NOTE: This topic is for IELTS General Training test ONLY. If you are taking the IELTS Academic training test then skip this lesson.

Here's a practice exercise for you. Let's see if you can identify the tone and purpose of the letter correctly.

Look at these opening sentences. Identify the purpose and tone of these letter.

Tone of the letter Purpose of the letter


Thanks so much for your letter and the lovely photos of the wedding, which are absolutely marvellous.


To express thanks to a friend


I am a first-year student in the Faculty of Science.I am writing to ask permission to transfer from Biochemistry to Biology …


I’m writing to thank you for your hospitality on Saturday. It was very kind of you to give us dinner even though we arrived unexpectedly.


I am a resident at Flat 4, 43 Westbridge Road, Newport. I would like to report that a green Toyota van has been abandoned outside our block of flats…


Following our telephone conversation, this is to confirm that, unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the meeting on 3rd March.


On 15th March, I purchased a new car through your Perth showroom. Since then I have experienced a series of difficulties which I wish to outline …

Tone Purpose
a) Informal To express thanks to a friend
b) Formal To ask permission from an official
c) Informal To express thanks to a friend
d) Formal To complain to an authority
e) Formal To cancel an official meeting
f) Formal To complain to an official

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