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“Politeness is as much concerned in answering it letters within

a reasonable time, as is in returning a bow, immediately.(Lord


1. Discuss these questions. Look at the typical answers

and agree or disagree with them.

1.What salutation should be used in a business letter for a female whose status is unknown or would prefer to remain anonymous?

a)Dear Mr ….

b)Dear Mrs ….

c)Dear Miss ….

d)Dear Ms….

2.What closing should be used if you do not know the name of the person that you are writing to?

a)Yours faithfully

b)Yours sincerely

c)Respectfully yours


3.What is acceptable to start a sentence with in a business letter to make it more formal?

a)And we still hope to sign a contract.

b)However, we still hope to sign a contract.

c)But we still hope to sign a contract.

d)You know we still hope to sign a contract.


1)attachment – приложение к электронному письму

2)body – текст письма

3)comma – запятая

4)complimentary close – комплиментарная концовка

5)county – округ (США); графство (Великобритания)

6)courtesy title – титул по обычаю

7)deliver – доставлять (письмо)

8)(to) embed – вставлять

9)enclosure – приложение к письму

10)envelope – конверт

11)font – вид шрифта

12)full stop – точка

13)inside address/receiver’s address – имя и адрес получателя

14)(to) justify – выравнивать

15)layout – общая схема расположения отдельных частей делового письма

16)letterhead – шапка на фирменном бланке

17)margin – поле бланка

18)postcode – почтовый индекс

19)post town – город с самостоятельным почтовым отделением

20)procurement – снабжение; поставка (оборудования)

21)return address – адрес отправителя

22)recipient – получатель сообщений

23)(to) reject an offer – отклонить предложение

24)reminder – напоминание

25)salutation – приветствие

26)signature – подпись

27)(to) skip – пропускать; опускать

28)space/spacing – пробел; интервал между строк

29)(to) stagger – располагать зигзагообразно

30)subject (main point) – основная тема; содержание (письма)



2. Skim the text to grasp the general idea. Decide if the following statements are true (T) or

false (F).

1)Snail-mail and email are the same things.

2)A perfect letter is the easiest one to read.

3)Recipient is a person who writes letters.

4)Those who are not English speakers worry that their writing is not perfect enough for business writing.

Business letters

Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from businesses and usually sent through the Post Office or sometimes by courier. Business letters are sometimes called "snail-mail" in contrast to email which is faster.

Most people who have an occupation have to write business letters. Some write many letters each day and others only write a few letters over the course of a career. Business people also read letters on a daily basis. Letters are written from a person/group, known as the sender to a person/group, known in business as the recipient.

There are many reasons why you may need to write business letters or other correspondence: to persuade, to inform, to request, to express thanks, to remind, to recommend, to apologize, to congratulate, to reject a proposal or offer, to invite or welcome.

The term "business letter" makes people nervous. Many people with English as a second language worry that their writing is not advanced enough for business writing. This is not the case. An effective letter in business uses short, simple sentences and straightforward vocabulary. The easier a letter is to read, the better. You will need to use smooth transitions so that your sentences do not appear too choppy.

There are many standard types of business letters: Sales letters, Order letters, Complaint letters, Adjustment letters, Inquiry letters, Cover letters, letters of Recommendation etc.

There are certain standards for formatting a business letter, though some variations are acceptable (for example between European and North American business letters). Here are some basic guidelines:

Use A4 (European) or 8.5 x 11 inch (North American) paper or letterhead

Use 2,5 cm or 1,0 inch margins on all four sides

Use a simple font such as Times New Roman or Arial

Use 10 to 12 point font

Use a comma or a colon after the salutation (Dear Mr. Bond,:)

Use “Subject” or “Re”, “RE” if needed so that the reader immediately knows what the letter is about. The subject line is usually placed between the salutation and the body in BrE, in AmE it can also be placed between the recipient’s address and the salutation

(Subject: Order No 175/03)

Lay out the letter so that it fits the paper appropriately

Single space within paragraphs

Double space between paragraphs

Double space between last sentence and closing (Sincerely, Best wishes…)

