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How To Write Business Letters in English

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					© Philip Stokes 2009              http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com




       HOW TO WRITE

      BUSINESS
      LETTERS
                IN ENGLISH



                       PHILIP STOKES
                                                                  1
© Philip Stokes 2009                                           http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com

1.1 Read letters A and B and answer the questions:


   A



                Dear Sir or Madam

                I am writing in connection with the Brainiak X-plus computer I bought
                from your shop last week.

                Unfortunately, when I got the computer home there was no mouse or
                keyboard in the box.

                I telephoned your store immediately and was told to make a
                complaint in writing and to enclose a copy of my receipt.

                I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

                Yours faithfully


                Jack Smith




1.1a Match the underlined expressions from A to the following meanings
and functions:


   i. ………………………..……………………………
   means ‘to send with’
   ii………………………………….…………………
   means ‘concerning’ or ‘about’
   iii……………………………………………………
   is used to show that you want a reply
   iv…………………………………………….............
   is used to close the letter
   v…..……………………………….…………………
   is used when you do not know the recipient’s name




                                                                                               2
© Philip Stokes 2009                                           http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com

   B

                Dear Mr Smith

                Thank you for your letter of 14 February concerning the computer you
                bought from our shop.

                Please accept my apologies for the missing components. I would like
                to assure you that we make every effort to ensure this sort of thing
                does not occur.

                I am sending you a replacement mouse and keyboard this morning. I
                also enclose with this letter a 10% discount coupon which can be
                redeemed against your next purchase at our store.

                Please accept my apologies once again.

                Yours sincerely


                Ms Amanda Howard




1.1b Match the underlined expressions from B to the following meanings
and functions:

       vi……………………………………………...
       means ‘about’ or ‘in connection with’
       vii……………………………………………...
       means ‘exchanged’ or ‘cashed in’
       viii……………………………………………...
       is used when you know the recipient’s name
       ix ……………………………………………...
       is used to convince somebody of your sincerity
       x……………………………………………..
       is used to close a letter when you know the recipient’s name



                                   Assure / Ensure
                           To assure means to promise that...
                           “I can assure you that it is true!”
                           To ensure means to make certain...
                           “We ensure all our staff are well trained by sending them
                           on a 6-week training course.”




                                                                                               3
© Philip Stokes 2009                                 http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com

1.2 Opening a Letter:

   When writing to a company use               – Dear Sir or Madam

   When writing to a man use                   – Dear Mr (+surname)
   e.g. Dear Mr Brown

   When writing to a married woman use         – Dear Mrs (+surname)
   e.g. Dear Mrs Lee

   For an unmarried woman use                  – Dear Miss (+surname)
   e.g. Dear Miss Croft

   If you are not sure whether a woman is
   married or not use                          – Dear Ms (+surname)
   e.g. Dear Ms Taylor


   In informal letters, where you know the recipient quite well, you may open
   with their first name:

   e.g. Dear John


   ! Never open a letter with Mr, Mrs or Ms and a person’s first name
   e.g. Dear Mr John


1.2a Closing a Letter:

   When you open with

               Dear Sir or Madam        close with            Yours faithfully

   When you open with

               Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms           close with            Your sincerely

   When you open with

               Dear (first name)        close with            Regards




                                                                                     4
© Philip Stokes 2009                                     http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com



1.2b Complete the gaps with a correct opening or closing:


                             Opening                      Closing

                       Dear Mrs Steele              …………………………………….

                        Dear ……………………………….          Regards

                        Dear Sir or Madam           ……………………………………

                       ……….…Mr Greene               …………………………………….

                        Dear Ms Woodes              ……………………………………




1.3 Beginning the message:

   I am writing in connection with…

               when this is the first letter between you and the recipient

   Further to my telephone call on [+date]
   Further to my previous letter of/dated [+date]
   Further to my email of [+date]

               when you have already contacted the recipient about the matter


   Thank you for your letter of [+date] concerning…
   With reference to your letter of [+ date]

               when you are replying to a message from the recipient


1.3a Ending the message:

   I look forward to hearing from you

               when you want or expect a reply

   If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to contact me.

               when you do not want or expect a reply, but are willing to help if
               necessary


                                                                                         5
© Philip Stokes 2009                                 http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com



1.3b Complete the gaps with an expression from above (make up dates
where necessary):


   i.
   Dear Mr Brown
   ……………………………………………………………..….this morning in which
   you asked us to send you a replacement battery, I would be grateful if you
   could send us further details about the make and model of your mobile
   phone.


   ……………………………………………………………………….


   Yours ……………………….


   Alan Bell


   ii.
   Dear ………………………………
   ………………………………………………………………… the poor flight I
   experienced from Singapore to Hong Kong. The flight was very
   uncomfortable and the food was awful. I expect a full refund on my ticket.


   …………………..……………………………………………………………………


   Yours faithfully


   John Moho




                                                                                     6
© Philip Stokes 2009                                             http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com


   iii.
   Dear Mr Moho


   ……………………………………………………………………………………
   your experience flying from Singapore to Hong Kong. As your travel agent we
   are not in a position to offer compensation. However, we suggest you contact
   the airline directly.


   …………………………………………………………………………………………
   ……………………………………………………………………….…………..……


   Yours sincerely


   Melissa Turvy (Ms)




                                   Refund / Compensation
                           A refund is the return of money paid for goods or services that
                           were not up to standard. A refund can be part or full – either
                           some or all of the money you paid. Compensation is money,
                           services or goods given to you by a company when you have
                           suffered from using their products or services. Compensation
                           can be less than, equivalent to or more than the price you
                           paid, depending on how much you suffered.




