The subscription (complimentary close)

aIn most documents Yours faithfully should be used.

bThe first word should begin with the capital letter, but the second with a lower one.

cThe subscription should be followed by a comma.

dYours sincerely can be used if the recipient is known to the writer on a personal basis, or if it is desirable to dispense with formality.

eThe subscription should be started at the middle of the page.


The signature

aThis should be normal signature of the writer, and should not include any courtesy title or otherwise.

b A woman can indicate her title in brackets if she wishes, e. g., Miss; Mrs.; Ms

e.g. Margarete Watson

M. E. Watson (Mrs.)

The designation

This simply gives the official status of the writer and, if required, is best printed directly underneath the signature.


Remember! If your stationery has a letterhead, skip senders address. If the recipient specifically requests information, such as a job reference or invoice number, type Re:on one or two lines, immediately below the Date (2). If you're replying to a letter, refer to it here, i.e. Re: Job # 625-01 or Re: Your letter dated 1/1/200x. Always include the name of a specific individual at the organization you are writing to. The salutation is always formal and includes the recipients last name. The body of your letter should be written in block format. Do not indent the paragraphs. Business letters should never be handwritten. Include a professional closing such as Sincerely. Make sure to include a handwritten signature. Be sure to include your address, phone number, and email (either in the letterhead or at the end of your letter). Business letters should be single-spaced except for a double space before salutation (Dear.) and leave 4 spaces for handwritten signature. Use 1-1.5 inch margins (1 inch = 2,5 cm) Do not use shortened verb forms write them out (i.e. "don't instead of do not"). Do not use professional jargon or slang. Use KISS (Keep it Short and Simple) principle when writing a letter. Keep the letter brief and to the point. Try to keep your letters to one page. Dont worry if your letter does not take up the whole page. Dont try to expand your letter to fill the page by including unnecessary information. If you enclose some documents, dont forget to write Enc: (or Enclosure(s):)(you can give number(s) of enclosed documents or list them). If you send a copy to somebody else, write cc: (list the names of people to whom you distribute copies in alphabetical order. If addresses would be useful to the recipient of the letter, include them.) Remember to always be polite and check your work for spelling and grammar mistakes. Always keep a copy of correspondence for future reference.

There are many types of business letters according to the purpose of their writing. Well consider the following types of business letters:

Cover(ing) Letters/Application Letter

2.Reference Letter/Letter of Recommendation

3. Enquiry Letter/Request Letter Answer Letter

4. Letter of Complaint/Complaint(s) Letter Apology Letter



Language development


Exercise 1. Types of letters

Match each statement(1-10) with the proper term.


1. Tells the addressee you want to quit your job 2. Breaks news 3. Formally confirms the adressee you have received his message 4. First contact with a new employer ? 5. Letter you send as an answer to his message 6. Tells your potential client what your sales conditions are 7. Tells your addressee when he/she can expect the goods 8. You send these if your client doesn't pay 9. Usually a sales letter and one or more folders, sent to many prospects at the same time 10. Says you're sorry for what went wrong   a. acknowledgement b. price quotation c. enquiry d. complaint e. sales letter f. execution of order g. reply h. letter of application i. letterhead j. sample k. collection letters l. letter declining application m. letter of resignation n. announcement o. apology p. invoice q. mailing

Exercise 2. Letter Layout


Here are the beginnings and endings of three letters:

P. O. Box No. 82, New Place Liverpool L69 3HS   8/9/98   The manager Browne & Green Ltd. 5 High Street Hereford HR1 2CD   Dear Sir   Yours faithfully F. Waite (Miss) Assistant manager, Claims





2 Elm Avenue Southland SS4 7BD   Dr D. Black, Principal Globe School of Languages 66 Grimshaw Gardens Folkestone Kent CT20 2PY 3/8/94   Dear Dr Black,   Yours sincerely John White









A Information

As you can see, even the beginnings and endings of the letters contain information about the following:

1. When the letter was written and sent.

2. Who wrote it.

3. Where they can be contacted.

4. Who the letter is written to.

5. Where they are.


Answer the following

a) Who lives at Churn Farm?

b) Where does John White live?

c) Who is the manager of Browne & Green's?

d) Where is the head office of Life Royal?

e) Who is in charge of the Globe School of Languages?

f) What is the job of F. Waite?

g) Does she know the person she is writing to?

h) Where is the Globe School?

i) Are all three letters business letters?

j) Which two writers know each other best?


B Formality

The three letters are not the same. They use different forms of greeting and different types of presentation. They are written with different degrees of formality, depending on how well the writers know each other.

Arrange the letters in order of formality:

a) Most formal (letter )

b) (letter )

c) Least formal (letter _)

Exercie 2. Envelope

Note that the envelope carries the receiver's address, as in the letter itself, written in the centre of the plain side. The sender's address may also be written on the envelope, in the corner or on the back, as long as the two are not confused.



Sign all three envelopes using the information from Exercise 1.



Exercise 3. Complete the following table using information from the three letters in Exercise 1.


formal a) b)
semi-formal c) d)
personal e) Yours sincerely

Note: other closes for the personal letter: 'Love', 'Best wishes', 'Yours affectionately', 'Yours ever', etc.


Now correct the following:

a) Dear Bill.... Yours faithfully, Ben

b) Dear Mr. Willis. Yours faithfully, John Laws

c) Dear Sir...... Yours, Albert Bridge

d) Dear Marge..... Yours faithfully, Jill

e) Dear Sir.... Yours sincerely, J.J. Kate

Exercise 4. Letter layouts

For A-C provide the following:

1. Date

2. Sender's address

3. Receiver's address

4. Salutation

5. Close

6. Signature

7. Addressed envelope.

Lay them out as shown above.



You are Ronald Wrigley of General Dealer's Ltd., Mill Lane, London EC1 2BF.You are writing to the Station Master at British Rail, Little Chippings, Buckinghamshire MK18 9OL. Use today's date.


You are Ben Beverly and you live at 29 Oak End Lane, Bradford BD5 4RG.You are writing to Miss Rosie Lee, The Nook Inn, Ingleton, Derby DE7 8ME. She is a very close friend.



You are Walter Wimborne of 149 Great North Road, Motherwell ML2 2Wa. You are writing to Arthur Pionter, who is the manager of Gerry's Building Supplies, Grimes Street, Gloucester GL2 6YH.



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