3. Decide what type of letter you need to write.
Business letters have a sender and a recipient. The sender can be
a person or a group (like a company) and the recipient can be
another person or group.
The main types of business letters:
•Letter of complaint
•Letter of inquiry
4. •Letters of complaint:
I am writing to complain about…
I am writing to draw your attention to…
I recently purchased … from your company.
Not only…(did the product arrive late), but…(it was faulty as well)
As you can imagine, I was quite disappointed/upset when…
I suggest that I get a full refund.
I feel entitled to a refund.
I would be grateful if you could give me a refund.
I would appreciate it if you could replace the product.
I look forward to receiving a prompt reply.
5. More tips and specific phrases you can use to
sound more professional.
•Letters of inquiry:
I am writing to inquire about…
Would you be kind enough to provide me with some information
I would be appreciative if you could help me find out…
Could you tell me whether…
I would also be interested in…
6. •Cover letters:
I am writing to apply for the position of…
I am writing in response to your advertisement…
I would like to apply for the position of…
I am particularly interested in this job because…
As you can see from my resume,…
As you will notice in my resume,…
I am currently employed by…
I am keen to pursue a career in…, because…
My main strengths are…
I would be available for an interview starting…
If require any further information, do not hesitate to contact me.
7. •Adjustment letters:
Please accept our apologies for…
We sincerely apologize for…
The mistake was apparently due to…
We are currently working on…
To prevent this from happening again,…
We understand how upset you must have been when…, but
8. •Order letters:
Thank you for your quotation of ...
We are pleased to place an order with your company for..
We would like to cancel our order n° .....
Please confirm receipt of our order.
I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of your order number .....
Your order will be processed as quickly as possible.
It will take about (two/three) weeks to process your order.
We can guarantee you delivery before ...(date)
Unfortunately these articles are no longer available / are out of stock.
Prices Please send us your price list.
You will find enclosed our most recent catalogue and price list.
Please note that our prices are subject to change without notice.
We have pleasure in enclosing a detailed quotation.
We can make you a firm offer of ...
We would like to place an order for…
We look forward to receiving your offer for…
Could you please confirm the prices for…
We are looking forward to your confirmation.
9. •Start with the sender’s address. You can write it in the top right or
left corner. Don’t include your name or title because these will appear
at the end of your letter.
•Leave an empty line and write the date just below the sender’s
address. If you are writing to a company in the United States,
remember to use the American date format: month, date, year.
Leave another empty line and write the recipient’s title, name,
position and address. Pay attention to titles.
We use Mr. for men, Miss for unmarried women, Ms. for women we
are not sure are married and Mrs. for married women.
It is always safest to just use Ms.for women.
10. •Close the letter appropriately, depending on the salutation you used at
•Closing remarks If we can be of any further assistance, please let us
know. If I can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
•If you require more information ... For further details ...
•Thank you for taking this into consideration.
•Thank you for your help.
•We hope you are happy with this arrangement.
• We hope you can settle this matter to our satisfaction.
(Dear Ms. Smith:) Yours sincerely / Sincerely / Sincerely yours,
(Dear Jane:) Best / Best regards / Kind regards,
(Dear Sir or Madam: / To Whom It May Concern:) Yours faithfully / Faithfully /
11. •Common Mistakes
•Your vs. you’re
Mistake: Your a valued customer and we’d like to apologize for the inconvenience
we’ve caused you.
Correct: You’re a valued customer and we’d like to apologize for the inconvenience
we’ve caused you.
Correct: Your interest is important to us.
Explanation: Your is used to express possession. You’re = You are.
Its vs. it’s
Mistake: Its important that we get a reply as soon as possible.
Correct: It’s important that we get a reply as soon as possible.
Correct: We did not receive the email and its attachment.
Explanation: Its is used to express possession. It’s = It is.
12. •Possessive nouns
Mistake: The employee’s lack of motivation stems from their low
Correct: The employees’ lack of motivation stems from their low
Explanation: With singular nouns, we add ‘s to express possession. With
plural nouns ending in s, we just add ‘.
•Present simple vs. present continuous
Mistake: I am working with kids and I love my job.
Correct: I work with kids and I love my job.
Correct: I am working with these kids while their teacher is on
Explanation: We use the present simple to refer to permanent, general
actions, such as one’s job. We use the present continuous with temporary
13. •Present perfect vs. past
Mistake: I have read your cover letter when you sent it.
Correct: I read your cover letter when you sent it.
Correct: I have read your cover letter and would like to follow up with
Explanation: We use the present perfect for actions that happened in the
past and still have an impact on the present. We use the past for actions
that happened in the past, when the speaker knows when they happened.
•Than vs. then
Mistake: Our profits are lower then last year.
Correct: Our profits are lower than last year.
Correct: We analyzed your request and then we contacted you.
Explanation: We use than to form comparisons and then to refer to when
14. •Forgetting commas
Mistake: We tried emailing them but there was no reply.
Correct: We tried emailing them, but there was no reply.
Explanation: If you are not sure whether to use a comma or not, try
splitting the sentence into smaller bits: We tried emailing them. There
was no reply. It works, right? If you are still not sure, try saying the
sentence out loud. If you are pausing a little, you should probably use a
•Using exclamation marks or emoticons
Mistake: I was extremely upset when I received a faulty product! 🙁
Correct: I was extremely upset when I received a faulty product.
Explanation: Exclamation marks and emoticons make your writing rather
informal, so you should avoid them when writing business letters.
15. •Using too many or not enough spaces
Mistake: I haven’t applied for a job before , but I’ll give it a try now
. I’m not sure if I’m qualified, though.
Correct: I haven’t applied for a job before, but I’ll give it a try now.
I’m not sure if I’m qualified, though.
Explanation: When typing, we only use one space after commas or
periods and no space before them.