Guide to Basic Business Letters
By Kenneth Beare, About.com Guide
The basics of good business letter writing are easy to learn. The following guide provides the phrases that are usually found in any standard business letter. These phrases are used as a kind of frame and introduction to the content of business letters. At the end of this guide, you will find links to sites that give tips on the difficult part of writing successful business letters – arguing your business objective. By using these standard phrases, you can give a professional tone to your English business letters.
Dear Personnel Director,
Dear Sir or Madam: (use if you don't know who you are writing to)
Dear Dr, Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms Smith: (use if you know who you are writing to, and have a formal relationship with - VERY IMPORTANT use Ms for women unless asked to use Mrs or Miss)
Dear Frank: (use if the person is a close business contact or friend)
With reference to your advertisement in the Times, your letter of 23 rd March,
your phone call today,
Thank you for your letter of March 5 th .
The Reason for Writing
I am writing to inquire about
Could you possibly?
I would be grateful if you could
Agreeing to Requests
I would be delighted to
Giving Bad News
I am afraid that
I am enclosing
Please find enclosed
Enclosed you will find
Thank you for your help Please contact us again if we can help in any way.
there are any problems.
you have any questions.
Reference to Future Contact
I look forward to ...
hearing from you soon.
meeting you next Tuesday.
seeing you next Thursday.
Yours faithfully, (If you don't know the name of the person you're writing to)
Yours sincerely, (If you know the name of the person you're writing to)
Best regards, (If the person is a close business contact or friend)
Here is a sample letter using some of these forms:
Ken's Cheese House
34 Chatley Avenue
Seattle, WA 98765
October 23, 2006
Cheese Specialists Inc.
Dear Mr Flintstone:
With reference to our telephone conversation today, I am writing to confirm your order for: 120 x Cheddar Deluxe Ref. No. 856
The order will be shipped within three days via UPS and should arrive at your store in about 10 days.
Please contact us again if we can help in any way.
Director of Ken's Cheese House