Friendly lcttcrs can be divided into the following sections:
I Paiagrztph I: Introduction
I Paragraph 2: Transition and body
I Paragraplt 3: Body
I Paragraph 4: Conclusion
I Ending and signature
‘: *§' "1 tr‘: rm .
ti. :»*'1 veem.
Be sure that you know the ways of starting a letter to different people.
v To a friend: Dear + ﬁrst name
1/ To a brother/ sister: Dear + ﬁrst name
Dear Brother Omar
To your mother/ father: Dear Mum/ Dear Dad
Dear Mother/ Dear Father
V To your parents: Dear Mum and Dad
2: Dear Parents
To a cousin: Dear + ﬁrst name
Dear Cousin Omar
V To an aunt: Dear Auntie + ﬁrst name
1/ To an uncle: Dear Uncle + ﬁrst name
In every case, use only the standard Dear. Do not be tempted to write:
: : Dearest
: : My Best Friend
Keep the name short and
simple. Groups of
consonants, such as kh, gh,
half, hm, are dihticult for
English readers, for example
Although most people now write their letters on computers, remember that
the type of letter you will be writing in the exam is hand-written. Paragraphs
need to be clearly shown by indenting the ﬁrst line of each new paragraph so
that it lines up under the comma following the name:
It was lovely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
u n n n - n n a - - - - - u I o u o u n u p I A I I n - u s A I I a A t o u A n I a a o - o o u u n u n - - - n o ¢ - u u
- u o - v I u a s u u u a n n o o c o u - - - v o u n u - u a o a o - u u - u n o n u - - n I u I I c u ¢ n u o I u o a s
V. . . n/ . . , , . v . . - . - . - - - , . . . . . - . . . . . . . - . . . . , . . . r V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . , . . . , , . . . » . . . . . . . , 2
Most typcs ofhundly letter should have :1 short introduction. As this type of
introduction is only used for friendly letters, it distinguishes them front any
other ltind oilttttr. it would be quite wrong, for example, to use this type of
introduction in at formal letter. More importantly, as soon as the txaniincr
reads your introduction she will know whether you are able to show that you
tittrlrrstaitd dilitrrnt registers.
One oi the main aims at the
exam is to test your aware-
ness ot clitlerent registers and
your ability to handle them,
so an introcluction written in
the appropriate register will
be very effective;
What is the purpose of the introduction?
The introduction woms the reader up and pt'epares tor the main part of the
letter, so the reader knows what to expect and can get in the tight mood.
Look at this example ot'a letter trntlraur an introduction:
Dear Uncle Omar,
I'm writing because I want to come and stay with you for
This sounds very blunt and rude. Even if Uncle Omar agrees to your request,
he may consider your language inappropriate (not suitable)!
Here is another example:
If you want my advice on how to lose weight, stop eating chocolate.
Again, this sounds very cold and deﬁnitely an friendly! Although the advice
itself may be relevant, the language used to express it sounds uncaring
because it is too direct.
The introduction also estahlislres the relationship between the writer (you)
and the audience (the person you are writing to). Look at this phrase:
tor sorry I ltalran’t writtett this wa? l<, hut
The phrase this week tells us how friendly the writer and the reader are,
because it implies (and we understand) that they usually write to each other
every week — so they must be good liiends.
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There are several set, or tied, wars olwriting an imroduction.
1 Using an apology
2 Not using an apology
3 Personal rcfcrcncc
a) Apologising when there is :1 genuine reason why the writer has not written
I'm sorry i ‘max/ en't written for ages, but we l. “n3L’. tt tfirrsy Sft.4€i}"tt'tej una‘
latex-"e’tt't head the time’.
I The construction with for (+ length of tirnc) could change to a long
time or to so long.
I'm sorry .1 has/ em’t written for } so long
Ct icmgg tirﬁvre
I The construction with for could be replaced by a construction with
since (+ speciﬁc time).
t’m sorry i haven't written since the party
we last met
I The actual reason for not writing can change.
settling into my new house.
rehearsing for the school play.
getting fit at the gym.
t’ve been busy
If no reason is given or implied in the question, then ‘studying’ or
‘revising for my exams’ can be used. Suggesting that you are a serious,
hardworking student will probably make a good impression on the
Notice the use at the contracted tor short) town at the verb in the introductory sentence ltm,
haven't, I've). Do not think that to shorten the verb is poor English. In lact, the short tornr ls
most appropriate in lriarclly register — so it must be used in this part at the exam, and only
in this part at the exam.
b) Apologising when there is no real excuse for not writing
We been meaning to write for ages, but i’m afraid i just haven't got
round to it.
I've been meaning to write since the puny
i'h1 nfiniti i just haven't got
but things kept cropping up and round to it.
htit what with one thing and another W1 afraid I just haven't
had the time.
