September 28

Formal & Informal E-mail expressions

Noticias

0  comments

Formal & Informal E-mail expressions

The importance of writing well

More...

So, today we are going to be looking at one of the most frequently asked about topics I get from my subscribers. How can I improve the clarity of my emails and make them more formal? What is the difference between formal and informal language when writing.

To my dismay, e-mail along with apps like “Whatsapp”, Skype chat, well any messaging client really, have led to an overall decline in the use of forma writing. Nowadays, people are writing emails so frequently that the art of proficient writing is being lost as we seek to reply faster and be more productive.

The importance of writing well cannot be overstated. Secondly, the challenges of writing in a second language also mean that we should pay extra attention to how we write. I have seen one to many times, where people have offended or upset a client or colleague with overly direct, informal or poorly structured emails. Students must remember that in English there is a certain degree of politeness that accompanies oral and written communication and being too direct can sound rude.

So, let’s take a look at what type of language we can use to sound more formal in our email communication. To do this I am going to break the email down into its various parts, and offer you some diverse types of email scenarios.

Greetings

It’s important to think about the correct way to address the person you are emailing.

Formal E-mail when we know the name.

 Dear Mr Smith,

Dear Mrs Smith, (married)

Dear Miss Smith, (single)

Dear Ms Smith, (don’t know)

Yours sincerely,

Formal E-mail when we don’t know the name.

Dear Sir/Madam,

To whom it may concern,

Yours faithfully,

Semi-formal E-mail.

Dear Mr/Mrs Smith,

Love/Regards/Best wishes/Yours,

Informal E-mail.

 Dear Paul,

Hi Paul,

Hello Paul,

Love/Regards/Best wishes/Yours,

Body & Closing Remarks

In the next section, we are going to break down different scenarios. The key to writing effectively is thinking about your audience and the different situations. For example, try and identify what type of e-mail you are writing before you start writing it. This will help you to get the style and tone right.

Below, I am going to look at the body and closing remarks. You will see that there are a lot of different scenarios.

E-MAIL ASKING FOR ADVICE

Formal
Informal
 

Opening remarks

  • I am writing to ask if you could help me with…
  • I would appreciate it if you could give me some advice about…
  • I am writing to ask for you advice…
  • I would be grateful if you could offer your advice…
  • Could you possibly offer your advice…
  • I wonder if you could help me with a problem…
  • I’m writing to ask for you advice…
  • Can you give me your advice…
  • I’ve got a problem and I need your advice…
 

Closing remarks

  • I would appreciate it if you could give me your advice as soon as possible.
  • I look forward to receiving your advice.
  • It would be of great help if you could advise me.
  • What do you think I should do?
  • Please let me know what you think I should do.
  • Please tell me what to do.


E-MAIL GIVING ADVICE

Formal
Informal
 

Opening remarks

  • Thank you for your E-mail requesting…
  • I am writing in reply to your E-mail asking for advice about…
  • I hope the following advice will be of some help to you.
  • I just got your E-mail and I think I can help you.
  • I was sorry to hear about your problem.
  • Here’s what I think you should do.
 

Suggestions

  • I strongly recommend + Ving…
  • I would suggest + Ving…
  • I would advise you to…
  • You should / ought to…
  • If I were you I would…
  • Why don’t you…
  • You should / ought to…
  • It would be a good idea to…
  • How about + Ving
  • I think you should…
 

Closing remarks

  • I hope this will be of help.
  • I would very much like to know if this was helpful.
  • Hope this has helped.
  • Let me know what happens.


E-MAIL OF COMPLAINT 

Mild
Strong
 

 

Opening remarks

  • I am writing to complain about…
  • I am writing to draw your attention to…
  • I am writing to you in connection with…
  • I want to express my strong dissatisfaction with…
  • I feel I must protest…
  • I feel I must complain about…
 

 

Closing remarks

  • I hope / assume you will replace…
  • I trust the situation will improve…
  • I hope the matter will be resolved.
  • I hope we can sort this matter out amicably.
  • I insist you replace the item at once.
  • I demand a full refund…
  • I hope that I will not be forced to take further action.

 

E-MAIL OF APOLOGY 

Formal
Informal
 

 

 

Opening remarks

  • I am writing to apologise for…
  • I must apologise for…
  • Please accept my sincerest apologies for…
  • How can I apologise enough for…
  • I hope you will understand when I say that…
  • What can I say, except I’m sorry that…
  • I’m sorry for…
  • I owe you an apology…
 

 

Closing remarks

  • Once again, sincerest apologies for…
  • I hope you will accept my apologies.
  • I hope my apologies will be accepted.
  • I hope you believe me when I say how sorry I am…
  • I can’t tell you how sorry I am…
  • There is no excuse for…


E-MAIL OF INVITATION

Formal
Informal
 

 

 

Opening remarks

  • We would be honoured if you…
  • We cordially invite you to…
  • Your presence would be appreciated at…
  • You are invited to attend…
  • I’m writing to invite you to…
  • I’d love it if you could come to…
  • We’re organising a…and would love it if you could come.
 

 

Closing remarks

  • We would be grateful if you could…
  • Please indicate whether / if you will be able to attend…
  • I hope you’ll be able to make it.
  • Hope you can come.
  • Looking forward to seeing you then.
  • Please let me know as soon as possible.

 

E-MAIL REQUESTING INFORMATION 

 
Formal
Informal
Opening remarks
  • I am writing in connection with…
  • I want you to tell me…
  • Can you let me know…
 

 

 

First request

  • Could you possibly send…
  • I would be grateful if you could…
  • Would it be possible for you to tell me…
  • I would appreciate some information about…
  • Can you send me…
  • Can you tell me…
  • I want to know…
 

Further requests

  • Could you also please send me…
  • Another matter I need information on is…
  • Can you also find out…
  • I also want to know…
 

Closing remarks

  • I look forward to receiving…
  • I would appreciate it if you could inform me as soon as possible.
  • Please let me know…
  • Send me the details…
  • Tell me soon…

 

E-MAIL GIVING INFORMATION 

 
Formal
Informal
 

 

Opening remarks

  • I am writing in reply to your E-mail asking for information about…
  • I am writing to inform you about…
  • You wanted me to tell you a few things about…
  • You wanted me to tell you a few things about..
 

Closing remarks

  • Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
  • I hope I have answered all your questions.
  • I hope this will help you.
  • Let me know if you need any more help.


Final Thoughts

Remember, choosing the correct style and tone is essential to writing an effective e-mail. If you are not sure if you should be formal or informal, then it is better to start by being more formal. Base on the reply you can either continue with formal language or you can transition to less formal expressions.

Try not to be too direct and always thank people for their e-mail. Rushing an e-mail is a bad idea, especially for non-native speakers of English.

Be sure to look at some of our other writing tips and listen to the podcast that accompanies this blog post.

If you want to improve your business English, then check out our professional business English courses.

If you found this post helpful then please share it using the share buttons below. Until next time, take care.

heart

Tags


You may also like

045 Business collocations for talking about success

045 Business collocations for talking about success

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

>