Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

Anywhere, anytime: a FCE companion

Letterwise

with 6 comments

(From Cambridge ESOL site)

Look at the following expressions which are used when writing letters. Where would you find each of them in a letter? Make a list under each heading:

Beginnings

Signalling the end

Closings (at the end)

When you have finished, decide if each expression comes from a formal or informal letter, and write F (formal) or I (informal) after each one.

a. Thanks for your letter.
b. I’ll finish now as I’m running out of space.
c. Thank you for sending me your brochure.
d. I must go now.
e. Sorry for not writing for so long.
f. If you have any further questions, please contact me again.
g. I must apologise for not contacting you sooner.
h. I look forward to hearing from you.
i. I’m writing to ask you a favour.
j. I’d better finish.
k. Write again soon!
l. The reason for my writing is to apply for the job I saw advertised.
m. Bye for now.
n. Anyway, I’d better post this letter now.
o. It was lovely to hear from you.
p. All my love.
q. Best wishes.
r. It was great to get your letter.
s. Regards,
t. Thank you so much for writing.
u. Take care.
v. I was so sad to hear that you had been ill.
w. Good luck!
x. I wish to complain about the terrible service at your restaurant.
y. Hope to hear from you soon.
z. I am writing with reference to your letter…

Language of formal and informal letters

Look at the following characteristics of letters. Decide whether they apply to formal or informal letters or both.

formal

informal

begins with Dear …

refers to reason for writing

uses contractions

uses abbreviations

uses simple, short sentences

uses simple linkers, e.g. then, later

has paragraphs

is polite

could use slang

could use exclamation marks (!)

ends with Yours sincerely, / Yours faithfully

ends with Best wishes / Write soon

ends with a signature

ends with a signature and a full name printed (or in capitals)

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Written by ElenaBen

December 8, 2007 at 10:35 am

Posted in Paper 2: Writing, Writing

Tagged with , ,

6 Responses

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  1. a. Thanks for your letter. B – INF
    b. I’ll finish now as I’m running out of space. S-INF
    c. Thank you for sending me your brochure. B-FOR
    d. I must go now. S-INF
    e. Sorry for not writing for so long.B-INF
    f. If you have any further questions, please contact me again. S-FOR
    g. I must apologise for not contacting you sooner. B-FOR
    h. I look forward to hearing from you.S-INF
    i. I’m writing to ask you a favour.B-INF
    j. I’d better finish.S-INF
    k. Write again soon!S-INF
    l. The reason for my writing is to apply for the job I saw advertised.B-FOR
    m. Bye for now.S-INF
    n. Anyway, I’d better post this letter now.S-INF
    o. It was lovely to hear from you.B-INF
    p. All my love.C-INF
    q. Best wishes.C-INF
    r. It was great to get your letter.B-INF
    s. Regards,C-INF
    t. Thank you so much for writing. B-FOR
    u. Take care.C-INF
    v. I was so sad to hear that you had been ill.B-INF
    w. Good luck!C-INF
    x. I wish to complain about the terrible service at your restaurant. B-FOR
    y. Hope to hear from you soon.S-INF
    z. I am writing with reference to your letter…B-FOR

    Ana

    December 8, 2007 at 11:29 am

  2. begins with Dear … BOTH
    refers to reason for writing FORMAL
    uses contractions INFORMAL
    uses abbreviations INFORMAL
    uses simple, short sentences FORMAL
    uses si’mple linkers, e.g. then, later INFORMAL
    has paragraphs FORMAL
    is polite FORMAL
    could use slang INFORMAL
    could use exclamation marks (!) INFORMAL
    ends with Yours sincerely, / Yours faithfully FORMAL
    ends with Best wishes / Write soon INFORMAL
    ends with a signature INFORMAL
    ends with a signature and a full name printed (or in capitals) FORMAL

    Ana

    December 8, 2007 at 11:35 am

  3. Well done Ana Popins! Let’s see, I’d say that “Regards” can be used as a closing in formal communication. It’s not as formal as ‘Yours sincerely’ but it’s more formal than ‘Best wishes or Love’. And concerning, “I look forward to…”, it’s been said that “I’m looking forward to hearing from you” sounds a little warmer (friendlier); whereas “I look forward to hearing from you” sounds a little cooler (more formal). Thanks for your comments!

    tutorelena

    December 8, 2007 at 1:23 pm

  4. a. Thanks for your letter. B-B
    b. I’ll finish now as I’m running out of space. S-I
    c. Thank you for sending me your brochure. B-F
    d. I must go now. S-I
    e. Sorry for not writing for so long. S-I
    f. If you have any further questions, please contact me again. S-F
    g. I must apologise for not contacting you sooner. B-F
    h. I look forward to hearing from you. S-F
    i. I’m writing to ask you a favour. B- I
    j. I’d better finish. S-I
    k. Write again soon! S-I
    l. The reason for my writing is to apply for the job I saw advertised. B- F
    m. Bye for now. S-I
    n. Anyway, I’d better post this letter now. S-I
    o. It was lovely to hear from you. S-I
    p. All my love. C-I
    q. Best wishes. C-I
    r. It was great to get your letter. B-I
    s. Regards, C-B
    t. Thank you so much for writing. B-B
    u. Take care. C-I
    v. I was so sad to hear that you had been ill. B-I
    w. Good luck! C-I
    x. I wish to complain about the terrible service at your restaurant. B-F
    y. Hope to hear from you soon. S-I
    z. I am writing with reference to your letter… B-F

    Maria

    December 9, 2007 at 11:43 am

  5. begins with Dear … B
    refers to reason for writing F
    uses contractions I
    uses abbreviations I
    uses simple, short sentences I
    uses simple linkers, e.g. then, later I
    has paragraphs F
    is polite F
    could use slang I
    could use exclamation marks (!) I
    ends with Yours sincerely, / Yours faithfully F
    ends with Best wishes / Write soon I
    ends with a signature F
    ends with a signature and a full name printed (or in capitals) F

    Maria

    December 9, 2007 at 11:50 am

  6. Hi M!,
    1) Sorry for not writing for so long: it should go at the beginning of your letter, it’s an apology. Informal, as you correctly guessed.
    2) If you end your letter with a signature it’s informal, if you add your full name below the signature, then it becomes formal.

    thanks!

    tutorelena

    December 9, 2007 at 5:11 pm


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