Chapter 10-1-1: The Basics About Business Letter Writing

The basics of good business letter writing are easy to learn. The following guide provides the phrases that are usually found in any standard business letter. These phrases are used as a kind of frame and introduction to the content of business letters. At the end of this guide, you will find links to sites that give tips on the difficult part of writing successful business letters – arguing your business objective. By using these standard phrases, you can give a professional tone to your English business letters.

The Start

  • Dear Personnel Director,

  • Dear Sir or Madam: (use if you don't know who you are writing to)

  • Dear Dr, Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms Smith: (use if you know who you are writing to, and have a formal relationship with - VERY IMPORTANT use “Ms” for women unless asked to use Mrs or Miss)

  • Dear Frank: (use if the person is a close business contact or friend)

The Reference

  • With reference to your advertisement in the Times, / your letter of 23rd March, / your phone call today,

  • Thank you for your letter of March 5th.

The Reason for Writing

  • I am writing to inquire about / apologize for / confirm


  • Could you possibly?

  • I would be grateful if you could

Agreeing to Requests

  • I would be delighted to

Giving Bad News

  • Unfortunately

  • I am afraid that

Enclosing Documents

  • I am enclosing

  • Please find enclosed

  • Enclosed you will find

Closing Remarks

  1. Thank you for your help.

  2. Please contact us again if

    • we can help in any way.

    • there are any problems.

    • you have any questions.

Reference to Future Contact

  • I look forward to ...

  • hearing from you soon.

  • meeting you next Tuesday.

  • seeing you next Thursday.

The Finish

  • Yours sincerely, (If you know the name of the person you're writing to)

  • Best wishes,

  • Best regards, (If the person is a close business contact or friend)

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