Email writing

with emails you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression

Don’t annoy customers or peers with wrong spelling or punctuation! Write effective, clear, and structured emails to elicit the required action timeously

Business English Meetings

Vocabulary & Phrases

Making Enquiries

Requesting Action

Making arrangements

Exchanging information



Open the PDF (Click here) and do the exercise. Compare your answers with ours:

The 1st email is informal – It contains:

  1. a colloquial phrase – a bit of info;
  2. abbreviations e.g. pls;
  3. an emoticon;
  4. an informal greeting – Hi;
  5. no closing

Furthermore, some words are omitted – I was wondering / I’m not sure

The second email is more formal. It contains:

  1. a formal salutation – Dear;
  2. a formal closing – Best regards;
  3. more formal vocabulary e.g. attend, assist, arrange;
  4. no abbreviations or emoticons;
  5. contractions that are more common in informal emails, but can be used (not recommended) in all emails. Words are not omitted.



Making enquiries - Answers

Exercise 2 – A

Advantages of sending an email:

  • Speed: Emails are faster to write and send than letters.
  • Cost: Emails are cheaper than sending letters or phoning.
  • Time to prepare: The message is in writing so you can prepare what you want to say – particularly important when responding to #2.
  • Convenience: A phone call can be inconvenient to the person being called, especially if he or she works at a busy place like a travel agency (#3). An email or letter can be answered at the recipient’s convenience. 

Disadvantages of sending an email:

  • Accuracy: In contrast to a phone call, you need to take care when writing an email (or letter). Mistakes which may be overlooked on the phone could give a bad impression when in writing. The impression you make is particularly important when responding to #2 (job advert).
  • You might get more detailed information with a phone call – especially with adverts #1 and #3 – as you can react to what the person says and ask follow-up questions.

Exercise 2 B

Correct order:

4b  –  1d  –  3a  –  2c

Click on the box to the right for model emails for #2 and #3 from Oxford University Press

Answers for Exercise 3

  1. Please answer asap.
  2. Can you help?
  3. Can you please send me …?
  4. I’m sending you the … in an attachment.
  5. I’m sending you …
  6. Thanks for your email/request.
  7. Let us know if you need any more help.
  8. We hope that you are happy with this.
  9. Thanks for choosing …
  10. We are working on your request.

Answers for exercise 4

  1. Could you please send 
  2. would you be able to help?
  3. ‘d (or would) appreciate a reply asap.
  4. Thank you for your email.
  5. your request is being processed.
  6. in an attachment.
  7. hope you find this satisfactory.
  8. Thank you for your interest. / Do not hesitate to contact us if you require further assistance.