Formal letters

Had to write recently some formal letters … hmm…ya…that’s why I’m going to write down some stuff about them. Hope my tips – English rules in fact:) – will be helpful to someone. So, let’s get started.

Formal letters are normally sent to people in an official position or people you don’t know well (e.g. Director of Studies, Personnel Manager, etc.) They are written in a formal style with a polite, impersonal tone. You can write a formal letter to apply for a job/course, make a complaint, give/request official information, etc.

A formal letter should consist of:

  • a formal greeting

e.g. Dear Sir/Madamwhen you do not know the person’s name

Dear Ms. Greenwhen you know the person’s name

  • an introduction in which you write the opening remarks and mention your reason(s) for writing

e.g. I’m writing to apply for the position of…

  • a main body in which you write about the main subject(s) of the letter in detail, starting a new paragraph for each topic
  • a conclusion in which you write your conclusion remarks

e.g. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible…

  • a formal ending

e.g. Yours faithfully – when you know the person’s name + your full name 

                     Yours sincerely – when you know the person’s name + your full name 

These are the general rules for formal letters…hope my post was helpful!

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