12 09

Letter writing in english personal

letter writing in english personal Writing letters and emails in English - Speak Languages

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letter writing in english personal

letter writing in english personal Personal Letter Writing Tips - English Practice

In this article, you'll learn how to write informal letters in English, with sample opening and closing sentences. Also, learn the proper formatting for the address, date, and signature; and about the structure and content of personal letters. Additionally, I've added some templates and samples of complete letters.

What is an Informal Letter?

An informal letter is a letter that is written in a personal fashion. You can write them to relatives or friends, but also really to anyone with whom you have a non-professional relationship with, although this doesn't exclude business partners or workers with whom you're friendly with either. There are different ways to carry out this type of letter depending on which country you're in. This article will address the English/American way.

We'll discuss the following elements:

  • address
  • date
  • opening
  • text / body / content
  • closing / end
  • signature


Your personal address should be located at the top right corner of the page, since you do not always know if someone has your address in case they want to reply. Remember to also fill in your country of residence (if that is where you are writing from).


  • Street name and number: 33 Downing Street
  • Postal code and city: 7777 AS Amsterdam
  • Country: The Netherlands


The addressee or receiver's address is usually located on the front of the envelope. You can, however, also choose to place it at the top left of the letter, just below your own address.


  • Sur name, last name: John White
  • Street name and number: 21 Madison Road
  • Postal code, city: NP 194 Oxford
  • State or Province: Oxfordshire
  • Country: United Kingdom


In a number of countries, people will insert the city where the letter is being written from. The English, however, do no such thing. The date is usually located below your own address. Simply leave one line below open, and insert the date. The month, day and year are the normal thing to mention. Sometimes even only the month and day will be sufficient. (Do not forget that in English, the months are spelled with capital letters.)


  • English letter: 22 November, 2011
  • American letter: November 22, 2011


The contents of your letter should be written in a personal and friendly tone. However, it's important to adjust your use of language to the person you are writing to. A good way of assessing how you should write is to think about how you would interact with each other in real life. Also, the English and the Americans are fond of exchanging social niceties. For example, they like asking a few polite questions "How are you?" or "How was your holiday?" for example. In general, they are not as direct as most Europeans.

  • In the first paragraph of your body, you should state your reason for writing.
  • In the second and following paragraphs, expand on what you mentioned in the first paragraph.
  • In the final paragraphs, you can make some concluding remarks.


How do you address someone in English? This is fairly straightforward, and it is usually not as important as would be with a business or formal letter. However, there are still a few things that you should know about in terms of addressing someone properly in an informal latter.

  • First of all, in England there is no period after "Mr," but in American letters there is one.
  • Secondly, women are addressed as "Mrs." if they are married, and with "Ms." when they are not.


This heavily depends on how well you know the person in question. Carefully consider your relationship with him or her. You could simply say: "Hi Richard," but it is always safer to just say "Dear Richard," (Never forget the comma!)

Sample Opening Sentences

Your opening should be casual, and not as stiff as they would be in business letters.


  • How are you?
  • How have you been?
  • How is life treating you?
  • How are the kids?
  • I hope you are doing well
  • I hope you, Mike, and the kids are having a great time in. . .


Closing sentences examples:

  • I am looking forward to seeing you.
  • I can't wait to see you soon.
  • I can't wait to hear from you.
  • I am looking forward to hearing from you, I hope to be hearing from you soon.
  • See you soon.
  • Send my love to. . .
  • I hope you are doing well.
  • Give my regards to. . .


In terms of signing off, the choice is yours and you have a lot of freedom here. Here are some examples:

  • Best wishes,
  • Best,
  • Kindly,
  • Kind regards,
  • Best regards,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love,

Pre-Written Examples

Below are some samples letters. You will see that they adhere to the same structure as discussed in this article. These will give you a better understanding of how the letters can be written.

letter writing in english personal Letter Writing - English Practice

Emails, whether for business or social reasons, are usually written in a more informal style than letters.

You should always give your email a Subject, which should summarise its purpose in a few words.

