Formal letter at glance - list formalny w pigułce

Aktualizacja: 13 wrz 2019

Writing a formal letter on your exam might seem tricky at first. Although the form itself stays the same, there are significant differences between a formal and informal writing. But, luckily for you, once you learn a few rules and phrases, formal letter will be a piece of a cake.

1. Make sure you use complex sentences while writing a formal letter. Use words such as: however, although, so to link two sentences together.

2. Befriend the passive voice. Passive voice is impersonal and emotionless.

3. Befriend the inversion as well. There is nothing more formal than inversion.

4. Remember not to use any abbreviated forms! No I'm in formal letters is allowed, only I am!

To start the letter, old good dear can be used. If the addressee's name is not known, use:

Dear Sir / Madam or
To whom it may concern.

If the addressee's name is known, use:

Dear Mr. Smith if the addressee is a man;
Dear Mrs. Brown if the addressee is a married woman;
Dear Miss Johnson if the addressee is an unmarried woman;
Dear Ms. Abbott if the addressee is a woman with unknown. marital status

Once you are passed the title formality, you should give the reason of writing a letter immediately. There is no time and place for waffle, go straight to your point. Start with:

I am writing to you regarding the offer... - piszę do Państwa w nawiązaniu do oferty...;
I am writing to you with a reference to... - piszę do Pani w nawiązaniu do...;
I am writing to enquire about... - piszę z zapytaniem o...;
I am writing to you in behalf of... (name) - piszę do Pana w imieniu...;
I am interested in obtaining/receiving information - jestem zainteresowany pozyskaniem/otrzymaniem informacji;
I am sorry to inform you that... - z przykrością informuję, że...;
It is my intention to... - moją intencją jest...

Once you stated the reason behind your letter, it is time to close the letter. You can include your gratitude, request or express hope for further contact or cooperation:

I would be most obliged if... - byłbym zobowiązany, jeśli...;
If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. - Jeżeli mogę służyć pomocą, proszę o kontakt;
Thank you in advance. - Dziękuję z góry;
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. - Gdyby Pan potrzebował dalszych informacji, proszę się ze mną skontaktować bez wahania. * this is this very formal inversion referred to in 3rd subparagraph;
I look forward to hearing from you. - Czekam na Pańską odpowiedź.

At last, there is time for regards and signature. Use:

Your faithfully if you do not know the addressee;
Your sincerely if you do know the addressee.

Do not use Best regards or Regards. It is a phrase used only in business situations between businessmen who know each other and work with each other often.

Little dictionary:

a piece of cake - bułka z masłem

complex sentence - zdanie złożone

befriend the... - zaprzyjaźnij się z...

abbreviated form - forma skrócona

addressee - adresat

concern - dotyczyć

marital status - stan cywilny

to waffle - lać wodę

the reason behind - powód, dla którego... (powód stojący za tym, że...)

Miss Iza

English & Science Teacher


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Tadeusza Kościuszki 31, 45-062 Opole, Poland

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