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Letter

Informal Letter vs Formal Letter

  Informal Formal
     
Greetings Dear first-name, ... Dear Mr surname, ...
  ... Best Wishes / Love / Yours ... Yours sincerely
    Dear Sir or Madam ...
    ... Yours faithfully
     
Sentences short longer
     
Style Anglo-Saxon Latin origin
  get, because, get obtain, due to, receive


After the greeting you have to start with a capital letter!

A mnemonic aid (Eselsbrücke):

Dear Mr Surname,
...
Yours sincerely -- to a single Person.

Words and Phrases for formal Letters

Dear Mr ...,   Sehr geehrter Herr ...,
Dear Ms ..., (married,/single)   Sehr geehrte Frau ...,
Dear Mrs ..., (married)   Sehr geehrte Frau ..., (alte Redensart)
Dear Miss ..., (single)   Sehr geehrtes Fäulein ..., (alte Redensart)
obtain   erhalten (formell)
due to   infolge; aufgrund (formell)
receive   empfangen; erhalten; in Empfang nehmen
We refer to ...   Wir beziehen uns auf ...
We have taken the liberty of sending you ...   Wir erlauben uns, Ihnen ... zu schicken.
Please find enclosed ...   In der Anlage finden Sie ...
However, we are of the opinion that ...   Trotzdem sind wir der Meinung, dass ...
Although we ...   Obwohl wir ...
Please let us know whether ...   Bitte teilen Sie uns mit, ob ...
Careful attention should be paid to ...   ... sollte(n) besondere Aufmerksamkeit
    geschenkt werden.
We would greatly appreciate it if you ...   Wir wären Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie ...
It is essential that ...   Es ist unabdingbar, dass
We reserve the right to ...   Wir behalten uns das Recht vor, zu ...
Prices are subject to change.   Preisänderungen sind vorbehalten.
Many thanks in advance for your trouble.   Vielen Dank im Voraus für Ihre Mühe.
I thank you for your trouble and remain ...   Ich danke Ihnen für Ihre Mühe und verbleibe ...
AE: Sincerely yours,   Mit freundlichen Grüßen
in his absence   in seiner Abwesenheit
the enclosed form   das beigelegte Formular
the above-mentioned invoice number   die oben genannte Rechnungsnummer
the former   der/die/das erstere
the latter   der/die/das letztere
enclosure   Anlage
ATTN (attention)   z.Hd. (zu Händen)
inquiry   Anfrage
to inquire about something   sich über etwas erkundigen
in your records   in Ihren Unterlagen
to make up for something   etwas wieder gutmachen
to insist on something   auf etwas bestehen
to despatch   versenden
to consider a proposal   einen Vorschlag in Erwägung ziehen
to be concerned about something   wegen etwas Bedenken haben
to be certain   sicher sein
We can assure you that ...   Wir können Ihnen zusichern, dass ...
strictly confidential   streng vertraulich
response   Antwort
letter of complain   Beschwerdebrief
postage   Porto
freigth   Fracht
delivery order   Lieferschein


Informal letter Example

Wiesenacker 25A
D-99533 Weitewelt
Mr. Thomas Elliot
37 Castle Stree
Manchester
October 7 2001
Dear Thomas,

Thanks for the invitation to your party on Saturday, the 29th November. I 'd love to come but unfortunately I can't. I 'm so sorry, but at that weekend my grandmother is celebrating her birthday. It is her 80th birthday. This will be a big family party and I can't refuse. It's a great pity. I haven't seen you for ages and I'm interested in finding out what was happened since our last meeting.

I can tell you some news about me. I changed my job and I moved to Weitewelt in Bavaria. I work as a programmer now. Important news: I have a new girlfriend. I get on with her very well and we plan to marry.

You can see there is a lot of news. It would be nice if we can meet soon. So, I would like invite you for a weekend in early December. Is it possible for you? Please write to me what time you and your wife can come. I hope I see you then.

Love

Otto
176 words

Formal Letter Example

-- No name here! --
Wiesenacker 25A
D-99533 Weitewelt
Health Action Charity
Ms Janet Wallace
Baker Street 8
NW 1 9 SJ London
United Kindom
October 7 2001
Job Application: Organiser

Dear Ms Janet Wallace,

I am very interested in the job you have offered. But first some information about myself. I'm 33 years old and unmarried. I trained as a secretary and I have a lot of job experience in organisation. Also I worked as an assistant to high level manages for two years. My mother tongue is German and I speak English fluently, I also speak Spanish and Portuguese. For further information please find my enclosed C.V.

Could you give me some information about this job? How many hours per week and on which days in the week this job will be? Do I have to travel? If yes, how often, how long, where and when will it be? Which languages do I have to speak, and how much holiday am I entitled to? Finally the most important question: What is the salary?

I hope I can support Health Action Charity with my experience, qualities and enthusiasm.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Otto Raffzahn

Enc: CV
175 words


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