WRTING INFORMAL LETTERS An informal letter or a personal letter is a letter to a close friend or an acquaintance. Isnâ€™t it wonderful to receive such a letter from a friend? Better yet, isnâ€™t it wonderful to actually write one?
5th November 2000 Dear Paula, Oh, how I missed being with you during the holidays this year! Everything in London is so different from Spain that I don't know if I'll ever get used to living here. I'm so glad that my father's job at the Spanish Embassy will only last until June. Then we will come home, and you and I can spend the summer on the beach. (I hope you'll spend your holiday in Spain, as usual.) I've already made some very nice friends, but don't worry - no one could ever replace you as my best friend! After school, I sometimes go to my friend Fiona's house. She enjoys listening to the same music and watching the same clips that you and I like. In fact, Fiona and I have tickets for Bon Jovi's concert next month. I wish you were coming with us! Life is very different here. Would you believe that we have to wear a uniform to go to school? It's awful! A blue skirt and blazer, a white blouse and a ridiculous checked tie, not to mention a pair of horrible, long, white socks. Besides, there is nothing to do in the evening. All the shops close by 4.30 p. m. and pubs are only open till 11 p. m. That's all for now. I must start my homework for my English class tomorrow. The teacher wants us to write an informal letter to a friend and I don't even know where to begin! Please write soon and tell me all the news. I miss you. Love,
DATE Sandra GREETING INTRODUCTION BODY FINAL PARAGRAPH CLOSING SIGNATURE
TIPS: TIPS Address and date Some people may think the address is not important in an informal letter and prefer to leave it out. However, it is always a good idea to include it. Remember, this is the address they have to write to for the letter to reach you. The recipientâ€™s address is on the envelope. The address and date should be in the right hand corner. Hillcrest Secondary School, P.O Box 60453, Livingstone, LONDON 10101
The most common GREETING in an informal letter is “Dear….” Note that it is followed by a comma. Dear Paula, However, some go extremely informal and use “Hey!” or “Hi!” You should use your discretion. Obviously if you are writing to your father, you would not use “Hey!” unless of course you are extremely close.
3.- Use informal language The first paragraph generally expresses a greeting, followed by wishes of good health or reminders of how much we miss the other person. Remember you are writing to someone you know very well, so try to be as friendly as possible: How are you my dear sister? / Oh, I miss you so much! However, always use your discretion. Obviously if you are writing to an adult that you respect, like your dad, try not to write things like: “What’s up dude!” or “What’s going down?”
Also avoid boring sentences like… “I am writing this letter to….” …unless you are writing to a stranger. Even so, try to be as amiable as possible: I have heard so much about you and would be head over heels with joy if you could agree to be my pen pal
Try to be as conversational as possible. You are allowed to use colloquial language – i.e. language that is appropriate for speech but not really for writing:
I've already made some very nice friends, but don't worry - no one could ever replace you as my best friend! After school, I sometimes go to my friend Fiona's house. She enjoys listening to the same music and watching the same clips that you and I like. In fact, Fiona and I have tickets for Bon Jovi's concert next month. I wish you were coming with us.
However informal you get, you should not forget to pay attention to…
punctuation and spelling
-Don’t neglect them even though you know your friend will understand. The quality of your letter also speaks volumes about the kind of person you are so all the more reason to be careful! -If you use contractions, make sure that you put the apostrophe in the right places. For example: Isn’t and not is’nt won’t and not wont mustn’t and not must’nt -Remember also to use capitals for the right things i.e. the names of people, places, holidays, etc should all start with a capital letter. Bottom line? Don’t throw away your grammar book!
4.-Use consistent voice and style Use the active voice if you want your letter to sound more conversational and interesting. Avoid shifts in the voice. One common error is inconsistency in the tense. For example read the following sentence: I was going to town yesterday when a dog bite me and I ran all the way to the hospital. Here is a sentence with starts in the past tense and then right in the middle, the tense changes to present and then finally reverts to past. Even if your friend is very understanding, this is still distracting.
5.- Ask questions It is always a good idea to ask questions in the body of the letter that you would like the person to answer in their reply. Questions give the recipient motivation to reply: How are those wonderful brothers of mine? Did I tell you that I am librarian too, eh?
6.-CLOSING This is where you sign off:
Take care, Michael In informal letter writing, the complimentary close is always very friendly: Love, Lots of love, Best wishes, Missing you lots, Yours forever, etceteraâ€Ś Remember, a comma always follows the complimentary close.
7.- Post Script Use P.S. to add a short message after the complimentary close. Use it especially to write down something that you may have forgotten in the body of the letter.