Business Writing

How to write
effectively

Learning
Business Skills

1 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff

Contents

1. Introduction ............................................................................ 5

2. Business communication ........................................................ 6

3. Emailing etiquette ................................................................... 7

Subject line ................................................................................................. 7

Opening and closing a letter or e-mail ....................................................... 8

Formal vs. informal..................................................................................... 9

Writing numbers ....................................................................................... 10

Avoid unnecessary attachments .............................................................. 11

Your signature .......................................................................................... 11

More heplful tips ....................................................................................... 12

Standard phrases for letters and e-mails ................................................. 13

4. Business correspondence structure ..................................... 14

5. Letters templates .................................................................. 16

6. Tips for success ................................................................... 18

Keep writing simple .................................................................................. 18

Be original ................................................................................................ 22

Use the right tone ..................................................................................... 23

Express views and influence people ........................................................ 24

7. Presentation and proofreading ............................................ 27

8. Punctuation guide................................................................. 29

9. Your grammar guidance ....................................................... 31

10. Commonly confused words ............................................... 32

11. Commonly misspelled words .............................................. 42

12. Writing Styles ..................................................................... 44
Arrangements ........................................................................................... 45

Commercial .............................................................................................. 46

2 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff

Complaints and apologies ........................................................................ 48

Personal ................................................................................................... 49

Reports ..................................................................................................... 50

3 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff

4 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff

Most of us learn from experience once we start work.1. Introduction Very few people are lucky enough to receive formal training in business writing. 5 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . This handbook is designed to make the learning process easier and quicker.

Thus. Business communication Business writing is a form of communication. reports Telephone calls Meetings Conveying the message in writing is necessary when we need: To keep a record of what we say To encourage a reader to keep our message for future reference To help a reader remember complex information To communicate with a busy person at his convenience Once you know that you need to communicate in writing. there are three important factors to remember: 1. the reader is the most important person in any written communication.The message 2. remember to: Ask yourself with every sentence: ―What I am really trying to say?‖ Picture your reader – imagine that you are talking to him – would you use the same words? In case you are writing to more than one reader. We want someone else to understand the message we are sending them. such effort is wasted if the reader does not understand it.The writer Although the writer has the difficult task of writing the message.e. you should try to imagine the reader who will be in a position to act on your message. Means of communication include: Letters. Here you may picture: The key reader i.2.The reader 3. the decision-maker All the readers together as a group 6 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . memos. Keeping this in mind. The communication process is all about the flow of information.

Always proofread your message for errors in spelling and grammar before sending it.IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING AND IS RUDE. It may carry a virus. Always include a meaningful subject line. Only use abbreviations that are commonly known and used. When replying to a message. there is a set of guidelines known as 'etiquette'. Do Keep your mails concise and professional. 7 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Subject line Using a meaningful subject line makes it easier for your contact to understand immediately why you've sent them an e-mail and what you want from them. it may simply get ignored or deleted. Never use numerous exclamatory or question marks!!!!!!!! It looks like you can not keep your nerves!!!!!!!!! Don't use all lower case either. 'FYI'. Use a suitable tone. always consider whether it might be more appropriate to telephone or have a face-to-face conversation rather than to send an e-mail. Don't open attachments unless it comes from a person you trust and you are expecting it. Always be polite and professional E-mail is a form of business communication (even though it is often more informal than sending a traditional letter). If your message has no subject line. For this reason. Don't include private information as your mail may be forwarded to or read by another person. forward it. People generally scan the subject line in order to decide whether to open your mail. In addition. As a final thought. use the spellchecker. Bad spelling and grammar look unprofessional. Emailing etiquette E-mailing is as easy as having a conversation because you can send information at the click of a button.g. these will use up a lot of your contact's available space in their e-mail account. leave for later or send it immediately to the trash. it looks like you are mumbling. However. it lacks the context and body language which can help us in our face-to-face conversation. Think about how your contact will interpret your message. Don't use emoticons (smiles) unless you are on informal terms with your contact. Don‟t Don't use shorthand.g. 'pls could u send me some info'. only include the relevant parts of the previous message in your reply. e. NEVER USE ALL CAPITALS. e.3. Avoid sending unnecessary attachments. Always write a useful subject line that highlights or summarizes the main point of the message. This gives some basic guidance on the etiquette of e-mailing.

"MS‖. If you don't know the person. "Dear Margaret Black". "John").Avoid statements like 'hello'. "Mrs" or "Dr‖. many people also simply write the person's name with no greeting (e. then delete it and write a new one. and will appreciate the time it saves them. "John"). "Dear Ms Jones". you can use just his or her first name: "Dear Jim". 'Important! Read Immediately!'. 'just one more thing'. you should write: "Dear Sir or Madam" (or the less commonly used "Tо whom it may concern"). The most commonly used titles are: "Mr‖. This is common even in business correspondence. In e-mails. We do not use both names. make sure that the subject line (which is automatically filled for you) still reflects the content of the message. We do not use both names. Add EOM (end of message) at the end of the subject line. e.g. If you know the person well. many people also simply write the person's name with no greeting (e. e. Instead.g. you can also use just the subject line for your message. Here is an example: Subject: Are you still coming to the sales meeting next Thursday? EOM If you forward or reply to an e-mail. 'Meeting'. Titles If you do not know the name of the person to whom you are writing. 8 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . If it does not. However. Opening and closing a letter or e-mail Opening Most letters begin with ―Dear (name)‖.g. 'FYI'. Busy people who receive hundreds of mails a day then know that they do not need to open the (empty) body of the mail.g. you normally use a title. in e-mails people often write ―Hi (name)‖ when writing to people they know well. Most letters begin with ―Dear (name)‖. In e-mails. Use EOM abbriviation in subject lines If your e-mail consists of a single fact or question. e. include the key points of the message.g. This is common even in business correspondence. "Dear Margaret Black". in e-mails people often write ―Hi (name)‖ when writing to people they know well. It is no longer usual to write "Dear Sirs" (British) or "Gentlemen" (American). However.

Closing The closing of an email or letter has to match the opening greeting stylistically. However.) Regards (UK and US) Formal vs. This can be: a company rather than a specific person a person that you do not know a person with whom you have had some work contact a person you know quite well through work a good friend with whom you also have work contact Here are some general guidelines on what type of vocabulary. punctuation and grammar to use in formal and informal letters. informal Business correspondence can range from the very formal to the very informal. Opening greeting Closing greeting Dear Sir or Madam(. you may use one of the traditional forms ("Mrs" for a married woman and "Miss" for an unmarried woman) if you already know that the woman uses this form. (US) Dear Mr James (UK) Yours sincerely (UK) Dear Mr. (US) Sincerely (yours).) Kind regards (UK and US) Ken(. check that you have used a suitable closing that matches your opening greeting. (US) Yours truly. of course. (US) Dear Cindy(. The table below lists which closing phrases match which opening greeting. James. (US) Yours truly. When you finish writing. This depends.) Best wishes (UK and US) Hi Ken(. on who you are writing to.) Sincerely (yours). If you are unsure whether a woman is married or not."MS‖ is a neutral title used for women.) Yours faithfully (UK) To whom it may concern(. 9 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . use "Ms‖.

