Your reference (Your ref): DB/KP

Our reference (Our ref): TM/DA/187


It is customary to type the date in full, not just in figures.

British variant: 18th February 1999

18 February 1999

18 Feb 1999

American variant: February 18, 1999

The name of the month should not be stated in figures, as it may easily be confusing.

Reference to the date in the text is done in the following way:

… letter of 27th July

… letter dated 27th July


If the letter is sent to a company you can state in this line who it is addressed to:

For the attention of Mr. Morgan

Attention of Mr. Morgan

Attention: Mr. Morgan

Att: Sales Manager

The line is usually marked out.


The name and address of the company written to are typed with all lines starting at the same level. The letter can be addressed

1) To a company. If the firm’s name includes a personal name without any other courtesy title and it is a partnership:

Messers Brown @ Smith

25 High Holborn

London, W.C.I.

In other cases:

Continental Supply Company

312 Sixth Avenue

New York, NY, 11011


2) to a certain person

Mr Smith

Sales Manager

National Westminster Bank PLC

25 Old Broad Street

London 275F


If you don’t know which of the company’s officers will deal with your letter, you should address it to the Company’s Secretary


The salutation varies according to circumstances and should be in harmony with complimentary closing.

Sir/ Sirs This is formal and unfriendly as to be impolite

Madam/ Madams

Dear Sir(s)

Dear Madam(s)



When the correspondent is unknown to you and may be either a man or a woman, always use the form “Dear Sir”. If you know the correspondent personally or if you firm has traded with his firm for some time you may use a warmer and more friendly greeting “Dear Mr Brown”.


It indicates the subject matter of the letter (its topic); it enables the reader to see immediately what the letter is about.

In re(gard): Letter of Credit

Re: Letter of Credit

About: Letter of Credit

Abt: Letter of Credit

Letter of Credit

The subject line is usually underlined or typed in capital letters.


a) The opening paragraph

The opening paragraph often states the subject matter of the letter, the date of the letter being answered, the writer’s feelings on the subject. A short opening sentence will attract attention more successfully than a longer one.

· In reply to your letter of 2nd March we would like to inform you (we are writing to inform you) … · We thank you for you letter dated 3rd June and write to tell you (wish to inform you)… · We are sorry to have to remind you… · To your regret we shall have to … · We regret to inform you… · We are glad (happy, pleased) to tell you (inform)… · Further to our letter of 4th July · With reference to (Referring to…) the enquiry of 1st September … · We refer to your Order No546 and … · We have received your letter dated 15th March (We thank you for you letter of 15th March). · В ответ на Ваше письмо от 2 марта сообщаем Вам, что … · Благодарим за Ваше письмо от 3 июня и сообщаем Вам, что … · К сожалению, нам приходится напоминать Вам, что · К сожалению, мы вынуждены… · С сожалением напоминаем Вам, что… · С удовольствием сообщаем Вам, что… · В дополнение к нашему письму от 4 июля · Ссылаясь на запрос от 1 сентября · Мы ссылаемся на Ваш заказ №546 и · Подтверждаем получение Вашего письма от 15 марта

b) The body of the letter.

It is the text, the message. A letter should deal only with one specific subject. Business letters should be simple, clear, polite and sincere, concise and brief. That means using simple, natural, short words and sentences, avoiding repetition or needless words and information.

Letters are divided into paragraphs, each one dealing with one idea, one aspect of the subject or giving one detail.

If several paragraphs deal with the same topic, they should fit together smoothly. This is done by numbering the paragraphs or by using connective words, such as:

However, still, yet



On the contrary


Also, in addition, besides

So, therefore, in this way

In short

As a result

On the other hand

If a letter is lengthy, the paragraphs may be given headings.

If more pages than one are written they should be numbered. The second and following pages are typed on blank sheets. The name or initials of the recipient should be placed at the top left-hand margin of all continuation sheets, followed by the date after the page number.

c) The closing paragraph

It contains a statement of the writer’s intentions, hopes and expectations about future actions, it serves a summary of what has been discussed before and what is going to be the next step

· We look forward to hearing from you soon · Look forward to seeing you soon · Your early (prompt) reply will be appreciated · We hope to establish fruitful business relations with your company · If you need any further information do not hesitate to contact us · We hope you will act as requested · С нетерпением ждем Вашего ответа · С нетерпением ждем встречи с Вами · Мы будем благодарны Вам за скорый ответ · Надеемся установить с Вашей фирмой полезные деловые отношения · Если Вам нужна дальнейшая информация, не стесняйтесь связаться с нами · Надеемся, что Вы поступите как мы просим


The expression used must suit the occasion and match the opening salutation

Standard form: Dear Sir(s) – Yours faithfully

Informal: Dear Mr. Brown – Yours sincerely

American: Gentlemen – Yours truly


Business letters are signed by hand in ink, clearly and legibly. The writer’s name and title are typed below the signature.

The name of the company for which the writer signs is typed under the complimentary close.


Below the signature it should be indicated if there are enclosures to the letter:

Enc (3) Insurance Policy (6 pages)

If there are copies of the letter to be sent to other addressees it is indicated under the Enc:

c.c. (carbon copy): National Bank

Task 3. Make a table of 2 columns: 1) the parts you will meet in any business letter; 2) the parts which can be omitted.

Task 4.There are different ways of placing the parts of the letter. Look for this