- Thank you
- Apology (I'm sorry)
- Quitting(Job, Fitness Centre)
- Application/registration - a job
- Asking for Information
The Tone of a Letter
The tone of the letter is set by:
- The way you begin the letter
- The way you end the letter
- The type of vocabulary used
Use when writing to someone you don’t know or someone you don’t know very well. This could be to a store to complain about a product that you bought - to a company to apply for a job - to a fitness club to tell them that you want to stop your membership and so on.
Used when writing to someone that you know well and are on first name terms with. This could be to invite them to a house warming party - to ask them for information about a university that they attended - to thank them for a lovely weekend spent together and so on.
Beginning/Ending a Letter
If you do not use the name of the person you are writing to you can use:
- Dear Sir / Yours faithfully,
- Dear Madam / Yours faithfully,
- Dear Sir or Madam / Yours faithfully,
If you know the name of the person you are writing to
- Dear Mr. Smith / Yours sincerely,
- Dear Mrs Smith / Yours sincerely,
- Dear Ms Smith / Yours sincerely,
- Best regards,
- Best wishes,
If you know the person well and write to them using their first name you can use:
Dear John / See you soon,
- Dear Mary / Take care,
- Dear Susan / Love,
- Dear Anne / Best wishes (this is becoming more formal)
It is a good idea to start your letter with an opening statement that explains why you are writing. One simple but effective way of doing this is to write:
- I am writing to you in connection with my membership at your health club.
- I am writing to you regarding your complaint about the noise coming from my house last weekend.
- Further to my letter of the 15th August, I am writing to you again to complain about my apartment.
- I hope you and your family are well.
- I finally found time to write you.
- I hope all is well and you are enjoying life.
Vocabulary of Formal Letters
Never use contractions like - I’m, they’ve and so on.
- I rarely go there now
- I really appreciate your help
- Come to my house on Friday
- I really had a lovely time last Saturday
- Last week I saw my ex-boyfriend
Vocabulary of Informal Letters
Contractions can and should be used as this shows the examiner that you know they can be used in informal letters.
- I only go there once in a blue moon
- Thanks for your help
- Call in sometime for a chat
- It was great to see you
- Last week I ran into my ex
If you see the word ‘manager’, ‘boss’, ‘bank’, and so on then the letter is going to be formal.
If you see the word ‘friend’, ’classmate’, ’flat mate’ and so on then the letter is going to be informal.