30 mayo 2016

Useful Phrases when Writing an Informal Letter/Email

Here is a list of useful phrases to use when writing an informal letter or email:


Dear (first name),
Hello (first name),
Hi (first name),
Hey (first name)

How are you?
How’re things?
How’s it going?
Hope you’re well!

Previous Contact

Thanks for your letter / email / card / text….

Sorry I haven’t written for a while, I’ve been really busy…
Sorry for the late reply…
I haven’t heard from you in a while, I hope you’re ok.

Referring to Good News

I was so happy to hear about…
Glad to hear that...

Referring to Bad News

Sorry to hear about…
My thoughts are with you at this difficult time


I’m writing to say sorry for…
Sorry I couldn’t make it to your party/wedding/christening, as…
I’m writing to apologise for…
Thank you for the invite, but I can’t make it to ____________ , because…

Giving Good News

I’m writing to tell you that….
I have some good news…
You will never guess, but…
I have something to tell you....
Just to let you know that…

Giving Bad News

Unfortunately, I have bad news…
I have something important to tell you…
I’m writing to let you know that…
Something terrible has happened…


(For a letter)

I have enclosed…
Here is the… you wanted.
I thought you would like to see a picture of ______, so I have sent one with this letter.

(For an email)

Please find attached
To this email I have attached a photo of ______ for you to see.


Would you like to…
I have been thinking it would be lovely if we could…
Are you free this weekend/next week/next Monday/this month…
I was thinking it would be nice if we planned to do something together soon. Are you free on…
Do you have any free weekends coming up where we can see each other?
Do you want to come to the cinema with me on Friday?
I’ve just moved house, do you want to come and stay with me soon?
I’m having a party on ________, can you make it?
Are you free on Saturday?
I was wondering if you wanted to go for a meal soon/at the weekend/next week?

Saying Thank You

Thank you so much for the thoughtful present, I love it!
I’m writing to say thank you for inviting me to your party.
Thank you for letting me stay with you for a few days.
Thank you for making my stay at your house an enjoyable and comfortable one.
Thank you for the card, it was really thoughtful of you.

Good Luck

Sending you lots of good luck for your driving test/exam/your interview/your new job
Wishing you the best of luck for…
Good luck for _________, I know you will do brilliantly!


Congratulations on passing your driving test / passing your exam / getting the job / the arrival of your baby boy/girl
I am so proud of you for ___________, congratulations!
Congrats on…
Well done for…

Asking for Advice/Help

I was wondering if you could help me with something, I need…
Could you help me with…
I really need your help / advice with something…
Can you do me a favour please? I need…
I would be so grateful if you could help me…

Giving Advice

If I were you, I would…
You should really…
Make sure you…
I really think you should...

Making a Recommendation

I went to an amazing restaurant / bar / city / place … You would love it there.
When I went on holiday to ________ , I really enjoyed ________. You should go there too!
Make sure you visit _________
I think you would really like __________
I saw a really good film at the weekend and I thought you would enjoy it, it’s called _________

Ending the Letter

Hope to hear from you soon!
Write soon!
Give my love to…
Say hello to your mum for me!
Pass my love on to your family from me.
Take care.
Look after yourself.
Thanks again for...

Signing Off

Lots of love,
All my love,
Love from,
Best wishes,
All the best,
Bye for now,
Speak soon,

Now just don’t forget to sign your name!

- Amy

23 mayo 2016

Writing emails in English

In today's global business world most of communication is done via email. This can be tricky*, as we rely only on words to convey meaning. How to make sure the email is still polite and will have a positive effect on our reader?

Follow these five steps to make sure your emails sound polite and professional.

1.       Start with a greeting
2.       Thank the recipient
3.       Explain the purpose of the email
4.       Add your closing remarks
5.       End with a closing

1. Start with a greeting
Choosing a greeting depends on the relationship you have with the recipient. If you know them (well), you can start with 'Dear Peter' or 'Hi Martha'. If the relationship is more formal use their family name, eg. 'Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. Fernandez'. If you don't know the name of the recipient write 'Dear Sir, Madam' or 'To who this may concern'.

2. Thank the recipient
To start your email politely and to refer back to previous email contact you might have had, thank the recipient by saying 'Thanks for your email' or, more formally, 'Thank you for sending/replying/etc'. 

3. Explain the purpose of the email
To make sure you won't lose the reader's attention, state the purpose of your email early on. You could use 'I am writing to enquire** about..' or 'I am writing with reference to..'. More informal would be 'I'm writing about/regarding..' Remember that most people receive a lot of emails every day and therefore want to find out quickly why they have received it and what the sender wants them to do.

4. Add your closing remarks
It's polite in English to close your email with a nice remark. You could say ' Thank you for your consideration/coorperation'. Or 'In case you have any questions/concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me'. Another one is ' I look forward to hearing from you/receiving your reply'.

5. End with a closing
Closing the email depends on how you have opened it. In case you know the recipient and your relationship is informal, you could say 'Best (regards)', 'Thanks' or 'Cheers'. If your relationship is more formal use 'Yours sincerely' when you know the recipient's name and 'Yours faithfully' when you don't.

Finally, before you hit send, make sure there are no spelling mistakes in your email and have attached any files you want to send. 

*tricky - difficult /ˈtrɪk.i/ 
** enquire - ask about /ɪnˈkwaɪər/