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Some general guidelines

There are many different reasons for writing a business letter. However, most business letters follow some general guidelines as described below.

Here’s how:

  1. Use block style – do not indent paragraphs.
  2. Include addresses of the person you are writing to at the top of the letter, below your company address.
  3. After the address, double space and include date.
  4. Double space (or as much as you need to put the body of the letter in the centre) and include the salutation. Include Mr. for men, unless the recipient has a title such as Dr.
  5. State a reference reason for your letter (i.e. “With reference to our telephone conversation…”)
  6. Give the reason for writing (i.e. “I’m writing to you to confirm our order…”)
  7. Make any request you may have (i.e. “I would be grateful if you could include a brochure…”)
  8. If there is to be further contact, refer to this contact (i.e. “I look forward to meeting you at…”)
  9. Close the letter with a thank you (i.e. “Thank you for your prompt help…”)
  10. Finish the letter with a salutation (i.e. “Yours sincerely,”)
  11. Include 4 spaces and type your full name and title.
  12. Sign the letter between the salutation and the typed name and title.


  1. Keep the letter brief and to the point
  2. Do not use shortened verb forms – write them out (i.e. “don’t instead of do not”)
  3. Always keep a copy of correspondence for future reference.


Exrcise 84

Read and translate.

Business Letter Writing


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 Personnel Director,
  • 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 – VERY IMPORTANT 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

You can start with either:

Subject: ……………….

Reference: …………….

Re: ……………………

Or an expression like:

  • With reference to your advertisement in the Times,…

your letter of 23rd March,…

your phone call today,…

  • Thanks you for your letter of March 5th.

The Reasons for Writing

  • I am writing to enquire about …

apologize for …

confirm …


  • Could you possibly …?
  • I would be grateful if you could …
  • I would appriciate it if you could ……..
  • Could you please ………..?

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 …


  • I regret that …
  • I am afraid that …
  • I am sorry that …
  • I apologise for …

Expressing urgency

  • … at your earliest convenience
  • … without delay
  • … as soon as possible


  • I am pleased to confirm that …
  • I confirm that …
  • This is to confirm that …

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.

Ending the letter

  • I look forward to …
  • I am sure that …
  • I hope …
  • See you soon (informal)

Closing salutation

  • Yours faithfully, (if you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to)
  • Yours sincerely, (if you know the name of the person you are writing to)
  • Best wishes,
  • Best regards, (if the person is a close business contact or friend)

Exercise 85

Choosing from the words in the box, label the parts of the letter. The first has been done for you.


6 Pine Estate, Westhornet, Bedfordshire, UB18 22BC.

2) Telephone 9017 23456 Telex X238 WID Fax 9017 67893


Michael Scott, Sales Manager,

Smith and Brown plc,

3) Napier House,

North Molton Street,

Oxbridge OB84 9TD.


4) Your ref. MS/WID/15/88

Our ref. ST/MN/10/88

5) 31 JANUARY 19––

6) Dear Mr Scott,

7) Thank you for your letter of 20 January, explaining that the super widgets, catalogue reference X–3908, are no longer available but that ST–1432, made to the same specifications but using a slightly different alloy (сплав), are now available instead.


8) Before I place a firm order I should like to see samples (образцы) of the new super widgets. If the replacement (замена) is as good as you say it is, I shall certainly wish to reinstate (восстановить) the original order, but placing an order for the new items.

Apart from anything else, I should prefer to continue to deal with Smith and Brown, whose service has always been satisfactory in the past. But you will understand that I must safeguard (охранять) Widgetry’s interests and make sure that the quality is good.


9) I would, therefore, be grateful if you could let me have a sample as soon as possible.


10) Yours sincerely,

11) Simon Thomas


12) Simon Thomas

13) Production Manager

14) enc.

Exercise 86

This second letter has been revised so many times by Mr Thomas that it has become all mixed up, and his word processor has failed to reorganize it. Arrange the letter so that everything is in the right place. The point in the letter is:




1) Simon Thomas



3) 6 Pine Estate, Westhornet, Bedfordshire, UB18 22BC Telephone 9017 23456 Telex X238 WID Fax 9017 67893  

4) I look forward to hearing from you


5) Your ref. MS/WID/15/88 Our ref. ST/MN/10/88  
6) Yours sincerely,




8) Production Manager
9) Thank you for your letter. I am afraid that we have a problem with your order.
10) 6 June 19––
11) Unfortunately, the manufactures of the part you wish to order have advised us that they cannot supply it until September. Would you prefer us to supply a substitute (замена), or would you rather wait until the original parts are again available?




12) Dear Mr Bowers

Exercise 87

Read and translate the text. Insert the articles where necessary.

When we want to write ...... letter, we take ...... piece of paper and ..... pen. We first write our ....... address and ........ date in the right–hand corner. Then on ....... left–hand side we write .......... greeting. We may write, for instance, “Dear Mr Brown” or “Dear Sirs”, etc., and then on the next line we begin ........ body of ....... letter. At the end of ......... letter we write “yours sincerely” or “yours faithfully”. And then we sign our name. We put ........ letter into ...... envelope and close ....... envelope. On ....... envelope we write ......... name and ......... address of ......... person who will recieve it. We stick ........ stamp in ....... top right–hand corner, and then we post ......... letter.

Lesson 9 Урок 9

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