ESL Writing: Useful phrase - formal letters in english

Writing business letters in english

Salutation conversation in english

Dear Mr Brown
Dear Ms White
Dear Sir
Dear Sirs
Dear Madam
Dear Sir or Madam

Starting business letters in english

We are writing to inform you that ...
to confirm ...
to request ...
to enquire about ...
I am contacting you for the following reason.
I recently read/heard about . . . and would like to know . . .
Having seen your advertisement in ... , I would like to ...
I would be interested in (obtaining/receiving) ...
I received your address from ... and would like to …
I am writing to tell you about …

Referring to previous contact  conversation in english

Thank you for your letter of March 15 ...
Thank you for contacting us.
In reply to your request ...
Thank you for your letter regarding ...
With reference to our telephone conversation yesterday ...
Further to our meeting last week ...
It was a pleasure meeting you in London last month.
I enjoyed having lunch with you last week in Tokyo.
I would just like to confirm the main points we discussed on Tuesday . . .

Making a request conversation in english

We would appreciate it if you would ...
I would be grateful if you could...
Could you please send me . . .
Could you possibly tell us/let us have...
In addition, I would like to receive ...
It would be helpful if you could send us ...
I am interested in (obtaining/receiving...)
I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
Please let me know what action you propose to take.

Offering help conversation in english

We would be happy to ...
Would you like us to ...
We are quite willing to ...
Our company would be pleased to ..

Giving good news conversation in english

We are pleased to announce that ...
I am delighted to inform you that ...
You will be pleased to learn that …

Giving bad news conversation in english

We regret to inform you that ...
I'm afraid it would not be possible to ...
Unfortunately we cannot/we are unable to ...
After careful consideration we have decided (not) to …

Complaining conversation in english

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with ...
I am writing to complain about ...
Please note that the goods we ordered on (date) have not yet arrived.
We regret to inform you that our order n°--- is now considerably overdue.
I would like to query the transport charges which seem unusually high.

Apologizing conversation in english

We are sorry for the delay in replying ...
I regret any inconvenience caused
I would like to apologize for (the delay/the inconvenience) ...
Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience.

Orders conversation in english

Thank you for your quotation of ...
We are pleased to place an order with your company for ...
We would like to cancel our order n°...
Please confirm receipt of our order.
I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of your order n°...
Your order will be processed as quickly as possible.
It will take about (three) weeks to process your order.
We can guarantee delivery before ...
Unfortunately these articles are no longer available/are out of stock.

Prices  conversation in english

Please send us your price list.
You will find enclosed our most recent catalogue and price list.
Please note that our prices are subject to change without notice.
We have pleasure in enclosing a detailed quotation.
We can make you a firm offer of ...
Our terms of payment are as follows :

Referring to payment conversation in english

Our records show that we have not yet received payment of ...
According to our records ...
Please send payment as soon as possible.
You will receive a credit note for the sum of ...

Enclosing documents conversation in english

I am enclosing ...
Please find enclosed ...
You will find enclosed ...

Closing remarks conversation in english

If we can be of any further assistance, please let us know
If I can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me
If you require more information ...
For further details ...
Thank you for taking this into consideration
Thank you for your help.
We hope you are happy with this arrangement.
We hope you can settle this matter to our satisfaction.

Referring to future business conversation in english

We look forward to a successful working relationship in the future
We would be (very) pleased to do business with your company.
I would be happy to have an opportunity to work with your firm.

Referring to future contact conversation in english

I look forward to seeing you ne xt week
Looking forward to hearing from you
" " to receiving your comments
I look forward to meeting you on the 15th
I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience.

Ending business letters in english

Sincerely, }
Yours sincerely, } (for all customers/clients)
Sincerely yours, }
Regards, (for those you already know and/or
with whom you already have a working relationship.)

linking words in english

In addition
As well as
Apart from
In addition to

Ideas are often linked by and. In a list, you put a comma between each item, but not before and.

"We discussed training, education and the budget."

Also is used to add an extra idea or emphasis. "We also spoke about marketing."

