Writing a business letter in English

Business correspondence plays a big role in the activities of many companies. Today, in the digital age, we use e-mail more often than we choose the good old paper letters. However, it is worth saying that for both options there is a certain etiquette - the rules that are customary to use when writing a business letter in English and conducting correspondence. There are several. Let's take a closer look. 

 

How to start 

The beginning will be the same for both electronic and paper business letters. You should always include your name and return address so that your interlocutor can easily contact you and send you a reply. After writing the address and date, an appeal always follows. It is standard for all types of letters, including personal ones. 

 

Structure 

If the letter is written on paper, then it should consist of the following blocks: address, greeting, description of the problem, main question, conclusion, farewell, and the name of the sender. 

When conducting business correspondence electronically, the need for an address may disappear, but we advise you to follow the standard cliché. 

1. Details of the sender:

Surname and name 

house, street 

City, postal code 

The country 

Below the address, the date is most often indicated. It is placed at the beginning of the letter. 

2. Handling

Business letters are characterized by standard Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs, Dear Sir/Madam. Never use Hi/Hello or just a name. 

3. Introduction

In the introduction, you need to thank for the received letter, and justify the reasons for the current one. Just two sentences for all. 

  • We thank you for the letter of… 
  • We wish to inform you that… 
  • We are writing to enquire about… 

4. Main body

In the main part, we reveal in detail the reasons for writing the letter: we answer previously asked questions, describe the production process or explain the difficulties that have arisen. 

  • We acknowledge with thanks… 
  • Could you possibly explain … 
  • We would like to point out that… 
  • We are interested in receiving… 

5. Final phrase

Summing up the above, we put the final phrase. Here we mention the expectation of a prompt response. 

  • Let me know whether you would like me to… 
  • Please acknowledge receipt… 
  • I look forward to hearing from you. 

6. Sender's name

At the very end, we politely say goodbye, write our name and position. 

  • Yours sincerely, 
  • Best wishes 
  • Kind regards, 
  • Respectfully yours 

 

Formation  

The first and most important thing to remember is that the address is written in the upper right corner of the letter. 

Next, go to the left side for the appeal, which should be written with a capital letter and on a separate line, separated from the rest of the text by a comma. 

On the next line, without paragraph access, gratitude for the letter is written, and the second sentence is the introduction. Next comes a new paragraph, or several, if required, with the main content of the letter, after which, a conclusion is written on a separate line. 

The farewell usually ends with a comma, and the name and position of the sender is written on the next line. 

 

What should not be forgotten 

You are negotiating in writing through business correspondence with a foreigner, even using a language other than your own, so this should be approached with special attention. 

First of all, do not forget about etiquette. Study the peculiarities of the country of your interlocutor, or use neutral concepts.