Useful Writing Tips: Formal Letter Phrases and Vocabulary

vocabulary and common phrases for formal letters

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Why is it important to know business vocabulary and phrasing? Without knowing the standard words and phrases, you might find yourself confused or at a loss when trying to write. Since we understand the importance of knowing these things, we have built a business writing ethics guide that will help you achieve fluency in the language of business letters.

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Business Letter Vocabulary

These are words that you might encounter often when reading business letter advice. Learn them and you will find yourself much more familiar with the anatomy of a business letter.

  • Block format: The standard format for a business letter. In these style, everything is left-justified and single spaced with a double space between paragraphs. There are other less-common formats but they are all based on the block.
  • Salutation: The greeting used in a formal business letter. Typically, this takes the form of Dear [name] or simply the name of the person you’re addressing, but this can vary depending on the circumstance.
  • Closing: The “sign off” section of your letter. We offer some suggestions below for what your closing might look like.
  • Body: The actual text of your letter, found between the salutation and the closing.
  • Transitions: Transitions are words which smooth the changes between sentences. However, nevertheless, and on the other hand are all examples of transitions that might be found in a business letter. Effective transitions are key for smooth writing.
  • Tone: Tone refers to how a letter sounds. A sarcastic tone would make a letter sound rude; a respectful tone is polite. Word choice and sentence structure can contribute to tone.

Common Phrases for Formal Letters

When you’re writing a business letter or recommendation letter for college, sometimes the most difficult thing is the correct phrasing. We have a list of phrases to use for each section of the letter that will hopefully help you. In case you’re looking for the appeal letter writing service advice check out 5 steps that can guide you through.

For the salutation, choose one of these:

  • Dear [name]
  • Dear Sir
  • Dear Madam
  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • Gentlemen/Ladies

For the starting, consider:

  • We are writing to inform you/request that/confirm that/enquire about
  • I am contacting you for the following reasons
  • Having seen your advertisement in [place], I would like to
  • I received your contact information from [contact] and am writing you to

To end the letter, consider these options:

  • Sincerely
  • Respectful
  • Yours truly
  • Regards

These will give you the bare bones needed to get your letter going.

Increase Your Vocab Now

A great vocabulary makes you a great communicator. Practice reading and writing and check out other sample of a business letter to fully understand the genre. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end. Communication is of vital importance in the workplace today, and you will never regret developing your skills in that area.

If you’re still struggling to find the right formal letter phrases and words, contact us now and let us help!

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