Leave three to five spaces for a handwritten signature

enc: (meaning “enclosure”)

Fold in three (horizontally) before placing in the envelope

(по материалам сайта http://www.englishclub.com)

3. Find in the text English equivalents to the following Russian words and word


Конверт; поля; приложение к письму; отправитель; получатель; “улиточная почта”;

выражать благодарность; извиняться; подпись; двойной пробел; шрифт; лексика не вызывающая затруднений; поздравлять; дюйм; запятая; двоеточие; лишенный цельности/фрагментарный; плавный переход; подпись; невыравненный справа (текст);

концовка; основная тема (письма); инструкции; сгибать/складывать (письмо);

приемлемый, адрес получателя.

4. Insert the right preposition where necessary. Consult the text. Translate the


1.to send _____ the post office

2.to fold a letter _____ three

3.a letter written _____ a person _____ a person

4.to put a comma _____ the salutation

5.to leave three _____ five spaces

6.a letter should fit _____ the paper

7.to place _____ the envelope

8.to justify _____ right side


5. Match the antonyms.



a) ragged



b) reject



c) recipient



d) closing



e) smooth

6.Read the text again and answer the following questions.

1.Why do people write business letters?

2.What vocabulary makes a letter more effective?

3.What do you call the person who receives a letter?

4.What is the font size for a business letter?

5.What punctuation marks are necessary after the salutation?

6.What does enc. stand for? Where does enc. go in a letter?

7.What is the Subject line for? Where does it go?


7. Put these seven names of the letter parts into the gaps: Date line, Letter Head,

Salutation, Inside Address, Complimentary close, Letter body, Signature line.

Southtown Dental Center

3221 Ryan Road san Diego CA 92217


September 26, 2010

Mrs. Barbara White

157 Beach Drive

San Diego, CA 92113

Dear Mrs White:

Please accept our offer for the position of dental receptionist at Southtown dental center.

If the terms we discussed in the interview are acceptable to you, please come in at 9.30 a.m. on October 3. At the time we will ask you to complete our personnel form.

Everyone here at Southtown is looking forward to working with you. We all were very favorably impressed with you during your interview.


Rachel Johannes

Office Manager

8. Match these parts of the letter (1- 9) with their names (a-i).

1)5th December, 2012

2)Ms. Maggie Jones Angel Cosmetics Inc. 110 East 25th Street New York, NY, 10021 USA

3)Dear Ms. Jones,


5)enc: catalogue

6)Forthcoming Exhibition

7)First paragraph...

Second paragraph...

Third paragraph...

8)Morris Howard President

9)Morris Howard


b)Name and Title (typed)

c)Signature (handwritten)

d)Inside address





i)Body of a letter

9. Read the information about business letter layouts and identify the layout of the business letters A, B, C given below.

There are three basic letter formats used:

(1) block style (структура письма с использованием целых блоков текста), in which all the lines begin at the left-hand margin; (2) modified block style (модифицированный формат), in which the dateline, the return-address heading, the complimentary close, and the sender's name and title at the end begin in the center of the page; and (3) indented (also called modified block with paragraph indentations) (модифицированный формат с отступами для каждого параграфа), in which each first line of a new paragraph is indented five spaces and the sender's address and date are placed on the upper right-hand side of the page.

Closed punctuation is typical for American correspondence. It means that commas are used after the greeting and closing and there is a comma between the date and the year.

No punctuation after the greeting and closing and no comma in the dateline is typical for the British correspondence style. There is a different order of the dates in American versus British writing.

(по материалам сайта: http://mipt.ru)

Letter A

Abenteuer Urlaub, GmbH

Kaiser Str. 190

D-60437 Frankfurt


24 October 20__

The Honorable Dr. Emarmel N'Komo

Minister of Commerce

Ministry Building



Dear Sir,

I am writing this inquiry in hopes that we can establish a relationship that will be of benefit to your beautiful country and to our guests, who would enjoy staying in such beautiful surroundings. While on a visit to your neighboring country, Mandika, I had the opportunity to spend several days in your country. I inquired about tourist facilities and discovered that they were yet undeveloped. Naturally, I thought that your country could certainly benefit from the popularity that its beauty would create among potential tourists and the income that they would bring.

