How to write a formal letter/ email?
Esta semana en WELCOME TO ENGLISH veremos cómo escribir un email/carta formal que por supuesto tiene su propia estructura y estilo.
- Saludo y despedida formales
- Dirigirse usando el apellido o cargo, nunca el nombre de pila
- Usar modales, pasivas y condicionales
- No usar contracciones
- Utilizar frases largas, como las «relative clauses»
- Evitar los tiempos continuous
- Saludo inicial
- Presentación +introducción
- Saludo final
Si sabemos a quién va dirigido, utilizaremos: Dear Mr/Ms Jones, Dear Mr Mayor, Dear Madam Ambassador. Si no sabemos a quién va dirigido, utilizaremos Dear Sir or Madam or To whom it may concern.
Diremos cual es nuestro nombre y también podemos añadir nuestro cargo, si es relevante, de esta forma: “My name is John Doe and I am the spoekesperson for ACNUR.”
Exponemos el porqué de nuestra carta o email. Hay varias cosas que podemos escribir según el tipo de email:
-I write to you in reference to…..
-I contact you tol et you know…
-I contact you to inquire about…..
- I write to you in relation to…..
-I write to you on befalf of (my team)
-I would like to inform you about…..
El desarrollo depende de cada tema. Los temas mas comunes en los exámenes oficiales de la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas y también de Cambridge son: letter of complaint, letter of appology, letter of applcation o letter to the editor. Debido a que esta semana en Welcome to English hemos trabajado letter of complaint, nos centraremos en lo mismo, pero a lo largo de las siguientes semanas veremos cómo abordar las demás.
En la despedida escribiremos una o dos líneas con un agradecimiento al destinatario y una despedida:
-I greatly appreciate your help in this matter.
-Without further ado…..
- If you have any further questions /concerns/ inquires plese do not hesítate to let me know
-Thank you for your time/ consideration/ assistance
-I look forward to hearing from you
Si hemos utilizado el apellido en el saludo inicial, utilizaremos uno de estos saludos:
Si hemos utilizado el cargo, acabaremos con:
A continuación os dejamos un modelo para letter of complaint acompañado de algunas expresiones que podéis emplear en este tipo de writings.
Si queréis practicar your writing skills (and we strongly recommend to do so), os dejamos también una tarea para a writing of complaint.
We’re looking forward to recieving your work!
Sample question and answer
You recently had a short holiday organized by TravelWise. The manager of the company sent you a letter asking to state the problems which had occurred during your vacation. Write a letter to the manager, explaining what the problems were and telling them what you want them to do.
Write your letter. Don’t include any postal addresses. Write your answer in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.
I am writing with reference to your letter, where you politely requested a feedback of my recent vacation organized by TravelWise. As you already know I was displeased with numerous points.
Firstly, the hotel I stayed was located in a run-down and dangerous neighbourhood, on few occasions I was approached by a drug dealer and a beggar. When it comes to the room it was completely different from what had been presented in your brochure. Dirt, darkness and rats were my company throughout the stay, I actually changed rooms few times, however it seemed all the rooms were in similar condition.
One of the reasons I had chosen your company was the free of charge spa and trips organized by your staff. It turned out that I had to pay extra for all of these services. And although it might be true that the water sports provided were amazing it does not change the fact my holiday was ruined by the above problems.
I must ask you to refund all the costs of my vacation including extra charge for spa and trips please.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
You recently had lunch at a restaurant using a coupon that you bought on the internet from a company called Grupin. You were very disappointed with the restaurant. Read the Grupin advertisement for the special deal and the notes you have made. Then write an email to Groupin, explaining what happened and what you would like them to do.
The pizza was note home-made like they said
The waitress was very rude
It cost more to sit on the big terrace
It wasn’t true that you could choose any small pizza as part of the set menu
You want them to refund you half the cost of the meal. The meal cost a total of €12.50.
MORE USEFUL EXPRESSIONS:
I would be grateful if …
I wonder if you could …
Could you …? Could you tell me something about …?
I would particularly like to know …
I would be interested in having more details about …
I am writing to complain about …
You said … but in fact what happened …
We were supposed to stay with British families whereas we actually stayed in a guest house.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Please contact me if you have any further questions.
Yours sincerely, (If you started with ‘Dear + surname’) or Yours faithfully, (If you started with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’)