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How to write a formal letter?

When writing a letter, one has to consider whether the letter should be more business or private. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to write a formal letter.

The salutation – formal letter in English

If you know the name of the addressee, you can write your letter with Dear Mr (for a man); Dear Mrs (for a married woman); So, Dear Miss (for an unmarried woman); Dear Ms (for an unmarried woman or if you do not know the marital status). The person’s last name follows this.

If the recipient’s last name is known …

  • used to Dear Mr (Dear)  for a male recipient.
  • Dear Ms ( Sir Very ), you can appeal to women
  • the surname follows after the possibilities mentioned above of addressing (examples: Dear Mr. Smith / Dear Mrs. Jackson ).

A distinction can be made between married women and unmarried women. However, this distinction is mainly out of date and looks like this: 

  • Dear Mrs ( Dear ) is at a married woman used.
  • Dear Miss ( Dear ) is an unmarried woman used.

If you do not know the recipient’s name, for example, because you are applying for a job or writing to an authority, you will, of course, have to formulate the salutation in a more general way. You can address a mail recipient as Dear Sir, a recipient as Dear Madam. If you are not sure whether the recipient is male or female, you can use Dear Sir or Madam.

If the recipient’s name is unknown …

  • you use Dear Sir for a male recipient.
  • You use Dear Madam as a  recipient.
  • Is Dear Sir or Madam  ( Ladies and gentlemen ) or To whom it may concern  (Dear Sirs / To the competent body) used, although the Gender Not is.

→  In German, the third variant is chosen, so there is no corresponding translation for the other two.

The conclusion – formal letter in English

A formal letter to quit, you can  Yours sincerely (name of the recipient is known)  or Yours faithfully  (call not known)  use. The formula Kind regards are less formal.  In formal letters, one is usually a Signature desired. Below that, the full name should also be given in block letters.

  • Very formal farewell formulas are Yours sincerely and Yours faithfully ( Both: Yours sincerely)
  • Yours sincerely is used when the name of the recipient is known is.
  • Kind regards is a little less formal. ( Kind / best regards )
  • This is followed by a comma and the full Signature on the following line.
  • The best thing to do is to write the full name under the Signature in block letters.

Other features – Formal letter in English

In a formal letter, you should always make sure that you formulate the sentences very politely. Words like I would like to or Would it be possible are good examples of polite spelling. Furthermore – in contrast to the personal letter – you should not ramble but formulate your concern. Even short forms should be informal letters tendered to be. For example, instead of  I’ll use I will.

  • A formal letter is worded very politely.
  • Concerns and facts are usually formulated briefly and concisely. (Do not add unnecessary information.)
  • Short forms are written out.

So, here we have a few more examples that will show you how to formulate sentences in a formal letter better.

  • Can you send me some information on …?
    Better: I would be grateful if you would send me some information on …

  • I’m living in London right now, but I will move to Manchester next week because I’ve found a new job. My new address is … That’s why I am writing to you.
    However, better: So, I am writing to inform you that my address will change starting in January 2020. My new address is …

You now know how to write a formal letter in English. We wish you a lot of fun and success while completing the tasks!

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