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English Language Activities

Writing A Basic Business Letter

The basics of good business letter writing are easy to learn. The following guide provides the phrases that are usually found in any standard business letter. By using these standard phrases, you can give a professional tone to your business letter in English. These phrases are used as a kind of frame and introduction to the content of business letters. 

 
The Start  
Dear Sir or Madam (use if you don't know who you are writing to)
Dear Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms (use if you know who you are writing to, and have a formal relationship with. Use Ms for women unless asked to use Mrs or Miss)
Dear Frank (use if the person is a close business contact or friend)
The Reference  
With reference to your advertisement in the Times, …
your letter of 13th June, …
your phone call today, …
Thank you for your letter of 5th June.  
The Reason for Writing  
I am writing to enquire about … apologise for … confirm …
Requesting  
Could you possibly … ?  
I would be grateful if you could …  
Agreeing to Requests  
I would be delighted to …  
Giving Bad News  
Unfortunately …  
I am afraid that …  
Enclosing Documents  
I am enclosing …  
Please find enclosed …  
Enclosed you will find …  
Closing Remarks  
Thank you for your help  
Please contact us again if we can help in any way.
there are any problems.
you have any questions.
Reference to Future Contact  
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
meeting you next Tuesday.
seeing you next Thursday.
The Finish  
Yours faithfully, (If you don't know the name of the person you're writing to)
Yours sincerely, (If you know the name of the person you're writing to)
Best wishes,
Best regards,
(If the person is a close business contact or friend)

        
Here is a sample letter using some of these forms:

Roman's Cheese House
Podlaski 34
61-622 Poznan
Tel: (061) 456 8967
Fax: (061) 456 6745
Email: roman@wp.pl

Fred Flintstone
Sales Manager
Cheese Specialists Ltd.
Warzsawska 102
66-400 Gorzσw Wlkp..


Dear Mr Flintstone,

With reference to our telephone conversation today, I am writing to confirm your order for: 1000 x Cheddar Cheese Deluxe Slices (Ref. No. 856).

Please contact us again if we can help in any way.

Yours sincerely,

Roman Ostrowski
Director of Roman's Cheese House



Obviously, this is an extremely simple example!