one quarter. 10 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . e. We would like to buy… We would like to request… We would like to ask for… As you will appreciate… As you will understand… We trust this is satisfactory. We were surprised to hear that. Numbers that begin sentences. There is no absolute right and wrong. We need five more rooms... two- thirds. We would like to purchase. If you need any further assistance… If you need any more help… Should you have any further queries… If you have any other questions… We look forward to seeing you.. I am writing with regard/reference to… I am writing about… We regret to inform you that. We are sorry to tell you that..g. Seventeen people were included in the study. We hope this is satisfactory. We hope this suits you. Zero is usually written as a word to avoid confusion with the letter O. More formal Less formal Thank you for your letter of. Common fractions are usually written as words. Formal Informal Latin based words Anglo Saxon words (phrasal verbs) Uncommon words Common words Slang Colloquialisms Acronyms Full words Contractions Abbreviations Passive constructions Active constructions Noun phrases Verb phrases Complex sentences Simple sentences We (when writing on behalf of a company) I Do not start sentences with 'and' or 'but' May start sentences with 'and' or 'but' Always include relative pronoun May omit relative pronoun Full form of dates Short form of dates Some useful phrases are shown below.. Writing numbers When writing numbers in English. We were surprised to learn that.. three times. and often the difference between the two is quite minor. We hope this is convenient for you. e. Should I write the number in figures or words? Numbers are only usually written as words if they are lower than ten and do not represent exact measurements. Thanks for your letter of.... a half.. e.. nine pages. titles and headers are usually written as words. there are some rules to bear in mind..g.. We are looking forward to seeing you..g. We require five further rooms.

5% faster. Reading through pages and pages to obtain the relevant information is even worse. just copy and paste the relevant text into the email.g. isn't it? Characteristics of attachments Try to put your information in the body of your e-mail whenever possible. find Brand section and click the link How to create your Email signature in line with our brand in the right navigation panel. e. Attachments: are time-consuming to download and open take up extra space on your recipient's computer don't always translate correctly (especially for people who might read their e- mail on portable devices.g. e. such as Blackberries). multiplied by 4. Remember. Deloitte standards can be found in intranet.g. or in back-to-back modifiers. good e-mail etiquette is really about considering how you would like to be treated. a ratio of 1:24.g. 3 million. e. e. the chances are your reader doesn't either! Your signature Remember you are a face of the company you work at. Clients are confident in you when they see your signature is in order.Numbers above ten are usually written as figures. Numbers less than ten are written as figures if compared to a number above ten. If you do not like spending your time opening and reading through long documents to find a piece of information. e. Numbers that represent statistical or mathematical functions or formulas. A combination of words and figures may be used for large numbers. It is annoying to have to open an additional file just to read a couple of paragraphs of ordinary text.g. may carry viruses Alternative to sending attachments Instead of sending a whole file. unless your recipient does actually need the whole file. Avoid unnecessary attachments Have you ever received an e-mail with a huge attachment only to discover that you only need to read a few paragraphs from the whole document? Annoying. 11 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . 24 cm. 2 three-part reports. which could have been contained in the message itself. 2 km. Numbers immediately before units of measurements are written as figures. 5 out of 15 agreed with the survey results.

However. do not include the person in the cc: field unless you have a particular reason for wanting this person to see your response. the To: field will be blank and this might look like spamming. Do not forward chain letters Do not forward chain letters. even if a mail has high priority. We can safely say that all of them are hoaxes. Confirming this will only generate even more spam. if you have Microsoft Outlook and Word you can do a mail merge and create one message for each recipient. make sure that this person will know why they are receiving a copy. Mailings > use the Bcc: field or do a mail merge When sending an email mailing. just hit the delete button or use email software to remove spam automatically.More heplful tips Do not overuse Reply to All Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message. Therefore. some people place all the email addresses in the To: field. Again. Moreover. or even better. Do not overuse the high priority option We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. you are confirming that your email address is 'live'. it will lose its function when you really need it. One way to get round this is to place all addresses in the Bcc: field. Just delete the letters as soon as you receive them. If you overuse the high priority option. In general. when responding to a cc: message. Using the cc: field can be confusing since the recipients might not know who is supposed to act on the message. Also. You could include the mailing list email address in the To: field. Don't reply to spam By replying to spam or by unsubscribing. There are two drawbacks to this practice: (1) the recipient knows that you have sent the same message to a large number of recipients. and (2) you are publicizing someone else's email address without their permission. your message will come across as slightly aggressive if you flag it as 'high priority'. Use cc: field sparingly Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. the recipient will only see the address from the To: field in their email. should you include the other recipient in the cc: field as well? This will depend on the situation. so if this was empty. 12 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . A mail merge also allows you to use fields in the message so that you can for instance address each recipient personally.

. (use if Thank you for your letter of 21 March.. (if the person is a close business contact or friend) 13 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff .. Closing remarks Finishing salutation Please contact us again if we can help in any Yours faithfully.. Unfortunately. . .... you know who you are writing to and if you Further to our telephone conversation... .... (use if the person is a close business contact or friend) Giving the reason for writing Making requests I am writing to enquire about / apologise for / Could you (possibly) .? I would be grateful confirm / request . please business contact or friend) contact us again.Standard phrases for letters and e-mails Greeting Making reference Dear Sir or Madam.. Would you mind .. have a formal relationship – IMPORTANT use Ms for women unless asked to use Mrs or Miss) Dear Jane.. if you could . Best wishes. (use if you don't know With reference to your letter of 21 March / who you are writing to) your phone call today.. Best regards. (if you know the name of Should you have any further questions / the person you're writing to) queries. please do not hesitate to contact us... I look forward to meeting you next week.. Please find enclosed/attached .. (if the person is a close If you need any further information.. Yours sincerely.. I would appreciate it if you could .. Enclosed/Attached you will find .. ? Agreeing to requests Giving bad news I would be delighted to . Enclosing/Attaching documents Reference to future contact I am enclosing/attaching . Dear Dr / Mr / Mrs / Miss / Ms Smith. I look forward to hearing from you soon.. I'm looking forward to seeing you next Thursday. I am afraid that .. I would be pleased to . (if you don't know the name way / there are any problems / you have any of the person you're writing to) questions...

A clear structure will: save the recipient‘s and your time guarantee that your message is read and understood help to get a clear and precise answer as result Thus. the standard business e-mail has the following structure: 14 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Business correspondence structure Planning your letter in advance is the best thing to do.4. A good way to produce an effective business e-mail is to use the KISS formula (keep it short and simple).

3.The standard English sentence has the following structure: 1 2 3 4 5 main main object action What? Where? When? Examples: 1. 15 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . 4. 5. 2.

writing to motivate. 5. Letters templates There are 4 main types of business correspondence differentiated according to the purpose of the letter: writing to inform. opinion. writing to evaluate. judgment criteria) Discuss options-choose one Explain why Comparison Definition and Offering an Competitive and contrast classification informed opinion Analysis 16 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . writing to persuade. Below you will find some common types of business correspondence with some general tips. Writing to inform Simple Giving Answering Project updates & Clarifying announcement instructions question summaries information Keep your sentence Reference the Tasks that have been Clarify the Relevant subject line short question accomplished information asked giving useful Avoid jargon Use a subject line that Challenges or problems and do not get information Put important facts Be clear and concise relates to the that might affect irritated List each instruction question schedules and Use a professional first separately Stick to the point budgets tone Be clear and concise Flesh out instructions Answer the question Next steps Keep your message on the topic Writing to evaluate Brief introduction (subject.

introduce them meeting Respond in 4 steps: the following structure: Offer a benefit Reinforce what was said Greeting Subject Don’t focus on yourself Set agenda for next steps Current situation Problem (customer needs) Impact Address those needs Recommendation Close Next steps Writing to motivate Making a request Provide context Be polite Motivate 17 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Writing to persuade Cold call e-mails Organizing a meeting Meeting follow-up Responding to a Presenting a new Prepare Agenda Follow up as quickly as request for idea Provide a referral If you someone else to a possible after the information Your message should have Show value meeting.

