How to Write an Informal Letter
Letter writing - is a very important element of communication, a personal part of experience. Each letter-writer has a distinctive way of writing, its own style of writing, its own way of expressing thoughts, facts, etc.
Therefore certain skills must be acquired by practice, and details of writing must be carefully and systematically learnt, let us point out that it is very important not only for informal letter writting.
When writing friendly letters, you normaly use informal style. Informal writing is characterized by the use of:
- everyday vocabulary (for example: I had a great time)
- colloquial expressions/idioms (drop me a line)
- phrasal verbs (get on, settle in, stop by, etc.)
- short forms (can't, doesn't, didn't, I'm, haven't, etc.)
Informal letters are sent to people you know well (for example, friends, relatives, etc.) about your recent news, personal problems, information you need, etc. They are written in an informal style with a personal tone.
An informal letter should consist of:
- an informal greeting (Dear Mark/Aunt Marie, etc.)
- an introduction in which you write your opening remarks (for example, asking about your relative's health, etc.) and mention your reason for writing:
Hello! How are you? I thought I'd write and let you know that...;
- a main body in which you write the main subject(s) of the letter in detail, starting a new pharagraph for each topic;
- a conclusion in which you write your closing remarks:
That's all my news for now. Write back soon...;
- an informal ending (for example, Lots of love/ Best wishes/etc. and your first name).
Opening and closing remarks
Opening remarks in informal letter:
- questions/wishes about recent events, the person health, etc.
How are you? I hope you're feeling better.
- a thank you to the person for their last letter, comments regarding their news, etc.
I was sorry to hear that you aren't going to...
- an apology for a delay in writing/replying
Sorry I've taken so long to put pen to paper, but...
- the reason why you are writing
The reason I'm writing is to ask you if...
Closing remarks in informal letters may include:
- the reason why you must end the letter
Well, that's all my news. I'd better end now, because...
- greetings to the person's family or friends
Give my best wishes to your parents.
- wishes, a promise (to write again soon), an invitation, etc.
I'll write as soon as I can and let you know about...
- a request to the person to reply soon.
Please write soon and tell me all your news.
The scheme of the informal letter
Paragraph 1 - opening remarks/reason(s) for writing
Paragraphs 2-3-4 - developments of the subjects discussed
(the number of paragraphs may vary, depending on the topic)
Example of opening remarks:
Hi, how's everything doing?
I've just heard that you passed all your exams. Congratulations!
Example of closing remarks:
Well, I'd better go and do some work!
Once again, well done!
Main body pharagraph
In informal letters you usually talk about more then one topic.
- The part gives you information about the subject of the letter and often tells you specific topics which you must write about.
- These topics will be discussed in the main body of the letter. You should begin a new pharagraph for each topic.
Main Characteristics of Informal Letter
Let summarize the main characteristics of informal letter:
- address & date
i.e. your address in the top. right-hand corner, followed by the date.
(e.g. Dear John, Dear Mum, etc.)
- informal language
(e.g. I've been meaning to write to you for ages; Don't worry; By the way; It was a piece of cake; I'll pick you up; We can give it a try, etc)
(e.g. Yours, Love, Best wishes, Regards, etc + your first name)
Example of informal letter
Darling one, just knowing that you are there waiting for me keeps me strong! You have no idea how much strength your love gives me. If it wasn’t for you, I would probably be dead already. Losing my job and my dog was a heavy blow indeed… but it’s your love that keeps me going.
The weather here is warming up a little. All the snow is melted and it’s a muddy mess.
It’s nice you can help your parents. Actually, it’s probably better out there in the country than in the city anyway. I know I’d like it better.
Thanks for hoping that this year brings us something good. Without you, my life is meaningless. Please never forget that! You give me a reason to live!
Together we can conquer the world. No matter how bad things are right now, tomorrow is always full of hope!
I love you forever and always!
Giving you a lifetime of kisses and hugs!