How to write a letter in English: the types and structure of business letters

The question of how to write a letter in English is encountered by schoolchildren, students, and adults (for example, employees of various companies). First of all, it is necessary to understand what types of letters exist. There are letters of a personal nature and business. Despite the fact that personal letters in English also have a special structure, the greatest interest (and complexity) are business letters.

A business letter in English is a special genre of written text that has a rigid structure and requires the use of specific lexical means - words and phrases. In addition, the texts of business letters differ from the usual even grammatically. It should be borne in mind that structurally and lexically the letters differ depending on whether the American or British version is used, so the answer to the question of how to write the letter in English may depend on the country of origin of the recipient of your letter.

In terms of the structure, all business letters are similar: in the upper right corner is the sender's address and date, below (left) above the body of the letter-the address of the recipient and an address to it. As a rule, in business letters, appeals such as Dear Sir / Madam, Dear Mr / Mrs Smith are used , in some cases an impersonal treatment is used - To whom it may concern . The message follows the body of the letter, after the final part of the letter - the final phrase and the sender's signature, for example Yours faithfully / Your sincerely / Truly yours and the sender's name and surname.

Common are the recommendations on vocabulary and grammar:

  • Avoid abbreviated forms, such as is not, do not ;
  • Use formal bindings and opening words, for example, Therefore, However, First of all ;
  • Do not use colloquial language;
  • Prefer formal vocabulary;
  • Choose the grammatical forms inherent in the formal style, for example, the passive voice. This problem is being currently discussed instead of active. We are currently discussing this problem .

How to write a letter in English depends on the type of letter. The most common types of business letters are: a letter of application for employment, a letter of complaint, a letter of inquiry and a motivation letter.

The cover letter traditionally consists of 4 paragraphs. In the first you tell, in what occasion you write and how you learned about the vacancy. In the second - briefly state the information about relevant experience and qualifications. The third paragraph contains your thoughts on why you are the ideal candidate for the given place, and in the final part you report on your readiness to provide additional data and to pass the interview.

The complaint letter, as a rule, also consists of 4 parts. In the first you tell, in what occasion you write, the second paragraph contains information about the problem and the measures you have taken. The third paragraph explains the inconvenience and complexity involved in the current situation. And, finally, in the last part you should tell what actions you expect from the defendant.

Motivation letter is a type of official letter, very relevant for students and applicants for foreign grants. Young people planning to study at foreign universities need to know how to write a letter in English, and in particular to be able to write a motivation letter that represents their academic data, skills and abilities, interests, plans for the future. As a rule, a university or college sets out its requirements for the content and design of a motivation letter, and it is necessary to follow them rigorously.

The introductory part of the letter is intended to interest the recipient of the letter with the candidature of the writer. In the main part, it is necessary to provide concisely, but exhaustively, information about your education, knowledge and achievements. In addition, you should talk about your skills and skills, as well as describe your strengths and personal qualities. After reading this part of the letter, the recipient should have a clear idea of why you chose this or that specialty and why this school is the best option for you. In the final part you can describe your professional plans and career expectations. It is not superfluous to mention once again how exactly the study at this university will contribute to the realization of your professional dream, and also that you on your part can offer the university on an academic level.

As the documents are usually sent by mail, and the acquaintance with the applicant is done in absentia, the accompanying or motivational letter in English should be qualitatively compiled, contain all the necessary information and represent the candidate in a favorable light.

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