                                                                                                 7
© Philip Stokes 2009                                      http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com



1.4 On Christmas Eve, you bought a brand new Sulfa Diamond Swiss
Watch, costing £999 from a branch of All About Watches in Bright City’s
Stella Plaza. Now you find that the watch does not keep accurate time – it
loses almost ten minutes a day.


Complete the letter below complaining to All About Watches. Before you
start, review the language and structures you have learned in 1.1 to 1.3,
and think about what you want the shop to do. What would be reasonable
in a situation like this?




                                                                    5
                                                                        23 The Glades
                                                                        Bright City
        All About Watches       4
                                                                        BC3 9RS
        Unit 12
                                                                    6
        Stella Plaza                                                    Tel: 05-319-7564
        Bright City                                                 6



        BC1 4QR

                            2
        2 January ______

        Dear _________________      3




        ___________________________________________________________________
        ___________________________________________________.


        Unfortunately, ______________________________________________________
        _________________________________________________________________
        _________________________________________________________________


        I must insist, therefore, that _________________________________________.

        __________________________________________________________.

        ___________________




         Jay Fox




                                                                                           8
© Philip Stokes 2009                                     http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com




1.4a Letter Formatting

   Look again at the letter 1.4. Which items below can be matched with a
   number?

       Recipient’s address                 ____ Recipient’s name                  _____
       Sender’s address                    ____ Sender’s name                     _____
       Recipient’s telephone number        ____ Sender’s signature                _____
       Sender’s telephone number           ____ Date the letter was written _____




   Notice that:
   •   the recipient’s address goes on the left side of the letter, and is a little
       lower down the page than the sender’s address, which goes on the right
       side and closer to the top.

   •   we do not include the recipient’s telephone number in the recipient’s
       address. This is because the telephone number is not necessary in order
       to deliver the letter to the correct place

   •   we do not include the sender’s name above the sender’s address. Instead,
       it should appear at the bottom, printed clearly, after the sender’s signature.

   •   the sender’s signature MUST include a surname.




        IMPORTANT - the recipient’s address can often be used by your computer’s
        software to produce envelopes or labels. Therefore, the recipient’s address in
        your letter should appear exactly as you want it to appear on the envelope or
        package.

        You should include all the information you have that will help to deliver the
        letter efficiently. If you know the name of the person that you are writing to,
        their job title, position and/or company name, all this information should be
        included in the recipient’s address.




                                                                                         9
© Philip Stokes 2009                                   http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com

1.4b Paragraph Functions:

   Look at the paragraphs in your letter on page 4. Notice that each paragraph
   has a different function. The message has four paragraphs, starting with “I am
   writing in connection with…”


   Draw lines to match the functions with the paragraph:




       First Paragraph                    making the complaint
       Second Paragraph                   making a demand
       Third Paragraph                    asking for a reply
       Fourth Paragraph                   stating the topic




   A letter of complaint will usually follow this pattern. Additional paragraphs
   could be included to give more details about the problem, or to make the
   complaint stronger (see 1.11).


   Notice the key expressions:


               Unfortunately,             (used when you want to complain)
               I must insist,       (used when you want to make a demand)




                                                                                      10
© Philip Stokes 2009                                   http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com

1.5 You are now ready to write your first FULL letter. On a separate piece
of paper, write a letter of complaint using the details that follow. Use the
letter on page 4 as a guide, and be sure to include all the necessary
addresses, dates, and proper opening and closing.




      You ordered 5 DVD movies from an online retailer, FilmClipz, to the
      value of £99.99. You gave them your credit card details and were told
      shipping would take three to five days. It is now ten days since you
      placed your order, but no DVDs have arrived. You have emailed
      FilmClipz twice, but you have received no reply. This morning you
      checked with your bank and found that your credit card was billed for
      £99.99 on the same day that you placed the order.


      From the website you learn the Customer Services Manager is a
      woman named Claire Troy. Write to her to complain. Think about what
      you want FilmClipz to do, and include that information in your letter.


      Here are the addresses you will need to write the letter. Use today’s
      date.


      The company address is: FilmClipz, Cheapside, Golden City, GL7 9EX


      You live at: 35 Pleasant Crescent, Niceton, Bright City, BC7 5AD




                                                                                      11
© Philip Stokes 2009                                               http://philipstokesel.blogspot.com


1.6 Responding to Customer Complaints:
Read again Jay Fox’s letter from 1.4. Now study the reply below:


      Dear Mr Fox

      With reference to your letter of 2 January concerning the problems with your new
      Sulfa Diamond Swiss watch.

      I would like to apologise for the problems you have experienced. All the watches we
      sell have the highest reputation for accuracy and reliability. Consequently, we take
      this kind of complaint very seriously.

      We have contacted the manufacturer on your behalf. They assure us that because of
      the sophisticated electronic technology used in the watch, the problem you report
      cannot be a result of a fault in the watch itself. Therefore, I am unable to offer you the
      refund requested in your letter.

      However, the source of the problem is almost certainly the battery, and I am delighted
      to inform you that we will replace this free of charge. Please bring the watch into our
      shop at your convenience. The replacement procedure will only take a few minutes.

      Once again, please accept my apologies, and we look forward to your continued
      custom.

      Yours sincerely




   1.6a Match the underlined expressions from 1.6 to the following
   meanings and functions:


   i……………………………………………...means ‘anytime you like’
   ii……………………………………………...means ‘about’ or ‘concerning’
   iii…………………………………………...means ‘we hope you will do business
                         with us again in the future’
   iv……………………………………………...is used to say that you are sorry
   v……………………………………………...is used to say what you can do
   vi……………………………………………...is used to say what you cannot do
   vii……………………………………………...is used to repeat an apology




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