LETTER (formal and informal)This is a featured page


  • Begin your letter with:LETTER (formal and informal) - writing FCE right

    Dear Sir/Madam (if you do not know the name of your addressee) or
    Dear Mrs Penney
    (if the name is given in the task)

  • Explain who you are and why you are writing this letter
  • State clearly and politely what actions you want to be taken.
  • Do not use contractions.
  • Use formal language.
  • In this type of letter you may need to use INDIRECT QUESTIONS preceded by phrases like: I do not know; Could you tell me; I want to ask, the word order remains like in the statement, not question.


    Could you tell me where my book is.
    I want to ask when it starts.

Useful expressions:
  1. Complaining:

    I am writing to complain about...
    I am sorry to inform you that...
    I was very disappointed with...
    I have some complaints about...

  2. Requesting:

    I am writing for information about...
    I would like to learn/ know more about...
    I would like to ask whether/ if...
    I would be grateful if you could...

  3. Asking for particular actions:

    I would like to ask you for...
    I would suggest that you/ your company...
    I think that I can ask for some compensation.
    In the light of the above, I would like to ask you for...
  • you write to a friend of yours.
  • Friends usually have names ;-) so address him/her with a name: begin the letter with Dear Joey/ Tim /Rebecca, etc.
  • Begin your letter with some general statements. Refer to the letter you have received from your friend and thank him/her for it or apologise for the fact that you have not answered the last letter soon enough.
  • Use the proper register. The letter is supposed to be informal so you can use contractions, informal linking words like well, by the way, anyway, so, colloquial expressions, etc.
  • You can use more-conversation-like statements or questions in your letter: You know that I had this exam, right? You think he will be able to come to the party?
  • Use questions to ask about your friend - arrange the next meeting, send greetings to his/her friends and family, etc.
  • End your letter in informal way: Best wishes; Love; Regards. Instead of these phrases you may put two XXs. They indicate sending kisses ;-)

Useful expressions:
  • Thank you for your letter. It was nice to hear from you.
  • Your last letter was a real surprise. It was so nice of you to remember about...
  • Thanks a lot for the information you've sent me in your last letter.
  • I've just received your letter. I'm so happy to hear that...
  • I'm sorry I haven't answered earlier but I was really busy with my school.
  • I'm sorry I haven't written for so long but...

  • Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
  • Well, that's all for now. Will talk to you soon.
  • Give my regards to your Mummy.
  • I hope we will be able to arrange a get-together.
  • Do write back as I'm waiting for the news from you.

GO TO YOUR PERSONAL PAGE and answer the following question:
  • Informal letter

You are abroad spending your holidays in a very exciting places you have always wanted to visit. The people you travel with are really nice so you enjoy their companionship. Write a letter to your friend describing what you have been doing so far and what you still plan to do.

  • Letter of complaint

You invited your friend to a fancy restaurant. You found their advertisement in the local newspaper and it looked convincing. Unfortunately, the place did not meet your expectations and you were disappointed. Write a letter to Mrs Talker, the manager of the restaurant, and ask for some money back.

Restaurant 'Romantica' is the best place you can meet your friend and spend a nice evening in a good company. The place is designed to ensure lots of privacy. Comfortable armchairs and quiet soothing music in the background make the place perfect for those tired of everyday rush. Discreet service is our first priority. Our menu is created by people who worked for the best restaurants in the world. Great choice of vegetarian dishes. Come and enjoy! Satisfaction guaranteed!

  • Letter for information

You are going to participate in a young writers competition. You still have some questions concerning the deadline and the form in which the text should be presented. You want to know if you can send them your essay on CD. Write a letter to the organizers of the competition and ask for more information.

  • Letter of application

You want to apply for a summer job in Brighton. You have found the advertisement in local newspaper offering seasonal work for students in one of the hotels in the area. Write a letter to the manager of the hotel in which you present your qualifications, skills and interests.

Latest page update: made by auregarcia , Jul 17 2010, 8:24 AM EDT (about this update About This Update auregarcia Edited by auregarcia

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