1. What parts does a business letter contain? Which of them are obligatory? Which ones are considered to be optional?
2. Where is the sender’s address usually written? What does it consist of?
3. How many ways of writing a date do you know?
4. What may an inside address contain? Where is it placed in a business letter?
5. Speak about the ways of greeting your correspondent in a business letter. What does the form of salutation depend on?
6. What does the body of the letter consist of? Should it always bi intended?
7. What can you say about the ways of closing a business letter?
8. Which part of a letter is known as a signature block? How should a business letter be singed?
9. How can you let the recipient know that the letter has some enclosures?
10. How can you draw the reader’s attention to the topic of the letter? Speak about the subject title.
11. What are references used for? Where are they placed in a business letter?
12. What would you write if you wanted your letter to be passed on to a particular person?
13. Can you state the differences between a ‘blocked’ letter and a ‘modified blocked’ letter?
14. Which rules on the content and style must be observed when writing a business letter?
15. What should you start writing a letter with? What main parts does a body have?
16. What can you say about punctuation and capitalization in business letters?
17. Which business letters can be handwritten?
18. Can you describe the procedure of addressing the envelope?
Ex. 2.Join these salutations and complimentary closes.
a) Dear Mrs Wilson b) Dear Madam c) Dear Ms Hemsuchi d) Dear Susanna
e) Dear Mr Gonzalez f) Dear David g) Dear Sir or Madam
Ex. 3.There are ten mistakes in this letter. Can you find them? Write out the letter correctly, in ‘block style’.
Ms Margareta Lindell,
Our ref FH/ts
181 North Street
London W1M 2FM
Tel. 020-8676 9096
Fax 020-8676 9222
Thank you for your letter of the nineteenth of May two thousand and one.
I have pleasure in sending you our brochure with details of all our holidays.
I look forward to hearing from you.
2005, may 22nd
Ex. 4.Put in the missing salutations and complimentary closes.
a) The manager
b) John Hall
Ave Paul Hymans
c) Ms B Carrillo
Restaurante ¡Bien Padre!
e) Trufit Shoe Co.
841 Pacific St
Los Angeles 90121
f) Mrs H Cheng
5 Hatton Road
Ex. 5.These letters are mixed up. Put the sentences in it in the correct order. Rewrite the letters in block style (a) and modified block style (b). Add anything that is obviously missing.
2. Presser UK Limited
London SW7 1PJ
Tel: 071 586 5733
Fax: 071 586 9474
3. Linda Morgan (Mrs)
4. Miss Juliette Rocache
84 Ave du Generalle de Gaulle
91 160 Longjumeau
5. Yours sincerely
6. Managing Director-Administration
7. Thank you for your letter of 6 May which has been passed on to me by Mr. Webb.
Mr. Webb has asked to inform you of your conditions of employment regarding Social Security arrangements. In cases like yours where we provide work experience facilities for overseas students, an individual is not covered by UK Social Security as he/she is not considered as an employee.
If you have any questions to ask on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
1. I must insist, therefore, that you refund at least 10% of our money.
2. I would like to remind you that your advertisement said ‘superior hotels’.
3. I am writing to complain about your Tour 5210 to Mexico.
4. If we do not receive adequate compensation, I will be forced to write the local newspaper.
5. The quality of the food in the hotels was terrible and everybody in our group was sick most of the time.
6. Yours faithfully
7. Daniel Thomas
8. Mr Daniel Thomas
9. Dear Sir or Madam
Ex. 6.These two letters are on the same subject but the language used is very different. The first is from the Inland Revenue and is formal. The second is from a friend and is informal. As you read underline the language which is equivalent in meaning but not in formality.
Dear Mr. Williams,
I am writing with reference to you letter of June 18 and apologise for the delay in replying. However, the following are my comments on the various points you rise.
A. UK tax assessment is at present based on 86% of earned income at the lowest threshold.
B. It would be feasible to claim a rebate on any money earned abroad.
C. You would be well advised to claim for UK tax exemption and declare income, following the standard procedure, the local income tax authorities in your country of residence.
I enclose a claim form (DST/689) for this purpose.
I trust you will find this information useful. However, should you have any further queries do not hesitate to contact me.
Alexander V. Volodko
Alexander V. Volodko
Thanks a lot for your letter which I got on Wednesday. Sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner, but anyway, here are my ideas on the things you wanted clearing up.
A. You have to fork out about j of your pay packet for the taxman.
B. There’s no way you can get anything back on money made abroad.
C. Your best bet is to ask not to pay tax in UK and tell tax people over there how much you earn.
Hope this is OK. If there is anything else you want to know drop me a line.
All the best,
Ex. 7.Decide which of these sentences are formal and which are informal. Group together those with a similar meaning.
