Upon Request: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
December 28, 2023

The phrase “upon request” means that something will be provided or done when someone asks for it, usually in a formal way. It is often used in professional contexts. For example, in a job advertisement, an employer might state that additional details about the role are available upon request. This implies that further information will be provided to those who show interest and ask for it.

In short:

  • "Upon request" indicates that something is not automatically provided but is available if asked for.

What Does "Upon Request" Mean?

The phrase "upon request" means that something is not automatically provided but can be made available if someone asks. It is often seen in contexts where providing information or services to everyone by default is not practical or necessary.

To understand it fully, let's break down the different ways this idiom can be used:

  • It suggests that something is kept private or out of sight but is accessible when someone shows interest.
  • It often indicates that personalized or additional services are available but only when specifically requested.
  • Sometimes, it may also imply that asking for the item or information might require a formal process or permission.

Where Does "Upon Request" Come From?

The term "request" itself originates from the Old French word "requeste," which evolved from the Vulgar Latin "*requaesita." This Latin term is a combination of the prefix "re-" indicating repetition or intensity, and "quaesita," the past participle of "quaerere," meaning "to seek" or "to ask." Meanwhile, the preposition "upon" has been used since the Middle Ages, often interchangeable with "on." Therefore, the phrase “upon request” can be understood as “upon asking” or “when asked.”

10 Examples of "Upon Request" in Sentences

To get a better grasp of how "upon request" is used in everyday language, here are ten examples that illustrate its versatility:

  • The full report is available upon request from the front desk.
  • Special meal options can be provided upon request for passengers with dietary restrictions, which is much appreciated.
  • Additional resources will be sent upon request to those who attended the seminar.
  • Our team offers customized software solutions upon request.
  • Translation services are offered upon request during the international conference.
  • The artist's earlier works will be displayed upon request at the gallery after they learn how in demand his work was.
  • Guests can have their rooms decorated for special occasions upon request.
  • The library keeps certain rare books in a separate area, but they are available upon request; it's as easy as 123 to ask for them.
  • You can receive a detailed breakdown of your bill upon request.
  • Keep in mind that feedback forms will be provided upon request after the completion of the course.

Examples of "Upon Request" in Pop Culture

The phrase "upon request" is quite common in pop culture.

Here are a few examples:

  • The famous American scientist Neill deGrasse Tyson once said: "I would request that my body in death be buried not cremated, so that the energy content contained within it gets returned to the earth, so that flora and fauna can dine upon it, just as I have dined upon flora and fauna during my lifetime." Burials are available "upon request" before one passes.
  • Influential city pop singer Mariya Takeuchi has an album titled "Request."
  • The horror movie "Friend Request" plays on the Facebook feature where someone can become your online friend "upon request."

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Upon Request"

There are several ways to express the idea conveyed by "upon request" without using the exact phrase.

Here are some alternatives that carry a similar meaning:

  • If asked for
  • When asked
  • As requested
  • On demand
  • At your request
  • Should you wish
  • As per your request
  • In response to a request
  • By request
  • Following a request

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Upon Request":

  • What does "upon request" mean?

This phrase means that something is available and can be provided if someone asks for it.

  • Where did the idiom "upon request" originate?

The exact origin is unclear, but it has been a part of English language for a long time, often used in formal and service contexts.

  • Can "upon request" be used in formal documents?

Yes, it is commonly used in formal documents to indicate that further information or documents can be provided if requested.

  • Is there a difference between "upon request" and "on request"?

Not really, both phrases are used interchangeably and mean that something is available if someone asks for it.

  • How do you use "upon request" in a sentence?

You can use it to indicate that something can be made available, for example: "The restaurant's nutritional information is available upon request."

  • Is "upon request" still commonly used today?

Yes, it is still in common use, especially in customer service, legal, and business communications.

  • Can "upon request" be used in digital communication?

Absolutely, it's often used in emails and online forms where specific information or files can be sent if requested.

  • Are there any legal implications of using "upon request"?

In legal contexts, it may imply a commitment to provide something when asked, so it should be used with the understanding that you are obliged to fulfill the request.

  • Can "upon request" be used in academic settings?

Yes, it's often used in academic settings, for example, when certain research materials are available to students or scholars upon request.

  • Does "upon request" imply any additional cost?

Not necessarily, but it depends on the context. Sometimes services or information provided upon request may come with an additional cost.

Final Thoughts About "Upon Request"

The phrase "upon request" is a polite and concise way to offer additional services, information, or items without making them openly available to everyone.

Here's a quick recap of what we've covered:

  • The idiom means that something is available if someone asks for it.
  • It's commonly used in formal settings like legal documents, customer service, and hospitality.
  • The phrase has many synonyms, such as "on demand" or "as requested," which can be used in various contexts.
  • The phrase has a long history and remains relevant in traditional and digital communication.

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