Short words are easier to grasp and they appear less formal. this should help you to eliminate ambiguities. Use short words Do not be afraid to write the way you talk. and imagine your reader in front of you. effort and money develop more effective and efficient work practices increase customer satisfaction enjoy a better public image A plain English style is much easier to write and immediately creates a more helpful impression of the writer and their organisation. Tips for success This chapter will help you: save time. Select words which say what you mean. In other words avoid jargon. 18 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Keep writing simple The key to keeping business writing simple lies in constantly asking yourself: “what am I really trying to say?” You do not need to translate your thoughts into special words and phrases reserved for business purposes.6.

Just let those words go. Why use? When you mean due to the fact that because take into consideration consider with reference to about for the purpose of for subsequent to after increase the effectiveness of improve notwithstanding the fact that though in compliance with your request as you asked make it possible for you enable you give you our assistance help you I would be grateful if you would please on a temporary basis temporarily the majority of most with the exception of except please find enclosed I enclose 19 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Why use? When you mean to acquire to buy a public convenience a toilet to reimburse to repay valued at worth optimum best to terminate to end a retail outlet a shop an expenditure a cost aggregate total an interval for refreshments a break to consult to ask to assist to help to initiate to start utilized used inclement weather rain supplementary extra to maintain to keep to inform to tell to operate to use to dispatch to send to demonstrate to show indisposed ill to commence to start Leave out unnecessary words A meaning can be lost if you pad out your writing with unnecessary words.

They were asked to include their choices in the office plan for 2007. a letter or memo should be no more than one page in length. E. Use bullet points or lists to make information easy to view and read. Compare: The marketing options were circulated to marketing partners in the regional offices who were asked to include their preferences in the plan for their offices for 2007. It may be a single word or a whole sentence. However. no matter how interesting they may be. Use short paragraphs Most readers will be daunted by a huge mass of words. A transition is used to connect one paragraph to the next. there are occasions when you may need to write a longer report or letter. However. A paragraph should only contain one main idea.: Also Next show that the same idea is being continued Similarly Yet show that different ideas are being put But forward First put the points in order Finally Consequently bring the message to a close In summary Be brief In business. and consisting of not more than 20 words are the easiest to read. 20 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . The first sentence should state the key point of the paragraph. Partners were asked to consult their tax departments. making sure that they consult with the tax department who are especially affected by… With: We sent marketing options to marketing partners in the regions.Use short sentences Long sentences are harder to understand than short ones.g. Paragraphs divide your message into sections which you want the reader to consider as separate units. At best. Lay out your message as concisely as possible. too many short sentences can make your message sound choppy. Sentences with one main point. Mixing the long and short sentences will make your writing flow well. since changes would also affect them. people do not really like to read long letters or reports.

The letter arrived. X does Y. quantities. X does Y. give facts Use active rather than passive sentences 21 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Competition affects prices. The following examples show the difference between active and passive: Passive Active Prices are affected by competition. mainly. partly.998 replies You should try to limit qualifying words and phrases. times. The auditor checked the invoices. Instead. A checklist for keeping writing simple Use less complicated words Leave out unnecessary words Avoid using long sentences Avoid using long paragraphs Be brief Be definite. Avoid using: quite. etc. Files are reviewed by managers. they give the impression you are unwilling to state the facts. X does Y to Z. nearly all. a bit. Managers review files. fairly. Do not use Use Use sometime in January on 15 January as soon as possible by 30 June overwhelming response 4. Try not to use words like very to emphasize other words. The invoices were checked by the auditor. as they rarely add to the content of the message. a number of. Find a stronger alternative instead: very good excellent very accurate precise very exciting thrilling Use active sentences rather than passive sentences Active sentences are shorter and easier to understand than passive sentences. The letter was delivered.Be precise A vague message will result in a vague response or no response at all! Be precise when you are specifying dates. They also sound friendlier and make it clear who is responsible for the action. The difference can be expressed using X and Y: Y is done by X. Z has Y done to it by X. Y is done by X.

22 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Business people would probably have an idea what this sentence actually says. Using jargon makes a reader work hard to understand what you mean.Be original Avoid jargon In the current economic environment we need a hands-on approach to the retrenchment of market-driven operations. Would the director of the board or investor at your favorite client understand the following tax jargon? tax return filing reverse charge VAT non-taxable income participation exemption depreciation premium for profits tax taxable base profit recognition capitalized expenditures tax recoverability deferred tax assets and liabilities non-deductible cost loss carry forward and loss carry back accelerated depreciation transfer pricing adjustment APA (advance pricing agreement) thin capitalization rule statute of limitation Avoid clichés Some standard phrases pop up in business writing all the time but are hardly ever used in speech! These can make your writing sound dull and give the reader the impression that it has been written insincerely. In specialization there remains the provision of open-system-based mission- critical solutions to the transaction-intensive environment. always consider whether jargon will be fully understood by the reader. When writing a message. It certainly could have been a lot clearer. always keep in mind that it can get boring if used too often. However. everybody else would think it was gobbledygook. It can be useful to include jargon which is specific to our work when the reader understands it.

If you let me know… When you let me know… Avoid implied criticisms of the reader Be careful not to include unintentional criticism of the reader when giving information: You have miscalculated the value of the stock. Negative Positive I cannot let you have the file today. Avoid negative words and phrases Generally. Positive statements also take less effort to read and are less likely to be misunderstood. I could not get the information because you were at a meeting. a negative tone drives a negative response. It was not unreasonable to assume the It was reasonable to assume the system system would work. and a positive statement encourages a positive response. This is where you can use passive sentences: 23 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . I will send you the file on Monday. such as: viz herewith please find hereby acknowledge the aforementioned we endeavour to thanking you in anticipation forwarded to you in accordance with your request in respect of reserved to supplemental to methodology feedback facilities mandates appropriate Checklist: Be original Consider whether your reader understands jargon words Avoid using stale business expressions Use the right tone The tone of a message will determine how the reader will respond to it.You should try to find ways of making your reader feel that they are very important by avoiding hackneyed expressions and tired clichés. The accounting department lost invoices while you were on holiday. would work. Picture the person you are writing to before deciding on the tone you should adopt. 12 June.

I apologize for the delay. adjusting the accounts as follows: We were unable to complete the audit on We will be able to complete the audit on 5 time. you will increase the chances of a favorable response. If you try to involve your reader in what they are reading. Use personal pronouns Your writing will sound friendlier if you use personal pronouns. If your reader feels there is an advantage for him. I look forward to seeing you on 18 November. This idea can be summarized as the ‗you‘ approach. as I am on business trip. which was due to a computer breakdown at the factory. Checklist: Use the right tone Avoid negative words and phrases Avoid implied criticism of the reader Use personal pronouns Always end positively Express views and influence people The „you‟ approach As you have already learnt. January. the most important person in business writing is the reader. This is the „you‟ approach: Find out as much as you can about the reader: Correct name Position 24 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . will attend the on 12 November. he will be much more receptive. I will complete the report as soon as the informationn becomes available.The stock value should be calculated using the following method. You will need to make the following Please let me know if you need help adjustments to correct the accounts. meeting on 12 November. Anne Black. So make sure they leave a good impression. The invoices we need have been misplaced. Consider the following: Instead of Say Subsequent to arrival After you have arrived The firm recommends We recommend It has been decided that We have decided that Always end positively The last words will be remembered best by your reader. Remember to think ‗BIG YOU. little ‗me‘ when you are writing either to give an opinion or asking your reader to do something. Instead of Say I am sorry that I cannot attend the meeting My assistant.

