Usage of revert (I will revert back to you later)

Is it grammatically correct to say," I will revert back to you later"?Can we use th word ‘revert’ as in the sentence above?

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I have never encountered such a use. I will get back to you later.

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hi JPS

Tonally your sentence may work in reference to an issue, although how Barb mentions it is quite common.

“I will revert back to the point of a minimum wage”. Maybe in a lecture.

“The Irish reverted back to a parliamentary system, but as shared governance”.

I am not aware of the usage for people though.

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Ooooh! I just thought of one: The Incredible Hulk says to David Banner, in the mirror: I will revert back to you when I am calm again.

But I still can’t imagine using “revert back to you” in any plausible manner.

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I think JPS was asking if the word “revert” could be used to mean “reply”. Using “revert to someone” or “revert back to someone” to mean “to reply or get back to someone” is quite common in Malaysia, even though “revert” does NOT mean “reply” ( see dictionary.reference.com/browse/revert ).

What do you think? :slight_smile:

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I have seen the word “revert” being used in India and Ireland by many people instead of the word “reply” - I saw that used first by couple of Indians and then by an Irish person. However that is a wrong usage. Probably some stupid thought that it is more professional to use the word revert instead of reply. And the rest started using the same thing.

As hploh pointed out in link ( dictionary.reference.com/browse/revert ) meaning of revert is to return to a former habit, practice, belief, condition, etc. Mostly this is used in the software world to represent the rollback to a previous version (E.g. 3).
E.g.:

  1. A witch turned a princess to a frog. But, when the prince kissed the frog, it reverted to the princess form.
  2. When the sun rises, the werewolf reverts to its human form.
  3. Due to significant problems in the version 3.2, Microsoft reverted the popular Microsoft Excel software to version 3.1.

“Revert to me with the details” literally means I am asking you carry that details and become me (probably by drinking a magic potion or by the kiss of a prince LOL). That definitely sounds stupid.

References:
wsu.edu/~brians/errors/revert.html
goodenglish.org.sg/site/tips … evert.html

Hari Gangadharan

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Is it grammatically correct to say," I will revert back to you later"? Can we use the word ‘revert’ as in the sentence above?

Sorry - again I thought I will answer the original question. Since revert means return back, go back etc., “revert back” may not be grammatically correct. “I will revert to you later” is grammatically correct. But the meaning is not what you think. The meaning is “Sometime later I will become you or change back to you (also implies that sometime back I was you)”.

Hari Gangadharan

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Hi Hari,

I would suggest that ‘revert’ or ‘revert back’ is an intransitive verb and indicates returning to the original status. Some children’s toys can be screwed up into various shapes and then when left alone will return to their original shape -revert back to their original shape.

Alan

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Hi Alan,

“Revert back” and “refer back” are redundant usage just like the “repeat again”. In the above sentence “when the toy is left alone, it will revert to its original shape” is the correct usage.

Reference:
bartleby.com/68/50/5150.html

Hari Gangadharan

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I wonder whether Ralf has heard this usage of ‘revert’.
.

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Amy:

I think this is a recent thing. 12 years back I was in India and I have never heard anybody use revert in that context. Now it seems that the usage is pretty common. When I pointed the wrong usage of revert to my sister-in-law who worked in a currency exchange in India, she told me that it was surprising to know that the usage is wrong. She told me that in the communication between branches and head office the usage “revert to me soon” and “revert to me with details” is common last sentence in all mails. The following is last sentence of a mail I received few days back from somebody in Dublin, Ireland (references to people are changed to ****): “Please let us know when it has been changed? ***** & I will ask ***** to test, and we will revert with the results.” and here is another one from the same person: “We would like to revert to *****, who will be assisting with the checks afterwards.”

I sincerely hope that they will not update the dictionaries to include “reply” as a meaning of revert.

Hari

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Hi

Instead of wanting “revert” to mean “reply” are the users trying to use it to mean “return”?

Then is this grammatically correct?

Karmalain

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I don’t think so. Still it is not correct. Reverting a document is not returning the document with corrections. Revert means go back in shape or form.

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As long as u use “revert” in India for “reply”, its 100% correct!!
(when in Rome, do as the Romans do!) :wink:

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When speaking English…

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@Bl.balaji: I don’t agree on this one. There are so many people in India that use bad grammar but that is not an excuse for bad grammar. Similarly it is not a great idea to promote English usage that is incorrect. In this forum, there were many people who got confused by this question. If someone forwards your email outside the country then it may look silly. People who are good in English does not use the word “revert” instead of “reply”. Why do you have to use “revert” incorrectly? Does the usage of “revert” make you feel pompous?

Hari Gangadharan

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I don’t know about India but here in Malaysia, what they really mean is “get back”. I just received this in the mail: "For any urgent matter or enquiries, please feel free to contact our Corporate Phone Banking, 1300-00-7000. Or you may contact me at 012-123456.

Otherwise, I will revert to you once I am back." What the sender really meant was that she would get back to me.

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It’s obvious what the sender means, but it is not correct usage of the word ‘revert’, which does not simply mean ‘return/get back’ but indications a return to a previous state.

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Exactly! What i don’t understand is why they don’t want to use the simple " I will get back to you on this matter ASAP.

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Yes, here in China & Hong Kong many people also use like this way. Long ago I asked my interpretation teacher and she said it’s a wrong usage. I would guess it also comes from some people mistake the dictionary – in Simplified Chinese characters the meanings of “revert” and “reply” look alike – and thought they are in similar meanings.

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