How to write an email (FCE)

How to write an email (FCE)

It is extremely important to pay careful attention to the following:

  • The addressee: an English friend of yours
  • The context: is visiting your city next summer
  • The main ideas/paragraphs: tell him about the places he should visit / and the clothes / invite him to stay with you

If we take a quick look at the email above, we can see the following features:

  • The email layout is extremely clear. This is easily achieved by using opening and closing formulas and paragraphs, a signature, and allowing some space between all the semi-independent paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph has a clear purpose, which in this case is marked in red.
  • The opening and closing formulas are used to say “hi” and “goodbye” in a polite way.
  • The introductory paragraph is typically used to react to news (It’s great to hear from you… / I’m so excited about…) and to introduce the topic of our email.
  • The main body deals with each of the sub tasks, which in this case are: what to visit, what to wear and invite him.
  • In the closing paragraph we start saying goodbye and we can ask for a reply to our email.
  • The language is informal:
  • ContractionsIt’s great, I’m, you’ll have, etc.
  • Common phrasal verbsput you up, check out.
  • Colloquial languageHow are you doing?, you should totally, you can’t miss, drop me a line, etc.
  • Writing as we thinkOh, By the way, Anyway,
  • Flexible punctuation…viewpoint — you’ll have the best…

This is a good example of an informal email for FCE Writing.

Useful Expressions for an Informal Email for FCE Writing

Dear Sarah,
Hello Sara,
Hi Sara,

Introductory paragraph:
How’s it going?
How are you doing?
How are things?
How are things going?
It’s great to hear from you!
Long time, no see!
Sorry I haven’t written for ages, but
I’m really sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.

Reacting to good news:
I’m glad to hear that
I’m so happy that
Great news about your
I’m very happy to hear about
It’s so great that

Reacting to bad news:
I’m so sorry to hear about
Sorry to read about
I can’t tell you how sad I am that
I’m extremely sorry to hear about
It’s just awful to hear that

Introducing paragraphs:
Oh, by the way,
Hey, did you hear about…?
One more thing,
As for
By the way, tell me about

Ending the email or letter:
Well, I gotta go now.
Anyway, I should get going.
I’ve got to leave you now.
I’d better get going.
Well, it’s time to go
Make sure you write soon
Don’t forget to drop me a line soon.
Look after yourself.
Take care of yourself.

Closing the email or letter:
All my love,
Lots of love,
All the best,
Take care,
Best wishes,
Kind regards,