Writing Friendly Letters


Friendly or informal letters have five parts: 1. The Heading: The heading can include your address and the date. In casual, friendly letters your address is not necessary. 2. The Salutation (greeting): The greeting always ends with a comma. The greeting may be formal, beginning with the word “dear” and using the person’s given name or relationship, or it may be informal if appropriate e.g. Dear Uncle, Hi Joe, 3. The Body: The body of the letter is the information you are writing in your letter. It includes the message you want to write. Normally in a friendly letter, the beginning of paragraphs is indented*. It usually includes an introduction where we greet the person and state the reason we are writing; the main body we develop the subject and the conclusion or signalling the end where we use suitable remarks (invite, send greeting, etc) or indicate that the letter is going to finish 4. The Closing: This short expression is always a few words on a single line. In the closing the first word is capitalized and you put a comma after the last word. 5 The Signature line. This is your name. It goes under the closing * to start a line of writing towards the middle of the page than other lines. Heading Salutation (greeting), Body (introduction, main body, conclusion) Closing


Signature P.S.


Language of informal letters Look at the following characteristics of letters. informal begins with Dear ... or Hi, Hello refers to reason for writing uses contractions uses abbreviations uses simple, short sentences uses simple linkers, e.g. then, later may have paragraphs could use slang could use exclamation marks (!) ends with Best wishes / Write soon ends with a signature



Informal openings Thanks for your letter. It was great to get your letter. I’m writing to ask you a favour. Sorry for not writing for so long. Signalling the end I must go now. Looking forward to hearing from you. I’ll finish now as I’m running out of space. Bye for now I´d better get going Letter closings Love Hope to hear from you soon Best wishes

10th December Hi Vic, How are you? What are you doing this New Year’s Eve? Jean and I have decided to hold a party at home this year, and we’d love it if you could come. We’re planning quite a small party with our old school friends, so you’ll know all of the guests. There’ll be lots to eat and drink. We’ve decided to give the party a Mexican theme, with lots of spicy food. You’ll probably be coming by train won’t you? Just give us a ring from the station and I’ll pick you up. As the party will be quite late, you’ll need to stay the night. Don’t worry there’s plenty of room for everybody. We’ll, I really hope you can make it. It seems ages since we last saw. Please let me know as soon as possible. Lots of love, 3

Dear Maria, I thought you'd never reply to my last letter! Anyway, back to your question. Well, if I were you, I'd choose the museum job. Working in a restaurant would be very tiring. Trust me I've done such a job, and I quit within a month! However you talk to lots of people, listen to their discussions which can sometimes be very interesting but still you get really tired. Working in a museum though can be really interesting. You just have to explain to the visitors what is what. You may think that you will have to talk all day, but that's not true. You see many people just like to browse through the museum. You also have to remind the rules of the museum to some that disobey them, but these people are usually very few; not something you should worry about. I heavily suggest you take the museum job. It's easier and less tiring. I'm looking forward to get your reply. Lots of love, George

2nd May

Dear Scott, Hi, how are you doing? I know that you’ve just moved up a year at school. What’s your new teacher like? I bet he’s really cool. Does he teach you how to write letters? Ours does. Today, my teacher taught us how to set a personal letter out correctly. I’m in the top group for Literacy which is great. My two best friends in class are in the group too so we have a lot of fun. I’ve just started to use a fountain pen to write with, so my handwriting’s getting really neat. I have to be very careful not to smudge my work; do you have fountain pens at school? We’ve been swimming nearly every day since Easter. Our school has an outdoor pool which is fantastic. It’s a bit cold to start with, but you soon warm up. I’ve learned to swim breaststroke now, but I still need to work on my frog’s legs! Well, I’m running out of room, so I’d better say goodbye for now. I hope your new class is good fun and you’re learning lots! Best wishes,



5th November 2000 Dear Paula, Oh, how I missed being with you during the holidays this year! Everything in London is so different from Spain that I don't know if I'll ever get used to living here. I'm so glad that my father's job at the Spanish Embassy will only last until June. Then we will come home, and you and I can spend the summer on the beach. (I hope you'll spend your holiday in Spain, as usual.) I've already made some very nice friends, but don't worry - no one could ever replace you as my best friend! After school, I sometimes go to my friend Fiona's house. She enjoys listening to the same music and watching the same clips that you and I like. In fact, Fiona and I have tickets for Bon Jovi's concert next month. I wish you were coming with us! Life is very different here. Would you believe that we have to wear a uniform to go to school? It's awful! A blue skirt and blazer, a white blouse and a ridiculous checked tie, not to mention a pair of horrible, long, white socks. Besides, there is nothing to do in the evening. All the shops close by 4.30 p. m. and pubs are only open till 11 p. m. That's all for now. I must start my homework for my English class tomorrow. The teacher wants us to write an informal letter to a friend and I don't even know where to begin! Please write soon and tell me all the news. I miss you. Love,

December 6th Dear Jane, I hope you are feeling better Are you able to sit in the garden and enjoy the sunshine? We all miss you in the office and look forward to your return. There have been a few changes since you went into hospital. Eric Johnson has now retired (lucky man) and Matthew has taken over Eric's job. He is struggling at the moment. He hopes you will return soon to rescue him from the muddle. I thought you would like the book I'm sending you with this letter I saw it in the bookshop and thought it would make you laugh. I know you 've always wanted to live in Greece. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and find time to read it before you return to work Take it easy and look after yourself I'll write again soon.


Best regards Sheila

Informal Letters Write these two letters 1. Write a letter to a friend you haven't seen or spoken to in a long time. Tell him / her about what you have been doing and ask them how they are and what they have been up to recently. 2. Write a letter to a cousin and invite them to your wedding. Give them some details about your future husband / wife.


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