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Skills with TEG English | How to write a formal email in English

March 26th 2019

TEG English

How to write an email

How many times have you stared at your computer screen trying to figure out how to start this email you want to send? What to write, how to start, how to end it? How to structure your ideas sufficiently?

You have nothing to worry about anymore! All your questions will be shortly answered.

First things first, decide whether your email is Formal or Informal style. Are you writing to a friend or to your boss? Are you applying for a job or are you sending an email to give news to your family? After deciding the style of your email, keep the following things in mind:

Formal Emails

  • Use Passive Voice
  • Use Complex sentences
  • Do not use Contractions

Informal Emails

  • You can use informal language such as idioms and colloquial language
  • You can use contractions
  • Pronouns can be omitted

Now, time to think of the structure of your email, which has to look something like that:

email structure

Email Subject

The Subject is probably the most important part of your email. Spend some time thinking of what to write. The Subject will entice the readers to open it and it will shape their first impression on whether they are going to read something interesting or something boring. You definitely want to make them interested!

An appropriate greeting

The first thing you need to write, is an Appropriate Greeting. If your Email is Formal and you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, you may want to start like this: To whom it may concern or Dear Sir/ Madam. If you do know the receiver’s name then you could begin with: Dear Mr Thomas, Dear Mrs Jones etc If your Email is Informal, you can use Dear and the receiver’s name e.g. Dear John.


The second step is to write an Introduction. This is a short paragraph where you explain the reason you are writing this email. Are you writing an email of Complaint? Give some basic details about the bad service you received (when, where, who was present?) or about the faulty product you purchased (price, place and date of purchase). Are you writing an email to apply for a job? Mention what you are applying for and where you found the vacancy. Are you writing a simple email to your friends to let them know about your recent holidays? Tell them where and when you went (and probably make them a little bit jealous!)

Main paragraph

The Main Paragraph is where you can develop your subject. This is your chance to give more details about the Subject, for instance what was wrong with the item you purchased, why you had a bad experience in a shop. If you are applying for a job, briefly mention some of your relevant experience and how you can contribute to the job (do not give too many details as you have also attached your CV). Or if you are writing to a friend to give them some news, get into more details about how things are going. If you are on holidays, let your friends know about the places you are visiting, the people you are meeting and the local food.

Closing remarks

Now, time for the Closing Remarks. Again, this is a short paragraph where you can give a final message. You can thank the recipient for taking the time to read your email and say that you look forward to their reply.

Appropriate ending

Finally, you need to choose an Appropriate Ending for your Email.

  • For Formal Emails, you should use Endings such as Kind Regards/Yours Sincerely/Yours Faithfully + full name.
  • For Informal Emails you should use Yours/Love/Best Wishes + name.

Job done! Now you know a little bit more on how to write an email. We are sure that this will help you both on a professional and personal level.

Aren’t you a TEG English student yet? Join our Courses and learn more about how to write different types of emails. Our General English and Online lessons are the best option to do that!