logo  ELT Concourse for learners of English
Concourse 2

How to write an email

email 

Three words to know before we start:

informal
writing to a friend or someone in your family
semi-formal
writing to business or someone you know but not very well
formal
writing to get something from a business or someone you don't know

starting and ending

read Task 1: Look at this:

example email 

This is an example of a semi-formal email.  Can you see why?  Click here when you have an answer.

test Task 2: Take a very short test to see if you can remember this.
middle   the middle

There are three parts in the middle of most emails:

  1. The subject: why are you writing?
  2. The information: what do you want to say?
  3. Getting an answer
Again, there are three ways to do all of these.  Like this:
  Formal Semi-formal Informal
The subject I am writing to say ...
I am writing to ask ...
I am writing to tell you that ...
This is to let you know ...
This is to ask whether ...
This is to tell you that ...
Guess what?  ...
Just a short message to say ...
I want to say ...
The information Here is the information you need:
The situation is that ...
Firstly, ... Secondly, ... Finally, ...
My new address / details are ...
The information you want is ...
I want to let you know that
...
I've just changed my ...
I've got a new ...
I love the ...
Getting an answer I look forward to hearing from you soon. Please let me know what / if ... Write back soon!
I'd love to hear from you.
test Task 3: Take a very short test to see if you can remember this.
read Task 4: Read this text carefully.
An informal email to a friend
Hi,
I want to send a short message to tell you what I'm doing.
I arrived in England yesterday and am now at my new school.  The school's great and I love the work but the weather is terrible.  It has not stopped raining since I came!
The room I have in the college is small but it's comfortable and I have a desk and a private shower room.
I'll write again when I have more news.
Tell me how you are now.  How is the new car and the new job?
Write back soon,
Love,

George
test Task 5: Take a test to see if you can remember this.
read Task 6: Read this text carefully.
A semi-formal email to your teacher
Hello, Mr. Jones,
You asked me to write to you when I get to England so this is to let you know what I'm doing now.
I arrived in England yesterday and am now at my new school.  The school's very pleasant and I enjoy the work but the weather is not so good.  It has not stopped raining since I came!
The room I have in the college is small but it's comfortable and I have a desk and a private shower room.
I'll write to you again when I have some more news.
I hope the new course is going well.
I would be happy to hear from you if you have time to write.
Best regards,

George Smith
test Task 7: Take the test to see if you can remember this.
read Task 8: Read this text carefully.
A formal email to a school
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing to ask about the courses you offer at your college.
I am now studying English in England and I want to do a course in Business Studies at the beginning of next year.
Firstly, I would like to know what kinds of course you offer.
Secondly, what accommodation do you offer?
Finally, please tell me what the courses cost and what date they begin.
If there's is any more information you need, please write to me.
I look forward to your answer.

Yours faithfully,

George Smith
test Task 9: Take the test to see if you can remember this.
This is the last task and the end of the lesson.
Thank you for your hard work!