Important Language to Remember and Notations

Opening and closing

For semi-formal emails. Hello and Hi are common openings and Best wishes or All the best are often used to close.

When writing to several people, you can address the group, e.g. Dear Project Managers

Format emails, like letters, start with Dear ir/Madam or Dear Mr/Ms X and close with Yours sincerely or Yours faithfully as appropriate.

Exchanging information

Are you going to Tuesday's Production meeting at 10am?

Couidyou mail me the sales figwes for last month by 4pm?

Here is the brochure on the new product you asked for (see attachment).

I'm sending you the board's recommendations with this mail.

Please note that today's appraisal meetings have been cancelled. They will be rescheduled for the same times next Monday.

Just to let you know, I sent the attached minutes of Tuesday's Production meeting to all the participants.

Replying to emails

Thank you for your mail.

I got your mail, thanks.

Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday but..

Yes, I will fee at the Production meeting at 10am Tuesday.

Thanks for the information about the appraisal meetings. Ill make a note of it.


Sample emails


a b c d e f g From: To: Cc: Bcc: Sent: Subject: Re: Attachment: Sarah Bates Tom Peterson Alan Hickson, Production Manager Katia Belmondo, Managing Director 12 January 200_ 14:54 Request for dispatch confirmation Invoice doc
h i j k   Dear Mr Peterson   Thank you for your mail. I haw checked with Mr Hickson, our Production Manager, and I can confirm that the 200 cases you ordered left our warehouse yesterday and should arrive at their destination by tomorrow at the latest. Please let me know if there is any delay. I am sending a copy of the invoice as requested, in the attached file.     Yours sincerely Sarah Bates Personal Assistant

From: To: Cc: Bcc: Sent: Subject: Re: Attachment: Pierre Bernard, Sales Manager Jack Wood, Sally Maryfield, Jeffrey Potter Charleas Baker, Senior Accountant   15 November 200. 09-32 Congratulations to the Sales Team
  Hi Team   I'm sure you will all agree that the annual Sales meeting was a great success. This was clearly due to the excellent organisation involved and I thank you for all your hard work. As you know, we are still watting for the final figures from some of our regional sales reps but it looks very likely that we will exceed our targets in every area. So, well done. To show her appreciation, Ms Belrnondo has instructed the Accounts Depariment to award you all an extra 5% bonus. Keep up the good work!     Best wishes   Pierre

Language Development

Task 1. Practice

Find an answer to one of these questions given by tour teacher and send him/her an e-mail with your answer to the address provided by your teacher. Receive an answer from your teacher (it may have some corrections or an approvement).

Be ready to present your answer in class.

Email Workshop Questions


1. What is email? What do you need to be able to use email service?

2. How is email different from letters? (List at least 10 differences)

3. What are advantages (list at least 3 of them) and disadvantages (list at least 3 of them) of using email? Give reasons.

4. When should you send business email? When is it not advisable to send email at all? Give reasons.

5. Look at the following fields of an email head and explain what they mean and what sort of information should be written in them.



6. Is layout important in email? Do spelling and grammar matter in email? Give reasons.

7. We read differently from screens and must write differently for them. Give at list 5 tips for good web writing and comment them.

8. What is a good email program? Give a brief description of each of them.

9. What is a signature block? When is it important? What should it include?

10. What is Netiquette? What are its main rules?

11. What can you attach to your email? Why is it suggested to avoid attachments? Give reasons.

12. What is the "reply" button? Why should you use it?

13. What are emoticons and smileys? (give some examples) Can they be used in business email? Give reasons.

14. What is email spam? What anti-spam techniques are suggested for use to avoid receiving email spam?

15. How should you process your inbox?



Unit 10 Memo

Before reading the given information, answer these questions.

