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Writing letters vocabulary

Letter structure

How to start and end the letter?

A. Formal letter

When you don’t know the recipient’s name:

  • Dear Sir … Yours faithfully
  • Dear Madam … Yours faithfully
  • Dear Sir or Madam … Yours faithfully

When the recipient’s name is known:

  • Dear Mr Green … Yours sincerely
  • Dear Mrs Green … Yours sincerely
  • Dear Miss Green … Yours sincerely
  • Dear Ms Green … Yours sincerely


B. Semi-formal letter

When you are writing to a good friend or colleague:

  • Dear Jonh … Best wishes/ Best regards
  • Dear Jonh … Many thanks


C. Informal letter

When you are writing to a good friend or colleague:

  • Hello Jonh … Best wishes/ Best
  • Hi Jonh … See you/ Missing you/ Love

When you are writing to someone you love:

  • Dear Mary … Yours always/ Lots of love



Letter openings

The letter’s first paragraph is letter opening. In your first paragraph you should:

  1. introduce yourself
  2. state the purpose of the letter.


Examples of formal letter openings:

  • I am writing to enquire about … .
  • I am writing to request … .
  • I am writing to explain why … .
  • I am writing to express interest in … .
  • I am writing to inform you that/about… .
  • I am writing to complain about (the fact that I)… .
  • After having seen your advertisement in … , I would like to… .
  • After having received your address from … , I … .
  • Thank you for your letter regarding/about … .
  • In reply to your letter of 18 June, … .

Examples of informal letter openings:

  • Hi! My name is Noah and I’ve been assigned your drama coach… .
  • Hello, My name is Julia and I’m volunteer conducting student excursions… .
  • Hi there, I hope you’re enjoying your holidays/ trip/ college year/ honeymoon… .
  • Hello, thanks very much for asking me to visit you … .


Letter closings

You may need a letter closing to express gratitude, to repeat an apology, to offer help etc.

Examples of formal letter closings:

  • If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.
  • I look forward to your reply.
  • I look forward to hearing from you.
  • Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience.
  • I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
  • I would deeply appreciate it if you could … .
  • Thank you in advance!
  • Thanking you for your assistance in advance, I look forward to hearing from you.

Examples of informal letter closings:

  • Anyway, I‛ve got to go now. Write again if you need any more information.
  • Well, let me finish here. I am eagerly waiting for your reply to this letter.


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