pretty stale throughout the years.

That means we need to come up with new ways of expressing the same sentiment.

Take a look at a few different ways you could say, ‘please find the attached file.’

  • Please find enclosed [document name]
  • I’ve attached [document name]
  • I’m sharing [document name] with you
  • You’ll find the attachment below
  • Please see the attached [document name] for more details
  • Attached is [document name]

Using the Phrase Correctly in a Sentence

Now that you know the definition and some synonyms let’s take a look at how to use the original phrase in a sentence.

Here’s how you’d use ‘please find the attached file’ in a sentence:

  • Please find the attached file, and please advise on the next steps.
  • Please find the attached file you requested earlier.

Final Thoughts on ‘Please Find the Attached File’ and ‘Please Find Attached File’

To recap, the correct way to say the phrase is ‘please find the attached file.’ Without the ‘the’ in the phrase, it’s ungrammatical.

If you need alternative ways to say it, scroll back to the ‘Less Annoying Synonyms’ section.

That’s understandable if you’d rather use a different phrase because some English phrases, like ‘good to hear’ and ‘at the office,’ can be pretty tricky to remember how to use, especially if you’re learning English for the first time.

But don’t worry; we’ve created an entire library of articles dedicated to explaining complex rules of the English language and going over confusing words.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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