The meaning is then diluted. services we can offer to our clients. not really saying what they mean. We are proud to be the largest accounting You will benefit from the large range of firm. Responsibility Attitude to the subject of the message Attitude to the writer/firm Knowledge of the subject Figure out what the reader‘s worries about the subject might be Imagine you are having a conversation with the reader: Keep the message simple Use the appropriate tone Anticipate what questions the reader would ask Deal with his likely concerns positively Write the message from the reader‘s viewpoint. Avoid the abstract When a writer is trying to sound impressive or trying to qualify what he is saying. Use concrete words and phrases. Not Use a retail outlet a shop an entrance a door providing information telling Give examples to make your writing clear. small accounting firm. the language he uses can become abstract. whereas: “Anne is a good manager. This way the news is made more palatable for the reader. She treats her staff well” is much better.‘ rather than ‗me‘ and ‗mine. Yet in practice.‘ Sound genuine — readers can always sense your tone. 25 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . To say what you mean while also sparing the reader‘s feelings requires an indirect approach. not woolly terminology. more cost-effective tax consulting.” This tells us very little about Anne‘s performance. We are unable to provide you with You would benefit from the services of a assistance. This can be frustrating to the reader. Consider the following summary of a manager‘s performance: “Anne is a good manager. business writers try to skirt around the issue. Say what you mean tactfully and sincerely It is possible to give an adverse opinion or make a criticism without causing offence. explaining what the benefits are. Rather than Say Our tax consulting approach is the best You will find that our approach will give you method. Use personal pronouns like ‗you‘ and ‗yours.

Checklist: express your point of view and influence people Find out everything you can about the reader Think about the reader‘s needs Stress the benefits Avoid the abstract Say what you mean politely but clearly Do not offend your reader 26 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . However. where possible. Your paper represents a comprehensive summary of this important issue. and I am sure the delegates will find it most useful. shown alternatives which would help you revise them. I have indicated some discrepancies in the text and. if the sentences were shorter. there are a few places where I think your argument might be more persuasive. if possible End on a positive and friendly note Example Thank you for inviting me to comment on your paper for the spring conference. I found the paper informative and logical.Follow these steps: Buffer Start the message with a positive statement which explains the situation Explain the criticism or adverse opinion Use a cooperative tone and convincing arguments State the criticism or adverse opinion very clearly Say what you mean tactfully Avoid blaming the reader Use positive words and phrases Explain alternatives.

It shows you care about the reader.g. Presentation and proofreading Presentation Have your ever gone back and read an e mail that you had sent and if was full of errors? Did you felt embarrassed? Your written message represents you. but use it carefully. ask a colleague to look at the message. spelling and punctuation all in one. logic. you will pick up errors more efficiently. like letters and memos (please go to Deloitte Resources > CIS Home > Functions > Tax & Legal > Brand > Publications). Ideally. grammar. For this reason. Proofreading People tend to focus on the mistakes in a written message at the expense of understanding. ‗to‘ and ‗too‘. Further help The intranet gives the most commonly used written formats.7. It is almost impossible to proofread for sense. structure. He is more likely to read it in the same way as the ultimate reader will. proofreading is a vital stage in the writing process. Make sure you always use the spellchecker. it is far better to look for one problem at a time when you read through your writing. Consider the impression you make by sending out a letter with: Spelling mistakes Poor layout Poor grammar and incorrect punctuation A perfectly presented piece of writing creates a good impression. It will not pickup words that are spelt correctly but are used erroneously. ‗form‘ and ‗from‘. Thus. If you look at your writing with a fresh eye. e. layout. Once you have written your first draft. ‗affect‘ and ‗effect‘. Checklist: Presentation and proofreading Review your work separately for: sense. logic and structure 27 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . put the document aside for a while before proofreading it.

but check for meaning Review with fresh eyes Ask other people to help you Follow the firm‘s guidelines 28 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . grammar punctuation and spelling layout Use a spellchecker.

colon and dash. question mark. My boss. Examples: Our Finance Director. Introduce a direct quote Example: The CEO said. they are used to: Separate a list of items. comma. who speaks perfect English. exclamation mark. ―Both sales and profit are up 50% on last year. especially after a subordinate clause or a long prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence. Example: My responsibilities include opening the mail. but they were only ready in June. semicolon. 29 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Here is a brief guide to the main uses of the full stop.2 Comma Commas help a reader to pause at the right point in the sentence and to avoid confusing the meaning within a sentence.8. Full stop (US: period) Use a full stop to end a complete sentence. Commas have a number of different uses in English. will contact you shortly regarding this matter. Separate two independent clauses that are connected by a conjunction such as 'but'. answering the telephone and taking the minutes at the monthly board meeting. Example: They should have moved into the new premises at the end of March. you will need to order more. A sentence is a group of words containing a subject and a verb. Full stops are also used after some abbreviations and can be used after numbers which appear in lists: Example: 1. Separate phrases (clauses). is going to work in the London office. Judith King. Example: In order to qualify for a bulk discount. Punctuation guide Many people are unsure about the correct way to use basic punctuation marks.‖ Separate a ‗non-defining‘ relative clause or give additional information. Example: He is going to Budapest next week.

Dash Dashes introduce explanations and comments that are connected to what precedes and can. Colon A colon is used to: Provide additional details and explanation.Question mark Question marks are only used at the end of direct questions. antisocial hours. in France. in March. show interruptions to the flow of a sentence: Example: The company shouldn‘t have agreed to the merger – it wasn‘t in its best interests. Exclamation mark The exclamation mark is used to indicate surprise or to emphasize information. in April. They could be rewritten as separate sentences. 30 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . he always works very late. One or both of the clauses are short and the ideas expressed are usually very similar. in October. Separate groups of words which are themselves separated by commas to avoid the confusing affect of too many commas all in one sentence Example: The new product will be launched this year in Germany. Example: He loves work. Use it sparingly: Example: I can‘t believe we‘ve won that huge contract from our competitor! Semicolon The semicolon is used to: Separate two independent clauses. poor relations with her colleagues and her boss. They are not used in indirect questions: Example: Who do you work for? vs Many analysts are wondering how the new strategy will work. like brackets. Introduce a direct quote (a comma can also be used in this situation). in December. and in Poland. in Hungary. Example: She handed in her notice for the following reasons: bad pay.

