How to Write a Letter in English
English Letter Writing
A letter is a message, request or account of events in written form, sent by one person(sender) to another(recipient). Hence, it is very necessary to know how to write a distinct and readable letter.
In past letter writing was considered as an art.
To write a good letter one need to practice it, by following some format.
Types of Letters
Letters are of different kinds, such as-
- Private or Personal letters.
- School letters.
- Business or Commercial letters.
- Official letters.
- Social letters.
- Letter to the Press.
- Letter in response to an advertisement.
Formal English Letter Format
A letter has mainly five parts. Each type of letters written in a particular form. Let's see what are those five parts in a letter.
- The Heading.
- The Salutation.
- The body of the letter.
- The Subscription.
- The Superscription.
Heading of Letter
We write letters to known and unknown persons. So in any letter, we have to write the address of the sender at first. And this address part is written at the top right side corner of the letter. This is called the Heading of the letter.
(i) 22/1 Subhash bose lane,
The 11th May 2014
(ii) 10, Dum Dum Private Road, Kolkata
May 11, 2014
(iii) Kasba, New Delhi
The Salutation of the Letter
Writing letters to Parents, Friends or any Unknown person, we use different salutation for each type. If we salutate friends as an unknown person then it will look awkward. Also if we salutate an unknown person like a friend then undoubtedly it will be a laughable thing. The salutation is written below the address and date to the left side of the letter. Salutation can be of different types. Generally a comma "," is used after the salutation.
To Parent and other relatives:
My dear Father,
My dear Mother,
My dear Uncle,
My dear Brother,
My dear Sister,
To friends and other well-known persons:
My dear Friend,
My dear Mr Das,
My dear Sri Roy,
Known persons(Not well known):
Dear Prof. Sharma,
The Body of the letter
The body of the letter contains the writer's or sender's sayings about any subject. The body of the letter starts after the salutation. The first line of the body starts after giving some spaces to the left side and after the bottom of the salutation. And all the other lines of the body starts from the left side of the letter.
My dear Sudip,
I have got your letter. I am very happy after knowing that you have scored the highest mark in your final exam. Keep it up.
Subscription of the Letter
After finishing the body of the letter we have to write the name of the writer. And before the name, we write a subscription. It is written after the body, at the bottom of the right side corner. With respect to a relation of the sender with the receiver, the subscription can be of different types. A comma "," is used after the Subscription.
To Parent and Other Relatives:
Your loving Son,
Your affectionate Brother,
To Friends and other well-known persons:
To Unknown persons:
Within our Country - India:
I have the honour to be,
Signature of the Letter
After the Subscription, the signature of the writer is given.
In case of any well-known person, we can only use our names.
Ex; Sumit, Madhuri, Sudip, etc.
But in case of an unknown person we have to write our full name.
Ex; Sudip Maity, Sachin Trivedi, etc.
Superscription of Letter
The superscription is written on the outer part, i.e. on the Postcard or Envelop. We have to write sender's name and address on it. Before the names, we use different kinds of Superscription.
Mr, Sri, Dr., Moulvi, etc.
For Example: Sri Rajib Basu. Dr. Bipin Dutta, M. D.
Mrs., Miss, Srimati, Srijukta, Ms., etc.
Ex; Mrs Champa Roy.
Before any Company name:
Ex; Messrs Haniman Longman & Co. Ltd.
A Sample Letter
The 11th May 2014
My dear Father,
I have reached at college safely. I am glad to tell you that the journey, on the whole, has been pleasant. I will go back as soon as I have finished my work at Delhi.
25, G.T. Road
New Delhi, India