formal letters

learn how to write a letter using formal language

The different parts of the letter

Greeting expressions

If you don’t know the name of who you’re writing to:

Dear Sir / Madam,

If you know the name:

Dear Mr __ / Dear Mrs __ / Dear Ms __+ surname.


Explain why you’re writing (use the present continuous tense)

I am writing to _ / I am writing with regard to _ / I am writing on behalf of _

You can ask questions

I would be grateful if _ / I wonder if you could _ / Could you _?


If there’s been a previous letter, you can refer to that information:

As you stated in your letter, _ Regarding _ / Concerning _ With regard to _


These are useful expressions you can use to finish the letter

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Tips for signing off:

As well as there are 2 usual opening lines (Dear Sir / Madam – Dear Mr... / Mrs.. / Ms) there are also 2 typical closing lines:

Yours faithfully & Yours sincerely

There can only be one ‘s’: so, if you wrote Dear Sir / Madam, then your signing off phrase must be Yours faithfully.

Logically, if you wrote Dear Mr.., you must sign off with Yours sincerely.


Signature: use your first name and surname