All three may each consist of groups of words.g.‘ ‗strong but light‘ groups of words.‖ ―to make. ―Punctuation is difficult.‘ ‗they talked well. Your grammar guidance This section offers a little guidance on grammar to help the business writer to analyze and improve his/her writing. places. However.g. but rarely have a place in business writing. e. A sentence expresses a complete thought in words. They are common in conversation. but not in all professions. e.‘ Pronouns are used in place of a noun or to avoid repeating a noun.‘ ‗that. ‗I.‘ ‗I work hard.‘ ‗lipstick.‘ Prepositions are words that come before nouns or pronouns in order to connect them to the rest of the sentence.‘ ‗it.‖ Interjections express emotions.g.g. e. As a minimum it should have a subject and a verb.‖ ―to give. ‗Hello!‘.‘ ‗we. and yet it is so important. ‗Paul.‖ sentences.‘ Adverbs modify verbs. e.‖ ―to arrive.g. ‗Pooh and Piglet. e.g. it is difficult to write about a technical subject without first knowing some of the terminology. ‗Not likely!‘.‘ ‗noisy meeting.‖ Adjectives describe nouns or pronouns. e.‘ ‗nice point.‘ ‗melon.g. It may also have an object.‘ ‗Paris.‘ ‘him.‘ ‗in memory of her. 31 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff .g.‘ Verbs are words of action. e.‘ Conjunctions connect: single words. ‗he went on the course. Nouns are words used to name people or indicate. ―Career women are rising to the top.g. e. e.9. things.‘ ‗their. ―to run. ‗sunny day.‘ ‗laughter‘ and ‗beauty.‘ ‗who.‘ ‗he went home from work. e.‘ ‗skill.g. ‗we ran quickly.‘ ‗your.

affect/ effect Affect (verb) means to influence.). "Yes. Commonly confused words The following words are often misused by native English speakers as well as non-native speakers." Effect (noun) means to be a result of something." altogether/ all together Altogether means wholly. ―The construction firm ignored the engineer's advice‖. parts of speech (noun. "Bad weather will affect the quality of the fruit. definitions. Sir!‖ all right/ alright 32 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . "The effect of bad weather is a reduction in fruit quality." already /all ready Already means by this time. Words in the latter category are called homonyms. verb. but they are spelled differently and have different meanings." Adept (adjective) means skilled. and sample sentences in this list." Adopt (verb) means to take as your own. ―He is very adept at dodging awkward questions. "All together. I'm all ready to leave. Sometimes the spellings are so similar that people fail to distinguish between them. Study the words. "Some people cannot adapt to new surroundings. "It's altogether too bad you can't come." All together means everybody in a group. "He tends to adopt the attitudes of those around him. ―The engineer advised the firm to use single suspension walkways‖.10. Others are pronounced exactly the same. now: 'Good morning. adapt / adept/ adopt Adapt (verb) means to adjust. Advise (verb). etc." advice/ advise Advice (noun). "Are you already packed?" All ready means prepared.

‖ anyone/ any one Anyone means anybody. ―Can I be of any assistance?‖=can I help? Assistants (noun) the plural of assistant. any person at all. annual/ annul Annual (adjective) means yearly. ―A dealer came to appraise the furniture.‖ Illusion (noun) means deception or mirage. ―annulled marriage‖ angel/ angle Angel (noun) a spiritual or heavenly being. forever. or someone who helps another doing the less important job.‖ all ways/ always All ways means by every way or method. "Any one of you is welcome to come along." appraise/ apprise Appraise (verb) to assess or estimate. ―The Christmas card portrayed a choir of angels hovering over the shepherds‖.‖ Apprise (verb) to inform or notify. ―The mirrors in the room gave an illusion of greater spaces. "Does anyone else want to come?" Any one means any one person and is followed by "of".All right is the correct form. allusion/ illusion Allusion (noun) is an indirect reference or hint.‖ assistance/ assistants Assistance (noun) means help or aid. ―Eliot‘s is full of allusions to other works of literature. Angle (noun) a figure formed by two lines meeting at a common point. 33 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . ―I write to apprise you of the latest situation. someone whose job is below the level of manager. ―The carpenters placed the planks at right angles. Always means all the time. Alright is grammatically incorrect. ―an annual event‖ Annul (verb) means to make void or invalid.

" Ensure means to make sure. ―His mother sat beside him. "In case of breakage or loss.‖ Excess (noun) a larger amount of something than is allowed or needed.‖ Number (noun) a quantity of something countable. ―Are there any public holidays between Christmas and Easter?‖ amount/ number/ quantity Amount (noun) a quantity of something uncountable. clutching her handbag. ―Quantities of arms were discovered hidden in the trucks." Insure means to protect against loss or damage. ―a biannual report‖ Biennially (adverb) happening once every two years 34 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . ―The car reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. ―All came to the conference except for Tom as he was on business trip.‖Her case attracted an enormous amount of public sympathy.‖ biannually /biennially Biannually (adverb) happening twice each year. you should insure everything with a good insurance company.assure/ ensure/ insure Assure means to guarantee. ―Jim was relaxed knowing he was among friends‖ Between (preposition) when speak about two objects. He accepted my invitation to the meeting Except (pronoun) means excluding something.‖.‖ accept/ except Accept (verb) to agree. wrap it all in bubble wrap.‖ Quantity (noun) an amount of something both countable and uncountable. ―What language do you know besides Arabic and English.‖ beside/ besides Beside (preposition) 'next to'." access/ excess Access (noun) the right to see official documents.‖ among/ between Among (preposition) when speak about more than two objects. to reach a place. I‘ll have no access to my mail-box. "To ensure your crockery doesn't get broken.‖The number of cars on our roads rose dramatically last year. ―Your work has improved in quantity and quality this term.‖ Besides (pronoun) in addition. "I assure you there's no call for alarm. ―Unfortunately.

the soldier spotted the enemy. Brown on her rough humour.‖ counsel/ council/ consul Counsel (verb) to recommend. ―The colours that have been selected for the room do not complement each other. Thomas tried a smile.‖ choose/ chose Choose (verb) to make a choice Chose (past particle of choose) comprehensible/ comprehensive Comprehensible (adjective) easy to understand.‖ (b) (noun) view.‖ Consul (noun) a representative of a country in another country.‖ (c) (verb) see. ―The corner of North Main and Mimosa Streets will be the site of the new shopping centre.‖ costume/ custom Costume (noun) clothing.‖ 35 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . ―Such detailed analyses are not comprehensible to an average person. ―She was appointed consul to the embassy in Beirut.‖ Compliment a) (verb) to be kind to somebody. ―There was lengthy debate on the tax proposal at city council last night. ―The programmer has received many compliments on her new system.‖ Sight (a) (noun) aim (of a gun or telescope). ―Watching the landing of the space capsule was a pleasant sight. to compliment Mrs. add. ―He counselled her to get a degree in technical communications. ―We all decided to wear colonial costumes to the Fourth of July celebration‖ Custom (noun) a practice that is traditionally followed by a particular group of people. ―We sighted a ship in the bay. Janis had to cite many references. ―It is a custom in Western Europe for little boys to wear short pants to school.‖ Council (noun) local government body.‖ (b) (noun) admiration.cite/ site/ sight Cite (verb) quote as an example. ―Through the sight of the rifle. typical style of dress. ―In her term paper.‖ Site (noun) location.‖ complement/ compliment Complement (verb) to supply.

‖ Desert (noun) (desert) a hot. ―Before I found a job.‖ confident/ confidential/ confidant Confident (adjective) sure. be successful. ―There was a comprehensive inspection of the nuclear plant. dry place.‖ Descent (noun) (a) downward motion. details. usually something sweet. thorough. ―He still remembers his mother‘s currant jam. ―The continual trips abroad took up a lot of my time.” dessert/desert Dessert (noun) the final course of a meal.‖ 36 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . ―It is difficult to survive in the desert without water. I was a dependant in our family.‖ Dependant (noun) someone that depends on another for support. ―Vladimir is of Russian descent.‖ Desert (verb) (desert) abandon. ―The mountain climbers found their descent more hazardous than their ascent. or problems that need to be dealt with.‖ currant/ current Currant (noun) a fruit. the soldier ran away from the camp. ―The brain needs a continuous supply of blood. up-to-date.‖ Confidential (adjective) kept in secret. ―Jim is very confident about using computers.‖ (b) lineage. ―We had apple pie for dessert last night.‖ Continuous (adjective) existing without stopping or any interruptions. ―The young are totally dependent on their parents in food and shelter. ―Doctors are required to keep their patients‘ records completely confidential.‖ decent/ descent Decent (adjective) respectable or suitable. ―When one appears in court. one must wear decent clothing.‖ Current (adjective) present.‖ dependent/ dependant Dependent (adjective) needing someone to exist.Comprehensive (adjective) including all the necessary facts. ―We have to take into account the current situation in the world to make a well-weighed decision.‖ Confidant (noun) someone you tell your secrets to continual/ continuous Continual (adjective) repeated often and over a long period. ―After deserting his post.

