Sample letter in Business/Commercial English

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

Example of a formal letter

MICHAEL WARRENS LTD - 78 Court Street - Nottingham - UK

Mrs Sara Fisher
18 St. James Avenue
Bournemouth HB3 4LN

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,


M Warrens (Mr)


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.

Mr Michael Warrens
78 Court St
WQ1 6P0

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