for the B1 Cambridge test (PET) or the General Training IELTS test
Informal emails are the ones that people write to their friends, family members or people they know well. The language used in this type of emails is more casual and similar to the way that we speak.
|informal email||formal email|
people we know well
|people we don’t know|
bosses or managers
doctors, teachers and professors
Informal emails have a standard format, so they must include the following parts:
1. Greetings: We say hi! to the other person.
2. Opening paragraph: we react to the news that the other person has shared or we apologize and explain why we didn’t reply earlier.
3. Main paragraph 1: Here you answer the main question or request
4. Main paragraph 2: If there is more information or a different idea to deal with, you can write it in this paragraph (you can add more paragraphs if needed)
5. Closing paragraph: In this paragraph you start the farewell by sending good wishes to the other person and asking them to reply soon
6. Goodbye: We say goodbye! to the other person
7. Signature: write down your name/ nickname
Now that you know which parts should be included in an informal email reply, let’s see an example:
This is a part of an email you received from your Canadian friend Sandy.
When are you arriving in Toronto? If you send me your flight number and arrival time, I can meet you in the arrivals area.
Is there anything special you would like to do or see in Canada?
Now write an email to her.
Below you can find a list of formulaic expressions and connectors that you can include to replace the phrases in red in the example.
formulaic expressions for informal emails
- Hi [name],
- Dear [name],
- Hey [name]
- I hope things in (city) are going well.
- How is it going?
- Thanks for your email.
- Thanks a lot for writing.
- It was great to hear from you.
- It was good to receive your email.
- Sorry for not writing earlier.
- Sorry that I haven’t been in touch for a while.
- I hope you are well.
Responding to news
- Sorry to hear about … (sad news)
- I’m really sorry to hear you news. (sad news)
- Glad to hear that … (happy news)
- It’s great to hear that … (happy news)
- Good luck with … (a new project/ a trip/ a new class/ a new job…)
- Hope you get better soon.
Stating the purpose of your email
- I’m writing to let you know…
- I’m writing to tell you about…
- I’m writing to invite you to ….
- I was wondering if you would like to …
- I’d be really nice if you could …
- Regarding your question …
- Anyway. Gotta go.
- Well, that’s all for now.
- Well, it’s time to go.
- Anyway/Well. It’s time to say goodbye.
- Hope to hear from you soon.
- Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
- I really hope to hear from you soon.
- Make sure you write back soon.
- Give my regards/ love to … (person).
- Drop me a line.
- Take care,
- Best wishes,
- Have a good day/ weekend,
- Lots of love,
- See you soon,
- Best wishes,
Useful language: connectors
to add ideas
- As well as that…
- As for + noun
to contrast ideas
- However, … + SVO
- Although …+ SVO
- In spite of … + gerund/ noun
- Instead of … + gerund/ noun
Pro tips for writing informal emails
- Use the standard format that English speakers use to write informal emails.
- Use formulaic expressions.
- Use contractions (I’m, I’ve, I’d, don’t, can’t, won’t, etc.).
- Use informal words and expressions.
- Don’t forget to ANSWER the questions that your friend has asked you.
Time to practice
The best way to improve your writing is to practice. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that practice makes progress.
Now it’s your turn to write an informal email.
|You have just received an email from a friend you have not spoken to in a long while.|
Write a two or three-paragraph response to your friend explaining to your friend that you have started an English course. Share your experience learning English and your future goals with your friend.
Type your answer in the reply section and I will give you personalized feedback.