ESL Writing: Informal letter

Asking about them, thanking for the letter

…Hi! How are things? /… How are you (and your family)?
How’s it going?
How was (your holiday)?
How were your exams/…?
How are things with you? How’s your new job going?
Have you (finished your dissertation yet)?

…I hope you are well/ everything is okay.
…I bet you (did / have/ passed them all)!

Thank you for your letter.
Many thanks for your (last) letter – it was really nice/great
…...to hear from you again
…...to get your letter and hear all your news, especially (the part about you and your parents coming to visit in Spain)
…....to hear that you won the (short story) competition

Apologising for not writing sooner and saying why this was not possible (explain why, say what you’ve been doing recently)

…It’s been such a long time since we wrote to each other.
…It’s been a while since I last wrote to you. Sorry – I’ve been…
…(I’m)(really) sorry
……… I didn’t write back earlier (but…)
………( I haven’t written for so long/ for ages, but…
……… I haven’t kept in touch, but…
…………….but I’ve been up to my ears in work
……………but I’ve been really busy (preparing /studying for my exams // with rehearsals for the play
………….....but things at work (and home) have been really busy lately
……..…....but unfortunately both of us / I had really bad flu.

I thought I’d better write and let you know that…

Referring to their news

…Great news about…
...Glad to hear that…
…It’s really good news that (you’ve passed your driving test! Congratulations!)
...Sorry to hear about…

BODY
Giving news and introducing new points
(start a NEW paragraph for each main point you want to make)

…Listen, did I tell you…?
…Oh, and another thing.
…By the way, you’ll never guess/believe
(who I bumped into the other day).

…(Do) You remember I told you in my last letter (that I was going to…)
…Let me tell you about
…Guess what?
…Anyway, you asked me to tell you (all the family news)
…The big news is that (Bob got divorced).Can you believe it?
…One piece of sad news – you’ll be sorry to hear
that (our lovely old cat passed away at Christmas)
…One last thing.

I can’t believe…( I can’t believe I’ve been here in England for two weeks already.)
...So far, I’ve…( So far, I’ve been to visit lots of places of interest here, including…

Making suggestions

Why don’t you…?
Maybe you could…
How about…?

=====

Closing expressions (1)
(Give a reason for ending your letter)

Once again ,( thanks very much for all your help)
(Well, / Anyway, ) …

…I’ve covered just about everything now, I think.
…That’s (about) all for now. Got to go.
…That’s about all my news.

…got to go now (as I’ve got another rehearsal in a few minutes).
…I must go (& pack my suitcase)- I’ll write again soon)
…I’d better stop/go now (& get on with my studying)
… I’m running out of room =места не хватает,
so (I’d better say goodbye for now).

Closing expressions (2)
(Mention the next time you will see the person
you are writing to, say when you hope to see/contact your friend)

Give my love/regards to (your family/ to Ben)
Say hello to…
Everybody sends their love to…
We all miss you (too)

…Write (back) /drop me a line soon (and tell me all your news).
…I hope (things are getting easier now) and)
you find time to drop me a line (with your news/..).
…I’d love to hear from you.

…(I’m) (really) looking forward to seeing you soon (in July/on…)
…See you soon!
…Can’t wait to see you (in the summer).

Signing off
Love, Lots of love, All my love, With love,
Yours,
All the best
Take care,
Much love,...
Thinking of you,

your FIRST NAME (!!!)

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