Abenteuer Urlaub has established several holiday resorts in Africa with great benefit to the host countries in terms of job creation and revenue generation. There is great potential in both of these areas for a country with such natural beauty as yours. I would thus appreciate the opportunity to present our concept to your ministry in hopes that we can establish a mutually beneficial business relationship.

I look forward to hearing from you and having the possibility of presenting our ideas.

Yours faithfully

Uwe Stein

Uwe Stein,


Tourist Product Development

Letter B

Ministry of Commerce

The State of India

Udyod Bhawan

New Dehli 110011


February 13, 20_

Mr. Hans Brand

Chemi Suisse

Hauptbahnstr. 23

Ch-4000 Basel


Dear Sir:

The recent tragedy has raised the question of your company's concern for the life and health of our people. There can be no other explanation than gross negligence and total unconcern. When we originally established our business relationship, you assured me that everything would be done to ensure that such a tragedy, which has now occurred, would not occur. It appears that you did not even install an early warning system in our plant, as you have done in your Swiss plant. I can only interpret this as a total disregard for our people and a denial of everything we were promised during our original negotiations.

I cannot describe the suffering that your company's negligence has caused the local population and the effects this negligence will have for generations. We expect that the people involved be compensated for their suffering. The Indian government will hold you totally responsible for the suffering and damage, which is a result of your negligence. Furthermore, our lawyers will contact you in the course of next month.

Yours faithfully,

S. M. Singh

S. M. Singh,

Minister of Commerce

This is the standard form used in India, Canada, the United States, and Africa.

Letter C

Hotel de la Playa

Avenida de la Playa 108

SP-03080 Alicante


October 23, 20_

Ms. Margaret Smith, Director of Tour Operations

Sun and Fun Tours

25 Hammersmith Road

Harlow, Essex CM19 5AA


Dear Ms. Smith,

RE: Delays in Completion of Construction at Hotel de la Playa

We have recently been informed by our contractor that he will not be able to meet his promised schedule for completion of the modernization of our hotel. We deeply regret this occurrence for both our guests' and your sake. We wish that there was something that could be done, but the causes of this unfortunate event are outside of our control. A combination of inclement weather and a strike have delayed completion of the repairs. Naturally, we will do our utmost to limit the impact of this work on our guests, and I can assure you that we will pressure the contractors to complete the work as soon as possible. Realistically, however, we cannot expect the work to be completed until the end of January.

As both our interests are to ensure that our guests enjoy their vacation, I would appreciate it if you could contact me so that we can coordinate our efforts to achieve this goal.


Miguel Fuentes

Miguel Fuentes, Manager

This is the standard form in Britain, Europe, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.



10. Read the text and match the headings (a-i) with the gaps at the start of each



b)Inside Address



e)Second and third paragraphs


g)First paragraph


i)Final paragraph


The return address (or the letterhead) is followed by the date. If you are using a letterhead, type the date of your letter two to six lines below it depending on the length of the letter. If you are an individual using your return address in the business letter, leave just one line between the return address and the date. All number dates are written differently in BrE (day/month/year – 31/12/13) and AmE (month/day/year – 12/31/13). This can lead to confusion. It may be better to write the date in full (31 December 2013; December 31st, 2013; December 31, 2013).


If you know the person’s name, write it on the first line of the inside (or receiver’s) address.

It can be preceded by the courtesy title (Mr., Ms., etc.). Try to put the full name: Margaret

Edwards or M. Edwards. The receiver’s name can be followed by his/her position in the company or the name of the department.

When sending mail to UK addresses you need to use a full and accurate address complete with the postcode. You do not need to include a county name, as long as the post town and postcode are used. Avoid using commas or full stops and do not center or stagger your lines. Look at the example of UK address (Fig.1).

There should be a generous margin around the address.

Figure 1

If you are sending an item to an address outside the UK, the country name must come last and in CAPITAL letters. We would recommend you write your address on the back of all mail

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