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:

  1. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

  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.

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


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