Business letters

As far as we face with correspondence every day, I want to share information about business letters (BL) with you!
BL – are formal paper communications between, to and from businesses and usually send through the post-office. Your first job in writing any letter is to gain your reader’s attention. It’s an important principle of effective writing to put the most important information first.

Who writes BL?
  • Company → company
  • Business → consumer
  • Job applicant → company
  • Citizen → government official
  • Employer → employee
  • to inform
  • to request
  • to express thanks
  • to recommend
  • to apologize
  • to congratulate
  • to reject proposal or offer
  • to invite or to welcome
  • to formalize decisions etc.
Parts of BL:
1. The date – is typed on the right-hand side, it’s customary to type the date in full not in figures.
Months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Jun, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, BUT – May, July.
Apr 15, 2013 – American English
15 Apr, 2013 – British English.

2. The inside address – is typed on the left-hand side.
Firms are addressed Messrs = Mr plural, only when the firm’s name includes a personal name without any other title, when firms are partnerships. Messrs is never used when addressing a registered company or private limited company (PLC). The name of the company becomes part of the address in the way as the name of the street or town. If we don’t know which of the company’s officers will deal with your letter you should address it to the Secretary + company name.

Letters to man can be addressed as follows:
  • Mr Brown
  • Mr T. Brown
  • Mr Thomas Brown.
Unmarried women can be addressed as Miss, married – Mrs.
When it’s unknown the addressed woman is single or married – Ms is used instead of Miss or Mrs. If you are in doubt about the sex of the person addressed use Ms as well.

3. The opening salutation: Dear Sirs, Madam (both to single and married).

4. The subject Heading – the topic of the letter.

5. The opening paragraph – states the subject matter by giving the date of the letter which is been answered and writers feelings.
We are sorry to remind you that…
We are glad to inform you that…
We are surprised to learn that…

6. The body of the letter – the main part of the letter.
Should be:
  • clear and simple;
  • brief;
  • any repetitions or needless words and information should be avoided;
  • each paragraph have to deal with one idea.
7. The closing paragraph – contains hopes, intentions about future actions.
We look forward to hearing from you soon…
Your early reply will be appreciated…

8. The complementary closing – polite way to end the letter.
Yours truly
Yours faithfully

9. The signature
Name of the Company
Y. Brown – name
Secretary – position

10. Post scripts and Enclosures (enc)
Учим английский, арабский и другие языки: Business letters
The most common abbreviations:
asap – as soon as possible;
pa – per anue;
pcm – per calendar month;
p.p. – per procurationem – по доверенности;
pt – part time;
pw – per week;
c/o – care of;
vgc – very good condition;
i.e. – id est – то есть;
e.g. – example gratia – например;
viz. – videlict – а именно;
etc – et cetera – так далее;
RE = abt – about;
Co. – company;
plc – private limited company;
attn – attention;
fyi – for your information;
p. – page;
ref. – reference.

In the modern BL there are 2 types of punctuation:
1.closed pattern or traditional;
2.modern style, open pattern – is based on absence comma in all parts of the letter, but not in the body of the letter.

Thanks a lot for your attention!

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