Commercial English - Letters

You write to How to begin the letter How to end the letter
an unknown firm/person (BE) (AE) Dear Sir/Madam (BE) (AE) Yours faithfully (BE)
Dear Sir or Madam (BE) (AE) Yours truly (AE)
To whom it may concern (AE) Truly yours (AE)
a woman whose name you don't know Dear Madam (BE) (AE) Yours faithfully (BE)
Yours truly (AE)
Truly yours (AE)
a man whose name you don't know Dear Sir (BE) (AE) Yours faithfully (BE)
Yours truly (AE)
Truly yours (AE)
a person whose name you know Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Fisher (BE) (AE) Yours sincerely (BE)
Very truly yours (AE)
Sincerely (yours) (AE)
a person you know personally Dear Ann/John (BE) (AE) (With) Best wishes (BE) (AE)
Yours (BE)
Love (BE)
All the best (AE)
Kindest/Best regards (AE)

Example of a formal letter

MICHAEL WARRENS LTD - 78 Court Street - Nottingham - UK

Mrs Sara Fisher
Manager
18 St. James Avenue
 
Bournemouth HB3 4LN
4th October 2004

Our ref: US / HK 1082
Your ref: SP / T

Dear Mrs Fisher,

Your order

We are pleased to acknowledge your order no. 202 dated 1st October 2001. Your order is already dealt with. We will inform you when the consignment is ready for delivery.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.

We thank you for your custom and again look forward to being of service to you in the future. Yours sincerely,
Signature
M Warrens (Mr)
Enc

The envelope

The position of the address is the same like in the letter.

Steet, Road and Avenue can be written in abbreviations (St), (Rd) (Av).

The postcode/zip code you write under the town

Write the name of the country in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Example:
Mr Michael Warrens
Software
78 Court St
Nottingham
WQ1 6P0
UNITED KINGDOM

In the corner top left you can find the following phrases:

Air Mail
Confidential
Express
Fragile
Please forward
Postage paid
Printed Matter
Private/Personal
Registered
Sample
To be called for
Urgent

This text was written by Ulrike Schroedter.

Example of an informal letter

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