‖ Latest (adjective) meaning 'most recent' or 'new'. ―It's time to go home.‖ 37 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . ―Germany and England both developed dirigibles for use during World War II. he may lose the match. not involved. ―The government itself announced further changes to the scheme. ―Have you seen his latest painting?‖ later/latter Later (adverb) a time in the future or following a previous action. it's getting late. It‟s (pronoun + verb) contraction of it + is. “After dieting. ―I‘m completely uninterested in football.‖ (b) opposite of win. farther/ further Farther (adjective) a comparative form of far. ―Birds were able to find food by flying farther and farther. last/ latest Last (adjective) usually meaning 'final'.‖ Uninterested (adjective) not interested in anything. ―We need the advice of a disinterested party. ―If Harry doesn't practice his tennis more. bored.‖ its/ it's Its (adjective) possessive of it. trade union to help or support him. the latter primarily for coastal reconnaissance.‖ Latter (adjective) last of two things mentioned. ―I took the last train to Memphis. meaning in addition.‖ disorganized/ unorganized Disorganized (adjective) lacking of any kind of plan or system.‖ Further (adjective) a comparative form of far. ―Mary lost her glasses last week.‖ Lose (verb) (a) to be unable to find something. ―The conference arrangements were completely disorganized.‖ Unorganized (adjective) one that does not have an organization. Marcy found that her clothes had become so loose that she had to buy a new wardrobe. ―We went to the movies and later had ice cream at Dairy Isle. referring to distance.disinterested/ uninterested Disinterested (adjective) able to judge a situation fairly as not concerned with gaining any personal advantages.‖ (latter = England) loose/ lose Loose (adjective) opposite of tight. ―The car has lost one of its headlights.

several of our friends passed us. not written. ―At the moment.‖ passed/ past Passed (verb) past tense of pass (a) elapse.‖ moral/ morale Moral (noun) set of principles. ―a brief oral report‖ Aural (adjective) connected with the sense of hearing. ―Rudolf was sure that Thomas was lying‖ Lay (verb) meaning 'to put down flat' (laid–laid). ―Send your application to the personnel office.‖ maybe/ may be Maybe (adverb) meaning perhaps. Ling‖ May be (verb) meaning possibility of to be. ―It‘s our moral duty to stay‖ Morale (noun) sate of mind.‖ Practise (verb) ―The best way to improve soft skills is to practise them every day. ―He may be in the office or at the client‘s. ―The students are happy that they passed their exams. ―Five hours passed before the jury reached its verdict.‖ personal/ personnel Personal (adjective) private.‖ (c) succeed. ―Maybe I was wrong about Mr. ―They plan to take out a personal loan to build the deck.‖ Personnel (noun) staff. ―While we were sitting in the park.‖ (b) go by or beyond.‖ ―The CEO wants to have a personal chat with all this company's personnel. he's lying on the bed‖ (b) not to tell the truth – lied-lied.lie/ lay Lie (verb) (a) meaning 'to be down' (lay-lain).‖ 38 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . ―an aural device‖ practice/ practise Practice (noun) ―Practice makes progress. employees. faith and optimism in difficult situations. ―There‘s nothing like winning to boost the morale of players‖ oral/ aural Oral (adjective) spoken. ―I usually lay my pies on the shelf to cool.

―Louise is quite capable of taking over the household chores while her mother is away. ―Herman quit smoking on his doctor's advice. ―Mr. ―An anthropologist. ―The principal called a faculty meeting. without noise. Connors is a man who believes that truthfulness is the best principle.‖ (b) somewhat or rather. ―Can we begin by discussing matters arising from the last meeting?‖ round/ around Round (preposition) in circular movement. a teacher. ―We have no plans to raise taxes at present.‖ principal/ principle Principal (a) (noun) director of an elementary or secondary school. ―In the past. ―The night was so quiet that you could hear the breeze blowing. he had been a cook. ―Peace was restored to the community after a week of rioting. ―He turned round and I recognized him immediately. was the principal speaker at Friday's luncheon.‖ rise/ raise/ arise Rise (verb) something moves upwards. ―Heidi ate a piece of chocolate cake for dessert.‖ Around (preposition) surrounding something.‖ (b) (noun) time before the present.‖ Principle (noun) fundamental rule or adherence to such a rule. Quit (verb) stop. ―He was quite tired after his first day of classes. and a historian.‖ Quite (adverb) (a) completely.Past (a) (adjective) a time or event before the present.‖ Raise (verb) move something upwards.‖ peace/ piece Peace (noun) harmony or freedom from war. ―This past week has been very hectic for the students returning to the university. who had worked with the indigenous tribes in Australia.‖ (b) (adjective) main or most important.” quiet/ quite/ quit Quiet (adjective) serene. ‖Why does everything have to be organized around what Colman wants to do?‖ 39 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff .‖ Piece (noun) part of a whole. ―In the distance he could see the smoke from his bonfire rising up in a white column.‖ Arise (verb) a problem begins to happen.

she paid her fees.‖ to/ two/ too To (preposition) toward.‖ 40 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Julie filled out her schedule.‖ weather/ whether Weather (noun) atmospheric conditions.‖ Whether (conjunction) if. as far as.‘ Stationery (noun) special writing paper. ―Look over there between the trees.‖ They're (pronoun + verb) contraction of they + are. having a fixed location. ―The weatherman said that the warm front would be stationary for several days.‖ (b) also. ―Their team scored the most points during the game‖ There (adverb) (a) location away from here. and we did too.‘ than/ then Than (conjunction) used in unequal comparisons. “They're leaving on the noon flight to Zurich. ―Today's weather is better than yesterday's. ―There is a book on the teacher's desk.stationary/ stationery Stationary (adjective) non-movable. ―Two theories have been proposed to explain that incident.‖ (b) used with the verb be to indicate existence. ―Lucille used only monogrammed stationery for correspondence.‖ whose/ who‟s Whose (pronoun) possessive relative pronoun. ―Go to the blackboard and write out the equation.‖ Too (adverb) (a) excessively. ―First.‖ their/ there/ they're Their (adjective) plural possessive adjective. ―The person whose name is drawn first will win the grand prize. ―This morning was too cold for the children to go swimming.‖ Two (noun or adjective) number following one. we do not know whether we will go away for our vacation or stay home. indicates a choice.‖ Then (adverb) a time following a previously mentioned time. ―Jane went to the movie. ―Because of the gas shortage. then. ―Our flight was delayed because of bad weather. until.

“You're going to enjoy the panorama from the top of the hill.‖ 41 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff .‖ You're (pronoun + verb) contraction of you + are. “Who's your new biology professor?‖ your/ you‟re Your (adjective) possessive of you. “We are all happy about your accepting the position with the company in Baltimore.Who's (relative pronoun + verb) contraction of who + is.