Other introductions to friendly letters do not involve an apology.
get your letter
hear from you
to last week.
it was y
air language Point
U Notice the use ol the word get. This is the lriendly register equivolent ol receive,
which would be too lormol here.
3 Notice the use ol the word hear. This is the correct word to use, even though we
use our eyes, not our ears to read o letter. To hearfrom means 'to receive news
lrom' ond is used in intormol situations.
:1 yesterday/ last week: it is important to soy when something hoppened ot the end ol
sentences like this, otherwise the sentence does not sound complete to the English
3 An introduction to an informal letter can also begin with something very
personal, to show your friendship.
Congranrtations on passing the exam!
you're feeting hetter.
thope , .
you ve got over the ﬂu.
it Language Point
. t Notice the phrase to get over is iniormol register ond is used instead oi
to recover from, which would not be suitable here.
Always f<eer: > in m'nd tho’ cm
composition <3? iO0—l 50
vvC, =r‘cz's (COr‘e) or T’ 50-200
words (Extended) *5 not very
long, so every v~/ Ord is
‘mportont and must be
cczrel: -.rlly selected. // .c: r.‘= <s will
not be given For s? mply Fillirsg
the page vvith vvorcls; evety
vvord mus‘ be me right one
ond in the right plccze--
After writing a suitable introduction, the next step is to write a transition
sentence. This will be the ﬁrst sentence in the second puagrapli of the letter,
and it is needed to linlt the introduction to the main body of the letter. We
will now loolr at three dltier'etit ways to begin the transition:
1 Using the words Anyway, or Anyhow,
2 Using the past tense
3 Using other methods
1 A common way to begin the transition is to use the wotcls Anyway, or
Anyhow, especially after an apology-type imtocluction. Remember to put a
comma alter these worels.
I'm sorry I haven't written for uges hut I've heen busy Ieheotsing
my part for the school play.
A_nywuy I thought I would drop you u line to
Look at these examples:
as Miss Smith has given us loads of maths homework tonight. Anyway, I won't
have time to do it because there's a good ﬁlm on TV.
The meaning of the example above is ‘The fact that I have a lot of maths
homework is not important. Watching the ﬁlm is more important to me. ’
or even ‘I don’t care about my maths homework. What really matters to me
is the ﬁlm on TV. ’
Clearly, this can sometimes give a bad impression. Here is another example:
at I was sorry to near you feel lonely and are missing your friends. Anyway, we
are all ﬁne and going to play tennis tomorrow.
The use ofanyway, gives the following meaning to the sentence: ‘I don’t
care if you are lonely. What matters to me is that I have friends and things
to look forward to. These are more important than my friendship with
2 The second way to begin the transition is to use the past tense.
I _t_lyIgg, ht you _n_righ_t like to know something uhuut
The English way of showing respect for the person you are writing to, and
that you accept that your news, suggestion or advice may not seetn
interesting, important, wanted or welcome to the other person, is to use
the past tense.
3‘: Lcsngucage Point
. I Notice that the sentence using the past tense sounds more respectful when
compared to the lollowing example ol what students olten write in a descriptive
letter about home and lamily:
: I am going to tell you about my family.
2 I will tell you about my family.
.1 Notice the use ol the words will or going to is very strong and lotcelul in English
and should be avoided in this situation.
~J Notice that the word tell is not appropriate: a letter is written, not spoken, and the
verb tell is generally related to speech.
Here are some more examples of transition sentences introduced by the
I ; t_n, oL_tgl’_I, t_I__t/ t/o, _url_e_l_ drop you a line to let you know something about my
it Language Point
D Notice here the phrase drop you a line can replace write to you in inlormal register.
t thgught I would drop you a line to let you know I'm really happy you can
come to stay with us.
ir Language Point
El Notice how the phrase letyou know replaces the lormal word inform.
L1 Notice the word that, which sometimes lollows let you know, has been dropped
ham the sentence; this is another feature ol hiendly or informal register.
3 Other ways to begin the transition include:
lust a quickie
to let you know
* language Point
:1 Notice the use ol the word note in this phrase, even though referring to 0 letter.
:3 I'm just writing to you to let you know
This is an obvious statement. Who else are you writing to except the
Exercise I Write the greeting, introduction and transition ol 0 letter to:
I o penlriend who is coming to stay with you
I (1 friend who is going lor on interview
I Ct relative who missed 0 lomily celebration.
When you have ﬁnished writing the letter and appropriate ending, write on a
separate line, either on the left or in the middle of the page, one ofthe
Love , ‘r<>n'r
With love t‘ram
‘r"(. ‘i at V5,.
Note the use ofcapital letters and which phrases need a comma after them.
When you sign at the end ofa friendly letter, do not include your family
name. Write your name in your normal hand—writing. It is not a formal
at with love from
V With love from