1 What is a memo?

2 When are memos usually sent?

3 To whom are memos sent?

4 Where is the date usually placed?

5 Do memos have a salutation?

6 Do memos have complementary closings?

7 How many topics does a memo normally deal with?

8 Where is the subject line and how is it differentiated from other parts of memo?

9 What is the average length of a memo?

10 Where should you place the most important information?

11 Who should you consider when writing a memo?

12 Should you consider what the reader already knows about the subject?

13 Should the language in a memo be formal or informal?

14 What are things to consider in the look of your memo?

15 Should memos always be written in longhand?


Now find answers to these questions.


The word memorandum, or memo for short, originally meant a reminder or confirmation. Memos are considered to be official documents in most organizations. It is a very common form of business communication used for a wide variety of messages exchanged between people working in the same organisation. A memo usually focuses on only one specific topic, as in the following examples:

Conveying informationReporting back the minutes of meetings or summaries of brainstorming sessions

Requesting informationAsking employees to send in requests for the use of office parking spaces

Giving instructionsTelling employees to display identity badges when entering the building

Recommending optionsInforming people in the company of decisions reached on the best way to solve a company dilemma and recommending that these options be implemented

Memos are often read by many people. Many memos are written to large groups of people within an organization. Some memos are written to only one person but are passed along (forwarded) to other people in the organization who need the information.


When writing memos, you should follow the standard format. The memo below shows where the following different components should appear on the page.

The heading segment follows this general format:

a DATE:date (complete and current date)

b TO: name of the person / people the memo is addressed to

c FROM: name of the person / people sending the memo

d SUBJECT:information about the content of the memo

Opening segment

e introduction to the subject matter

Information segment

f main points

g conclusion, often recommending the action to be taken

Closing segment

h closing, which can be the name or initials of the person sending the memo


Language styles

Although styles vary across cultures and organisations, there are basic rules to memo writing.

The opening is more direct and less formal than in a letter or email, with no greeting such as Dear... and memos usually start with the introduction to the main points. The closing is generally just the initials of the sender.

Memos are less formal than business letters so the tone is neutral and the language simple.

Sentences are usually short and clear, but not brisk and bossy.

Memos often conclude with a request for action.


State the most important points first, then move on to the details.

Be specific and brief in every heading so that the basic point of your memo is apparent to the reader right away.

Include only as much information as necessary for the reader; be concise but convincing that the problem or issue does exist and needs to be assessed.

Feel free to include lists, charts, and graphs at the end of the memo to help the reader better understand the topic. Make sure to add a notation of how the attachments are relevant.

The reader can understand the memo better if you use headings for the different segments of the memo.

Write short headings that clarify the content of each category. For example, instead of stating "opening", write "Ant problem in the office".

Always address the reader by his or her correct name; do not use nicknames.

When constructing the heading, be sure to double space between sections and align the text.

When writing the opening segment, if you are having trouble describing what you are doing to solve the problem (the task statement), consider whether you have clarified the situation.

When writing the opening segment, include only as much information as is needed, while still being convincing that a real problem exists.

When writing the discussion segment, begin the discussion with the information that is most important.

When writing the discussion segment, start with the most general information and move to specific or supporting facts.

When writing the closing, be sure to consider how the reader will benefit from the desired actions and how you can make those actions easier. You might say, "I will be glad to discuss these recommendations with you later on and follow through on any decisions you make."

When using attachments, be sure to refer to your attachments in your memo and add a notation about what is attached below your closing.

Get personal: Use words like I, you, and we. To initiate action, write in the active, not the passive voice.

Be conversational: Write the way you talk and do not be afraid to use contractions.

Dont show off: Avoid scholarly words, technical jargon, and just plain gibberish like "as per your request" when you simply mean "heres what you wanted". Such language may easily confuse readers.

Check for errors: If there is an error in a memo, it will probably be in names, dates or numbers.

Dont give too many whys: Its important to explain why you want something done, but dont overdo it.

Keep paragraphs short: Limit each paragraph to five lines or less.

Close with a call to action: If there is something you want the reader to do by a particular time, say so.


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