Commonly misspelled words abbreviate complementary (together with) faithfully absence complimentary (flattering/free) favourable accessible courteous February accommodation conscientious financial achieve conscious forty acknowledgement confidential foreign acquainted convenience fulfill address cooperate fulfilled advertisement council (city.) agreeable counsel (advise) garage all right criticism generally analysis currency government apologise grateful arrangement decision grievance assistance deductible guarantee attendance definitely dependent height benefited dependant (person) bookkeeper development illegal bureau difference immediately business disappointment imminent dissatisfied incomparable calendar independent cancelled efficiency inquiry/enquiry cancellation eighth irreparable changeable embarrassed installment characteristic emergency column encouragement judgment colleagues endorsements commission environment knowledge committed especially committee essential leisure comparative exchangeable library competent extremely likelihood competitive lying 42 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . 11.

maintenance personnel substantially manageable pleasant successful management possession supersede meant practice (verb) miniature practice (noun) tariff minimum preferable temporary minutes tendency mortgage preference thorough preferred through necessary preparation transfer negligible privilege transferred negotiable procedure transferable negotiate psychological truly noticeable twelfth questionnaire obsolete ultimately occasionally readily unbelievable occurred readjustment underrate occurrence receipt undoubtedly offered recommend unnecessary official recurrence until omit refer usually omitted referred opinion reference vacancy originate remittance vague valuable parallel schedule vice versa parliament secretary voluntary peculiar separate permanent serviceable waive (give up permissible significance Wednesday perseverance sincerely withhold personal surprising 43 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff .

Won‘t that be a bit expensive? We can‘t do that. I can see what you are saying. know. let me not hesitate to contact me. …/ Therefore. Thanks for the e-mail. Actually. …/ In addition. Example phrases With regards/reference to… Re… I would be grateful if you could… Please could you… We regret to advise you that… I‘m sorry to tell you that… Please except our apologies for… I‘m sorry for… I was wondering if you could… Could you…? We note that you have not… You haven‘t… We would like to remind you that… Don‘t forget that… It is necessary for me to… I need to… It is possible that I will… I might… Would you like me to…? Shall I…? However. I‘m afraid there is a small problem. please do If you‘d like more details. That gives us very little time. That might be quite expensive. I think it might be better to… 44 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . 12. I look forward to meeting you next week. Wouldn‘t it be better to ask Andy? I disagree. …/ Also. It will be better to ask Andy. comment That will be very expensive. … But. Writing Styles Formal/Informal Formal/Neutral Informal Thank you for your e-mail received 12 Feb. See you next week. Direct/Indirect Direct Indirect: polite/diplomatic Can you…? Could you…? Requests Please could you… I was wondering if you could…? Can I …? Is it all right if I …? Asking for permission Could I…? I wonder if I could…? Can I …? Would you like me to …? Offering help Shall I …? Do you need any help with …? What about … (+ -ing) Why don‘t we …? Making a suggestion Shall we…? Perhaps we should …? There is a problem.. that doesn‘t give us much time. I‘m not sure we can do that. but… Don‘t you think that…? To be honest. Softening a strong It seems there is a slight problem. …/ So. … If you require further information.

Just a quick note to arrange a time Reason for writing What time would be convenient for you? to meet.Arrangements Meetings Formal/Neutral Informal I‘m writing to arrange a time for our meeting. I have something on that day. Before the meeting it would be useful if you Pleas prepare… before the Prepare could prepare… meeting. Any time after that is okay.) at (time)? free some time next week? I would be able to attend the meeting on I‘m free Tuesday a. Thank you for your kind invitation. Please accept my apologies. I‘m luck with the meeting! sure that the meeting will be great success. Sorry for inconvenience. I hope we will have an opportunity to meet I hope we can meet up soon. I‘ll get back confirm the details. It I‘m sure it will be very useful. Invitations We would be pleased if you could come to… I‘m writing to invite you to… Inviting I would like to invite you to…/attend our… Would you like to come to…? Please let me know if you will be able to Please let me know if you can attend. Thanks a lot for the invitation. I‘m Changing arrangements attend the meeting next Thursday. I will call/e-mail you tomorrow to That should be okay.m. This is to let you know that I‘ll be not able to Re our meeting next week. Unfortunately. Close Let me know if you need to change the Give me a call if any changes. How about (day) at (time)? Are you Suggesting time/place etc. afraid I can‘t make Thursday. I won‘t be around till after lunch. When would suit you? Could we meet on (date) in (the morning. can‘t make it next Monday. sounds like a great idea. I‘d love to come to the meeting. Thanks a lot for your kind Refusing invitation. Confirming That‘s fine. It would be helpful if you could bring… Please bring to the meeting… Thank you for your kind invitation. I would be delighted to attend the meeting. I‘m afraid I can‘t manage next Monday. Sorry. The date is fine for me. make it. Any time after that would be fine. to you if there is a problem. Good on another occasion I the near future. See you in Brussels. arrangements. not free I‘m out of the office till 2 p. I wonder if we could move it to…? How about … instead? I apologize for any inconveniences caused. I‘d like to confirm… Thursday is good for me. I look forward to meeting you in Brussels.m. I have another appointment Unfortunately. Accepting The date you suggest is fine. else in my schedule on that day. 45 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Saying when you are/are Tuesday morning.

Could you also say if there is any minimum order? An early reply would be greatly appreciated.000. Saying how you got the I am e-mailing you off your website. which I found through Google. My direct line is… Following up a call (supplier) Thank you for taking the time on the telephone this morning to explain… Open 46 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff .Commercial Request for information (customer) We met last Thursday on your stand at the Munich Trade Fair. discounts. In particular we would like to know… Specific requests Please sena full details of your prices. We can offer a discount of … on orders over … We require payment by bank transfer/ letter of credit. We are interested in … Giving reason for writing We are a Turkish company exporting to the EU. and we need… We would be grateful for some information about… General requests Please send us information about your product range and prices. key points You will also note that… Our experience in this field includes… Answering specific We dispatch the goods within 24 hours of a firm order. contact We are a manufacture/supplier/provider of …. and for first-time customers questions our minimum order is $1. Close I look forward to an early reply. and am sure that there is a market for your products here in Hungary. attaching You will see that… Highlighting one or two You will note that our new line of … is on special offer. Our normal procedure is to … Our normal terms for first customers are… We can supply the items you require directly form stock. and delivery time. May I suggest that I call you at your convenience to discuss Close the matter further? If you need any further information. I am afraid that this model is no longer available. However. I am attaching a document that gives full details of… Saying what you are I am attaching our current catalogue and price list as a pdf file. Giving information (supplier) Thank you for your e-mail of 4 June inquiring about Thanks We can quote you a price of … Giving factual We can deliver by … (date)/ within … (period of time) information The goods will be shipped 3 days from receipt of a firm order. terms of payment. … We feel sure that … . please do not hesitate to contact me.

