Writing is an important skill to develop. Knowing how to write an informal email or a letter is very useful as it’s a really good way to practise your writing skills while keeping in touch with your friends. Here, we will focus on how to effectively write informal emails to a friend in English.
Informal emails are written to friends, relatives or close acquaintances*, and therefore are written in an informal way and in a warm tone so that you show you care about them. Informal emails, unlike formal emails, don’t necessarily follow specific patterns or format. In general, we use a more casual and relaxed language, very similar to the language we use while speaking.
Informal emails usually include:
- Standard expressions to start and finish the email
- Contractions, e.g. it’s, I’m, you’re etc
- Colloquial or conversational expressions, eg. ‘The party was awesome’, ‘I’ve been a bit down lately’
- Connectors, i.e. and, so, because, but, although etc (eg ‘My mobile’s broken, but I’ll borrow my mum’s’)
Generally, while writing an informal email we follow the following guidelines/tips:
To start an informal email, we write Dear (first name), / Hi (first name), / Hello (first name),
For example: Dear Sarah,
The Introduction is the first paragraph of our informal email. In this paragraph we ask about our friend’s/ relative’s wellbeing: ‘How are you?’
‘I hope you’re well.’
We can also thank him/her for a previous email: ‘Thanks for your email.’
‘I enjoyed reading your email.’
‘It was great to hear from you.’
The tone of the introduction, like the rest of the email, should be casual.
The Body is the most important part of an e-mail. Here we write the main subject/s of our email, i.e. the reason we send this email, for example to talk about holidays, family, work, to cancel a meeting, to congratulate someone, to apologise, to accept an invitation etc.
Try to divide your email into short paragraphs so that it’s easy to read. Each subject you talk about should be in a separate paragraph.
In the Conclusion we summarise the reason for writing the email and we write our closing remarks for example:
‘Say hello to your mum for me.’ ‘Keep in touch.’
‘Thanks again for your help.’ ‘Write soon.’
‘I hope to hear from you soon.’
Since informal emails don’t have a format, we can sign them off as we like. You can use the following expressions and then simply write your name.
‘Lots of love’ ‘Love’ ‘Best wishes’
‘Yours’ ‘All the best’ ‘Kindly’
Why don’t you send an informal email to your TEG friends so that you can practise this type of writing? You can also write one in our comments below.
*acquaintance (n) A person you know, but who isn’t a close friend