The structure of a formal business email or letter of request in English is the same as in many other languages. You start the email or letter by writing an introduction that states/says the purpose of sending the email or letter. Then in the next section, you ask questions or request information. And in the last section, confirm when you require the information etc... The structure of a formal and a neutral (less formal) email is more or less the same. The difference is in the vocabulary and phrases that are used.
In this online exercise on writing emails in English, we will look at business English vocabulary and phrases for formal emails or letters of request. Remember, when you write a formal business email or letter, you have to be polite.
Read the below formal business email of request about a project in an airport from a client to an external project manager. Focus on the words/phrases in BOLD and think about their meaning.
Dear Mr Mitchell,
I am writing in reference to the current situation with the Skipton Airport Project. We have a number of questions which we hope you could answer.
First of all, could you please provide us with an update on where you are on the Skipton Airport Project. We would also appreciate it if you could clarify what the current issues with the delivery system are? And confirm when you expect them to be resolved.
In addition, at the end of our last meeting, we requested a copy of the latest Project Report. Unfortunately, we have still not received it. We would appreciate it if you could forward this to us.
Could you also please confirm whether the post-installation support covers the equipment 24 hours a day? And what is actually included in the support? In particular, we would like to have confirmation if the cost of parts and labour are included in the package? We require this information as soon as possible.
And lastly, we are considering extending the period of the post-installation support from your company from 6 months to 12 months. We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a quote for this extension.
I would really appreciate it if you could deal with these matters urgently.
I look forward to hearing from you.
To improve your email/letter writing, we recommend the following books:
Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
When the answer is correct, an Additional Information Icon "" will appear next to the answer. Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation.
Now that you understand the vocabulary of writing a formal business email or letter of request, practice them by writing your own business email of request with the new words/phrases.