Asking for payment (supplier) We are writing concerning a payment of € 12. If you have already dealt with this matter. We are prepared to accept… compromise We would be grateful if you could supply bank reference. if you would like to discuss any other points. If we can reach an agreement on these matters we are sure that we can do more Close business with you in the future. or an explanation of why the First reminder – action balance is still outstanding. They will be able to deal with any further points. the sum of £ 4. However. We are very concerned that the matter has not received your 47 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . Saying you will call back I have made a note to call you again after you‘ve had a chance to… Perhaps then it would be a good idea to meet to discuss… In the meantime. Alternatively. Final details Please return the attached form asap so that your order can be preceded without any delay. Would you be prepared to let us have the goods on credit? Discussing terms We need these items by … at the latest. Please note that we have recently improved the functionality of our website. With regard to…. I understand that you are looking for … and I am confident that we can find a good Summarizing key points solution for your needs. I have attached some information about our company. We hope you find our quotation satisfactory and look forward to receiving your order. I‘ll give you a call during the last week of September. We assure you that it will have our prompt attention. we would be happy to let you have … Saying yes I have spoken to my line manager.500. I am sure we can Looking for a find an acceptable compromise. please don‘t hesitate Close to give me a call on my direct line… Asking for better terms Thank you for sending … we are interested in … however. and we are able to … on this occasion. and it is now possible to place an order on-line. unfortunately we are not able to … . According to our records. May we please remind you that this amount is still outstanding? open I wish to draw your attention to my e-mails of () date about the overdue payment on your account. I have arranged for a member of our customer services team to give you a call Close later in the week. Om (date) I wrote to you regarding you company‘s unpaid account.500 is still outstanding on your account. We look forward to hearing fro you soon. amounting to € Second/Third reminder – 4. you can print out the attached order form and return it to us by mail. A copy of the invoice is attached. Replying and agreeing terms (supplier) Thank you for your e-mail of … (date) inquiring about a possible order for… Open In relation to…. please disregard this mail. including… Giving additional information As agreed. If you need any further information. We would appreciate your cooperation in resolving this matter as soon as possible. Please send a bank transfer to settle the account. there are one or two Open things we would like to clarify before going ahead. do not hesitate to contact us.600 for invoice #KJ678 which is now First reminder – open overdue.

. Following of my e-mails of (date) I must inform you that we have still not received Final demand – open payment for outstanding sum of € 4.. I hope you will deall with this natter promptly as it is causing me considerable Close inconvenience. Complaints and apologies Complaining (customer) I am writing.300 on your account. I wrote to you on (date) regarding the balance of € 12. Open In connection with the order FS456which arrived this morning. Complaint The goods aere faulty. pleas accept my sincere apologies. we would like to offer you. To compensate for the inconvenience. This sum is now two months overdue.. I have spoken to the stuff involved.500. Open I was very concerned to learn about. Thank you for your cooperation. I will have no choice but to cancel my order. To complain about the poor servicewe recieved from your company. We are very concerned that the matter has not received your attention yet.. damaged.. To complain about the quality of a product I bought from your site. the situation cannot be allowed to continue. Pleae replace the faulty goods as soon as possible.. Ot make matters worse.. Apologising I would like to aplogise for the inconvenience you have suffered..... please do not hesitate to contact me... We are having a temporary problem with. your existing credit facilities have been suspended. To draw your attention to the negative attitude some people in your customer services section. I can assure you that this will not happen again. Can you leave it with me? I‘ll look into the matter and get back to you tomorrow.. but we Denying responsibility cannot accept any responsibility in this matter.. We appreciate that this has caused you considerable inconvenience. however. when I called your company.. we‘re doing everything we can to sort it out. .. we shall have no alternative but to Final demand . We will send replacement items/ give you a refund immediately. Unless we receive payment within seven days. and we must ask you to take action immediate action to settle your account. Second/Third reminder – Clearly. attention yet. Request for action We must insist on an immediate replacement/a full refund.. In the meantime. you. Our order dated 16 September clearly stated that we wanted. Compensation 48 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . There seems to be an error in the invoice/a misunderstanding.. I attached copies of both e-mails.action take legal action to recover the money.. If you have any queries on this matter. Apologising (supplier) I‘m writing i relation to your recent complaint. We need a bank transfer in full settlement without further delay. and. Promising action I have looked into the matter and. your staff. Unless I receive the goods by the end of the this week. in poor condition.

.? What about .... time at the moment. .. Going back to a topic Well.... Personal Being friendly You heard something but you are not sure It seems that.... Close Suggestion I think we should / I suggest that we/ Let‘s go to.. . Asking for advice Formal/Neutral Informal I‘d like your advice about the problem I have. Making a suggestion Shall we/ Perhaps we could/ Why don‘t we go to.. i hope you will accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused. Something is obvious or already known Obviously.. Once again. .. Saying what you really think To be honest.. . Summarising with the most important point Anyway.? It‘s a great idea! Accepting I think your idea would work really well. Anyway... Frankly...(+ing) I hope I have been of some help.. Giving advice Formal/Neutral Informal I was sorry to hear abou your current I‘m sorry you‘re having such a hard Open difficulties.......... Changing the topic Anyway. Of course.. I‘ve got a bit of a problem... Giving advice Have you thought of. So. I hope I‘ve helped a bit.. . Basically. ... I do hope you will continue to use our service in the future. That way.. So.... Something id but surprising true Actually.. In fact... . 49 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . If you have any further queries.. the chance. Good/bad fortune Unfortunately.. Please accept me assurance that Close it will not happen again. I think you should .. Thank you for brining this matter to my attention.(+ing)? This would mean that ... By the way..(+ing) Options . please do not hesitate to contact me on my phone... . Apparently.? What should I do? What would you advise me todo? Please write back when you have the time Please e-mail me when you get Close and let me know what you think. I think it might be a good idea to ........ Luckily...? I suggest/ How about going to.? Asking for advice about.... ... Open I was wondering if you had any ideas Do you have any ideas about . . ... Result I think this option woul be preferable to I think it‘s better than . ....

Best wishes I was sorry to hear about .. Hope yuo‘ll feel better soon.. It might be worth trying... Many congratulations on your promotion/new job. If there ia anything I can do to help . Good luck I would like to take this opprotunity to wish you every success in the future... I‘m not sure about your idea. Good luck with. . . Findings It appears that. Conclusion/Recommendations My specific recommendations are as follows. and I will discuss this in more detail below/in section 3. Well done! Please give my best wishes/regards to . ..... Introduction/ Background The report will discuss/consider/describe/analyse/review.. see below... The graph/table shows that. Bad news I was relly sorry to hear that yuo are not well. Thanks I really appreciate evevrything you have done. . I (would like to) suggest /recommend that.2. Please have a loook at the report and let me have your comments. Rejecting It sounds like a good idea.../.. here is my report.. Linking words 50 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff . As can be seen in the table 1/section2/figure3 Signposts As mentioned above. but i don‘t think it would work in practice It sounds like a good ideam but i can see one or two problems. let me kknow.. Reports Report structure As requested at the Board meeting of 14 April.. The report is based on. Closing comments Please feel free to contact me if you have any queations. this has led to a situation where... Special situations Just a quick not to say many thanks for . The findings/figures/resultd/investigations show that.......... Congratulations I was delighted to hear the news about.... I have divided the report into three setions.

... ........ As a matter os fact. Result/Consequence As a result. ... Alternatives Either . Of course. Regarding...... . Something is obvious Clearly.. That is to say.. ...... Moreover. . For this reason.. Instead of . i... Adding another point In addition... Contrast However.... Obviously.. 51 Business Writing 1 Business Skills Development for Professional Staff ... In particular..... New topic In relation to. . Most important point Especially..... Secondly...... or . On another point.. With reference to .e.. Above all. On the other hand....Sequence Firstly... Talking generally In general... .. Examples For example.. Real (surprising) situations In fact. Alternatively....g.. On the whole.. ... e. Finally. .... .. .. Nevertheless. .. For instance.. Therefore. Rephrasing In other words........... Actually.... Usually..

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