1. How about looking at Dimitry’s idea?
2. Much as I would like to be an assistance, it is beyond my power to intervene.
3. Say ‘hello’ from me and tell Samira to get better soon.
4. As this matter is entirely beyond our control, we are unable to proceed with a reimbursement.
5. I suggest we consider Mr Bozena’s proposal closely.
6. Thanks for your recent note.
7. We can’t do anything about it, so we can’t give you any money back.
8. I would be grateful if you would convey my best wishes to Mrs El Hazir and hope she has a speedy recover.
9. Before we said yes we’d have to work out how much it’d cost.
10. I acknowledge receipt of your letter of 5 January.
11. It’s great to know you’re backing us all the way.
12. I’d like to help but I can’t do anything.
13. I am pleased to learn that you are giving us every encouragement.
14. Prior to any commitment on our part, we would have to assess the financial implications.
Ex. 8.Mach the informal phrases (1 – 15) with the neutral/formal phrases (a – o) with the similar meaning.
1) What do you need?
2) Thanks for the letter of 12 Feb.
3) Sorry, I can’t make it.
4) I’m sorry to tell you that …
5) I promise …
6) Could you …?
7) You haven’t …
8) Don’t forget …
9) I need to …
10) Shall I …?
11) But … /Also … / So …
12) Please could you …
13) I’m sorry for …
14) Re …
15) See you next week.
a) With regard to … (or With reference to)
b) I can assure you that …
c) We note from our records that you have not
d) Please let us know your requirements.
e) I was wondering if you could …
f) We would like to remind you that …
g) I look forward to meeting you next week.
h) Thank you for your letter dated 12 February.
i) I am afraid I will not be able to attend.
j) Would you like me to …?
k) I would be grateful if you could …
l) Please accept our apologies for …
m) It is necessary for me to …
n) We regret to advise you that …
o) However … / In addition …/ Therefore …
Ex. 9.Read the following sentences. Decide whether they are beginnings (B) or endings (E). Then decide whether they are formal (F), neutral (N) or informal (I).
1. The computer network will be shut down for maintenance at 5pm on Thursday.
2. Oh, yes – I’ll be back late tonight. Can you do the shopping and buy something nice for dinner? Thx.
3. I look forward to receiving your advice on this matter.
4. What a surprise – how nice to hear from you!
5. Bye for now. See you soon.
6. I hope that everything is okay, but do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarification.
7. Please find attached my report, as I have promised you in Friday’s meeting.
8. I’m so happy for you! Write again soon and tell me how it’s going.
9. We are writing to advise you about some changes in our price list.
10. If you’d like any more details, just let me know. I’m away next week but Andrea is dealing with this in my absence.
11. Just a quick note to say I really enjoyed last night.
12. Simon and I have been talking about your holiday plans for next August. It looks like we won’t be able to join. I’m really sorry.
Look back at the examples 1 – 12 and find:
a) two written to someone unknown or little known. ..3./….
b) four written to colleagues, perhaps sent to several people. …./…./…./….
c) five written to a friend. …./…./…./…./….
d) one written to a very close family member. ….
Ex. 10.Choose between the given versions of one letter the best one in style, language and form. Give the reasons for your choice.
Dear Mr Rohn,
I have already written to you concerning your outstanding debt of ₤591. This should have been already cleared three months ago. You don’t seem to want to cooperate in paying us, and therefore we will sue if your debt is not cleared within the next ten days.
Dear Mr Rohn,
I refer to the previous letter sent on 10 October in which you were asked to clear the balance of ₤591 which has been outstanding since July. As you have not replied to the letter you leave little choice for me but to place the matter in the hands of solicitors. However I am reluctant to do this and I am offering you further ten days to settle the account.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 15th inst. in connection with our not clearing our account which was outstanding as at the end of June.
Please accept our profuse apologies. We were unable to settle this matter due to the sudden demise of Mr Noel, our accountant, and as a result were unaware of those accounts which were to be cleared. We now, however, have managed to trace our commitments and take pleasure in enclosing our remittance for ₤620 which we trust will settle our indebtedness.
We hope that this unforeseen incident did not in any way inconvenience you, nor lead you to believe that our not clearing our balance on the due date was an intention on our part to delay payment.
We remain yours,
Dear Mr Aldine,
I am replying to your letter of 15 July asking to clear our June balance.
I apologize for not settling the account sooner, but due to the unfortunate death of Mr Noel, our accountant, we were unable to settle any of our outstanding balances.
Please find enclosed our cheque for ₤620, and accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
Ex. 11.The following is a reply to a letter from a firm interested in becoming an agent in the UK for a Swedish manufacturer of garden furniture. Choose the language which is the most appropriate for a formal reply.
1Hi/Dear Mr Price,
2Thanks/Thank you for you letter. 3We were happy/pleased to hear that you are interested in marketing our range of garden furniture.
