Formal vs Informal letters
NOTE: This topic is for IELTS General Training test ONLY. If you are taking the IELTS Academic Training test then skip this post.
Use the following in INFORMAL letters
- Beginning: Dear + first name
- Friendly greeting: I hope you are in the pink of health
- Contractions: I'm, didn't, couldn't, don't, you've etc.
- Questions: Do you remember ...? Why don't you ...?
- Exclamation: I can't wait to see you!
- Connectors: Well, anyway, so, and
- Phrases: had a great time, couldn't have asked for more, working flat out, back to normal
- Ending: hope to see you soon + first name
Use the following in FORMAL letters
- Beginning: Dear Sir or Madam
- No greeting necessary
- Do not use contractions: I am instead of I'm, could not instead of couldn't
- Avoid direct questions: "I would like ..." instead of "Can I have ...?"
- No exclamation marks (!)
- Connectors: Consequently, However, although, also, and
- Phrases and vocabulary: with regard to, failed to, he assured me, I reported the issue, contacted, under warranty
- Ending: I await your prompt response, Yours faithfully + full name
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