Informal vs. Formal English: Writing A Letter or Email

Writing important emails and letters in English can be a challenge for non-native speakers ...


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Personal letters may be short or long but they are usually chatty and informal whether you are writing to family or friends.

Formal letters are written to people we don’t know on a personal level for different reasons: to find out information, to apply for a job or a course, to make a complaint …

Step 1: Decide how formal your letter needs to be

Step 2: Organise your writing

1. Opening formula

2. Introductory paragraph: initial greeting and/ or introduction of the reason to write.

3. Body: main information divided into one or more paragraphs depending on the length of the letter/ email.

4. Final remarks: say what you expect from the letter's recipient, whether you want them to write back, to see you soon ...

5. Closing formula.

6. Name/ Signature

Step 3: Use useful expressions


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