The conventions for starting business emails vary, although it is quite common to use first names for both business and personal emails if you know the recipient.

It is not necessary to use Dear, although some people prefer to do this.

Generally speaking, the content of business emails should be brief and to the point.

If you are including any attachments, make sure to mention it in the text of your email.

To close a personal email, you can use the same expressions as for informal letters.

If you know the name of the person you are writing to, start your letter by using Dear Mr (for a man), Dear Mrs (for a married woman), Dear Miss (for an unmarried woman), or Dear Ms (for an unmarried woman or where the marital status is unknown), followed by the surname, for example:

If you don't know the name, start with one of the following:

Here are some examples of things you might say in a formal letter:

If you would like a reply, you can use the following sentence at the end of your letter:

If you started your letter with Dear Mr, Dear Mrs, Dear Miss, or Dear Ms, you should finish your letter with the following expression:

However, if you started your letter with Dear Sir, Dear Madam, or Dear Sir or Madam, then use the following:

Add your signature at the end, followed by your full name printed.

It is always advisable to try to find out a name.

2) Dear Mr Jenkins,
If you know the name, use the title (Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms, Dr, etc.) and the surname only. If you are writing to a woman and do not know if she uses Mrs or Miss, you can use Ms, which is for married and single women.

Ending a letter:

1) Yours faithfully
If you do not know the name of the person, end the letter this way.

2) Yours sincerely
If you know the name of the person, end the letter this way.

3) Your signature
Sign your name, then print it underneath the signature. If you think the person you are writing to might not know whether you are male of female, put you title in brackets after your name.

Content of a Formal Letter

First paragraph
The first paragraph should be short and state the purpose of the letter- to make an enquiry, complain, request something, etc.

Last Paragraph
The last paragraph of a formal letter should state what action you expect the recipient to take- to refund, send you information, etc.

Abbreviations Used in Letter Writing

The following abbreviations are widely used in letters:

  • asap = as soon as possible
  • cc = carbon copy (when you send a copy of a letter to more than one person, you use this abbreviation to let them know)
  • enc. = enclosure (when you include other papers with your letter)
  • pp = per procurationem (A Latin phrase meaning that you are signing the letter on somebody else's behalf; if they are not there to sign it themselves, etc)
  • ps = postscript (when you want to add something after you've finished and signed it)
  • pto (informal) = please turn over (to make sure that the other person knows the letter continues on the other side of the page)
  • RSVP = please reply

Outline: A Covering Letter

A covering letter is the one that accompanies your CV when you are applying for a job.

Paragraph 2
Give the reasons why you are interested in working for the company and why you wish to be considered for that particular post. State your relevant qualifications and experience, as well as your personal qualities that make you a suitable candidate.

Paragraph 3
Inform them that you have enclosed your current CV and add any further information that you think could help your case.

Closing Paragraph
Give your availability for interview, thank them for their consideration, restate your interest and close the letter.

Outline: A Letter of Enquiry

A letter of enquiry is when you are approaching a company speculatively, that is you are making an approach without their having advertised or announced a vacancy.

Opening Paragraph
Introduce yourself briefly and give your reason for writing.


  1. Vehalowonej

    This weekend is brought to you by the letter W. W, for weekends of drinking whiskey code writing. W, for getting wild in the wilderness. W

  2. Zedimejunoton

    On this day in 1963 The NY Post Sunday Magazine publishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."s Letter from Birmingham Jail

  3. Jelunodahaseb

    Still pushing a letter that no one has seen? I"ll be glad when Comey can speak for himself in Congress

  4. Niyilovec

    What about putting my letter for in the yearbook I wrote a while ago?

  5. Wujuboxisomenu

    If it"s productive you want, submit a letter requesting a Resolution in Support of National __________________Day. ( Just fill in the black )

  6. Leziqev

    I had a bit of a go at Gove at a reception at Number 10 in 2012. Got a nice but rambling letter after.

  7. Cozedoyo

    , please sign on to Booker/Baldwin/Franken letter to support Title IVA of ESSA, in FY18. and needs those funds!

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