martes, 27 de noviembre de 2012

Formal-letter writing

Letter-writing practice is one of those topics most students do not like because they find it meaningless; they think they will never need to write a letter, especially a formal one, so why bother to learn how to do it?

Let me see if I can find some reasons why you should learn how to write a formal letter:

  • Imagine you become the president of our country and you need to write to the president of a country where English is the official language, you want to do it correctly so as not to embarrass your fellow citizens, don´t you? You do not want to do what François Hollande, current President of France, did when he wrote to congratulate President Barack Obama: he signed off with "Friendly" but he should have finished with a more suitable phrase such as "Best wishes" or "Your friend" (from friend to friend) or a more formal one like "Sincerely" or "Yours faithfully," someone should have told him "Friendly" is never used to close a letter since it is an adjective
    



If you want to see some other letter closings or e-mail goodbyes, click here.


  • formal letter writing is an ability native speakers of English learn at a very early age and they practise quite often: here is one example of one kid applying for a job: 








Here´s another example: a 3-year-old kid wrote to Sainbury´s , a famous store in the UK, suggesting a name change for a type of bread. He got this formal letter on the right for an answer.













  • what if you become the president of the homeowner´s association in your building? Imagine there is a problem with one of your neighbors and you must let him know what you think; instead of a direct confrontation, writing a letter might help to make things clear -especially if that neighbour is someone important or popular, like Andy Warhol.













  • formal-letter writing seems to be useful even to get dates, so you shouldn´t underestimate their importance...

For "serious" advice on how to write a formal letter, click here or here or watch the following video (IELTS =International English Language Testing System): 





For examples of all sorts of letters, have a look at Letters of Note; it is a kind of blog where they show "fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos," that´s how they describe the letters and I totally agree: some of them are just fascinating.

4 comentarios:

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  2. Thanks for sharing this nice post. Before writing letter to any one, you should understand the format of Formal and Informal Letters in English.

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    Respuestas
    1. Thanks, Julia, I hope my students will have a look at your advice

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