4But/However, before we 5make any decision/make up our mind, we would be grateful if you would 6provide us with/give us further information 7concerning/about the organization of your firm, the territory it covers, the number of retailed outlets and your market share.
8You would have to get us/ We would expect a minimum turnover of J 600,000 before 9being in a positionto/we could offer you a sole agency. 10We wouldwant to get/We wouldwish to achieve a market share of at least 10% in the first two years.
11Anyway/This said, if you feel your firm is able to meet these targets it 12would be nice/would be useful to arrange an appointment to 13have a chat about/discuss the project 14in abit more detail/further.
I will be in England from 5-12 May and suggest we 15meet/get together then, if this is 16convenient/OK. Please confirm with my secretary if this is 17all right/satisfactory.
18I look forward to hearingfrom you in the near future/Hope to get a letterfrom you soon.
19Yours sincerely/All the best,
Ex. 12.Complete these letters. There are two things missing in each one.
Special Report on Travel Agencies
Ex. 13.Look through these letters. What do the writers say when they want to:
a) refer to some event prior to the letter or to the last time that they contacted each other?
b) give some good or bad news or give a reason?
c) apologize for something they cannot do?
d) request some action?
e) complain and make a point?
f) warn about their further actions?
1Dear Mr Williams:
Further to our telephone discussion Thursday, I am delighted to tell you that we are now able to reduce the price of our Peach Series computers by 10%. This is due to the recent rise of the dollar.
We look forward to receiving your order. If you need any further information, please let me know.
2Dear Sir or Madam
I am writing to confirm the details of our conversation yesterday, concerning a group travelling to Mexico.
We would like to book 25 places on Sun Express holiday No. 5210, departing 14th July. If it is not possible to book with Sun Express, we would accept the Golden Holidays tour. I will be away from home until 2nd June, so please take any necessary action to make sure that a holiday is booked.
Please find enclosed a cheque for £2,500 as a deposit.
3Dear Ms Long
I am writing in connection with the above order for office furniture.
We regret to inform you that we are unable to deliver the Linton filing cabinets on time. This is as a result of problems at our supplier’s factory.
With regard to the lamps and desks, we will deliver the goods before 13 March, as agreed.
4Dear Sr Muñoz
Thank you for your fax dated 13 May concerning your order for five of our drills.
We must apologize for the delay in shipping this order. This was due to unforeseen circumstances. However, we are dealing with your order now and it will be sent without further delay.
With apologies once again,
5Dear Sir or Madam:
Payment on the above order is now overdue. We would be grateful if you could send us your check without delay.
6Dear Mr Basuki
It is now over seven months since we placed the above order with you and we are still waiting for the Linton filing cabinets. I should like to remind you that we have already paid for these cabinets. We must insist, therefore, that you deliver them immediately or refund our money.
Unless we hear from you within seven days, we will be forced to take legal action.
Ms Jennifer Long
Ex. 14.Here are the main messages from four letters. Choose the correct beginnings and endings from sentences (a) – (h) and then add ‘Yours faithfully/sincerely’ or ‘Best wishes’.
a) Thank you for your telephone call today, enquiring about our prices.
b) Looking forward to seeing you.
c) Thank you for your letter of 16 February concerning Arabian Electronics.
d) I look forward to receiving your order.
e) Thank you for your telephone call today.
f) Thank you for your fax of 18 January, concerning our forthcoming visit to Hong Kong.
g) I hope that this information will help you.
h) Please feel free to contact me if you need any information about our other branches.
Dear Ms Wilson
I would be very happy to meet you in my office on the day you suggested, 1August, at 11 a.m..
Representative, South East Asia
To: Peter Black
I am sorry that I was not at the office when you rang, but here is the information that you wanted.
The address of our branch in Singapore is 54 Lui Fang Road, Jurong Town, Singapore 2262. The manager is Mr S Rushford.
Ex. 15.Remember phrases introducing the subject of the letter. How would you start a letter about each of the following?
a) invoice (No. 679) for a photocopier
b) a meeting you have with the addressee on Jan. 16th
c) an advertisement in The Times newspaper
d) an application for a post as secretary in your company
e) a fax order for six computers that you received today
Ex. 16.Complete these sentences using phrases for referring and giving good or bad news.
a) …………………… your order for some cupboards,
…………………… we have had to increase the price.
b) ………………..… your application for a post as secretary,
………………….. that we would like you to start work as soon as possible.
c) …………………… your application for a post as secretary.
…………………… you were not successful.
d) …………………... our telephone conversation this morning,
…………………... that your car is now ready for you to collect.
Ex. 17.Write complete sentences as in the example. Use phrases giving reasons. Be careful with e. (See Useful Expressions and Phrases).