Useful phrases for letter writing

Useful phrases for letter writing

This article succinctly explores some of the basics of letter writing, with how to plan, important questions to ask yourself during and after writing, useful phrases and openings and closures.

Always ask yourself at the start:

What is this letter about?

What is the purpose of this letter?

Who is this letter addressed to?

These will help to establish whether the letter is formal, semi-formal or informal.

Examples of these tiered levels of formality

  • Formal- a letter concerning a job, a letter of complaint, a letter of enquiry.
  • Semi-formal- a letter concerning a problem at work, a letter regarding time off from work, a letter, a letter requesting a favour from a neighbour.
  • Informal- a letter inviting a friend to a birthday, a letter of congratulations to a friend, a letter asking about the well-being of someone (that you typically know)

The plan and the process

As always, have a plan before you start writing.

  1. Write down your main ideas for the task depending on what the task is, i.e., a birthday invitation will pose different ideas to that of a business interview.
  2. Note down some key vocabulary.

Ask yourself the 7 questions when you are checking and proofreading your writing.

1. Are my thoughts organized?

2. Is there a clear structure to my letter?

3. What ideas could be stretched a little more?

4. Have I used good vocabulary?

5. Should some parts be removed or edited?

6. Are all my sentences complete?

7. Have I checked SPAG- spelling, punctuation, and grammar?

Phrases- Action (formal)

  • Can you please supply us with…
  • We have been informed that…
  • We regret to inform you that…
  • We insist on…
  • Please be aware that the closing date for…
  • May we remind you that…
  • Please look into the matter of…
  • On examination, we have found out that…

Phrases- Employment (formal)

  • I am writing in response to
  • I am writing to apply to the position/post of
  • I am delighted to accept the position of
  • I am happy to confirm my acceptance of
  • I look forward to working with you
  • Thank you for considering my application
  • Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information

Phrases- Personal (semi-informal/informal)

  • Thank you for your invite
  • We would love it if you could come to
  • I was wondering how you were
  • I am writing to see how you are
  • It was so kind of you to write
  • I am sorry to inform you that
  • I am sorry to tell you that
  • I was sorry to hear that

Openings and closures

Business- Formal


  • Dear Sir
  • Dear Madame


  • Yours sincerely (if you know the name of the person)
  • Yours faithfully (if you don’t know the name of the person)

Personal- Informal


  • My dear
  • Dearest


  • All the best
  • All my love
  • Best wishes
  • With love
  • Much love
  • See you soon.
  • With love to you all
  • With love and best wishes

Thank you for reading this article,

See you soon.