You can use also with not only to give emphasis.

"We are concerned not only by the costs, but also by the competition."

We don't usually start a sentence with also. If you want to start a sentence with a phrase that means also, you can use In addition, or In addition to this…

As well as can be used at the beginning or the middle of a sentence.

"As well as the costs, we are concerned by the competition."

"We are interested in costs as well as the competition."

Too goes either at the end of the sentence, or after the subject and means as well.

"They were concerned too."

"I, too, was concerned."

Apart from and besides are often used to mean as well as, or in addition to.

"Apart from Rover, we are the largest sports car manufacturer."

"Besides Rover, we are the largest sports car manufacturer."

Moreover and furthermore add extra information to the point you are making.

"Marketing plans give us an idea of the potential market. Moreover, they tell us about the competition."

Summarising in english

In short
In brief
In summary
To summarise
In a nutshell
To conclude
In conclusion

We normally use these words at the beginning of the sentence to give a summary of what we have said or written.

Sequencing ideas in english

The former, … the latter
Firstly, secondly, finally
The first point is
The following

The former and the latter are useful when you want to refer to one of two points.
"Marketing and finance are both covered in the course. The former is studied in the first term and the latter is studied in the final term."

Firstly, … secondly, … finally (or lastly) are useful ways to list ideas.

It's rare to use "fourthly", or "fifthly". Instead, try the first point, the second point, the third point and so on.

The following is a good way of starting a list.

"The following people have been chosen to go on the training course: N Peters, C Jones and A Owen."

Giving a reason in english

Due to / due to the fact that
Owing to / owing to the fact that
Because of

Due to and owing to must be followed by a noun.

"Due to the rise in oil prices, the inflation rate rose by 1.25%."

"Owing to the demand, we are unable to supply all items within 2 weeks."

If you want to follow these words with a clause (a subject, verb and object), you must follow the words with the fact that.

"Due to the fact that oil prices have risen, the inflation rate has gone up by 1%25."

"Owing to the fact that the workers have gone on strike, the company has been unable to fulfil all its orders."

Because / because of

Because of is followed by a noun.

"Because of bad weather, the football match was postponed."

Because can be used at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence. For example, "Because it was raining, the match was postponed."

"We believe in incentive schemes, because we want our employees to be more productive."

Since / as

Since and as mean because.

"Since the company is expanding, we need to hire more staff."

"As the company is expanding, we need to hire more staff."

Giving a result in english language

This means that
As a result

Therefore, so, consequently and as a result are all used in a similar way.

"The company are expanding. Therefore / So / Consequently / As a result, they are taking on extra staff."

So is more informal.
Contrasting ideas

Although / even though
Despite / despite the fact that
In spite of / in spite of the fact that
In theory… in practice…

But is more informal than however. It is not normally used at the beginning of a sentence.

"He works hard, but he doesn't earn much."
"He works hard. However, he doesn't earn much."

Although, despite and in spite of introduce an idea of contrast. With these words, you must have two halves of a sentence.

"Although it was cold, she went out in shorts."
"In spite of the cold, she went out in shorts."

Despite and in spite of are used in the same way as due to and owing to. They must be followed by a noun. If you want to follow them with a noun and a verb, you must use the fact that.

"Despite the fact that the company was doing badly, they took on extra employees."

Nevertheless and nonetheless mean in spite of that or anyway.

"The sea was cold, but he went swimming nevertheless." (In spite of the fact that it was cold.)
"The company is doing well. Nonetheless, they aren't going to expand this year."

While, whereas and unlike are used to show how two things are different from each other.

"While my sister has blue eyes, mine are brown."

"Taxes have gone up, whereas social security contributions have gone down."

"Unlike in the UK, the USA has cheap petrol."

In theory… in practice… show an unexpected result.

"In theory, teachers should prepare for lessons, but in practice, they often don't have enough time."

1 comment:

  1. Introduce yourself briefly and give your reason for writing. Let them know of the kind of position you are seeking, why you are interested and how you heard about them.