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TIP (1) GENERAL WRITTING TASK 1 Opening and closing a letter

Opening and closing a letter

You need to know the phrases for opening and closing a letter for the General Training Task One.

This can vary according to who you are writing to.

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there are three types of letter that you may come across in this task:

– Formal
– Semi-formal
– Informal

Each of these open and close in a different way.

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Opening and Closing a Formal Letter
A formal letter will usually be to some kind of company.

For example:

  • Bank
  • Insurance Company
  • Airline

This means that you are usually writing to someone you do not know.

Opening the Letter

Dear + ?

  • Sir = you know it is a man
  • Madam = you know it is a woman
  • Sir / Madam = you don’t know

Closing the Letter

The way you open it determines how you close it.  You gave it a formal opening, and therefore it needs a formal closing.

If you have opened a letter as above, then this is how you close it:

  • Yours faithfully,

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Semi-formal Letter
A semi-formal letter will usually be to someone you know, or at least you know their name.

For example:

  • Landlord
  • Employer
  • Librarian
  • Doctor
  • School Counsellor

Opening the Letter

To open the letter, you use the family or surname (not the first or full name).  They differ depending on whether it is to a man or a woman.

Example 1: To a man

Paul Jones = You know his name and it’s a man.

  • Dear Mr Jones,

Example 2: To a woman

Julie Smith – You know it’s a woman but is she married or not?

  • Dear Miss Smith, = You know she is unmarried or single.
  • Dear Mrs Smith, = You know she is married or a widow (married when her husband died).
  • Dear Ms Smith, = Neutral i.e. you don’t know if she’s married or not (best for IELTS as you will not know).

Closing the Letter

  • Yours sincerely,

________________________________________
Informal
An informal letter is to someone you know every well, like a friend or family.

Opening

  • Dear John,
  • Dear Mary,

Closing

  • Best wishes,
  • Best regards,
  • TIP (1) GENERAL WRITTING TASK 1 Opening and closing a letter
  • TIP (1) GENERAL WRITTING TASK 1 Opening and closing a letter
  • TIP (1) GENERAL WRITTING TASK 1 Opening and closing a letter
  • TIP (1) GENERAL WRITTING TASK 1 Opening and closing a letter

 

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