2012 Useful Phrases for Formal Letters Salutation Dear Sir / Madam, Dear Mr Jones, / Dear Mrs Smith, First Certificate (If you don’t know their name.) (If you are given their name, you MUST use it.) Opening comment I’m writing in response to the advertisement which appeared in last week’s edition of ‘The Guardian’. Thank you for your letter, I would be more than happy to help you with your enquiries. Asking for information Firstly, I would be grateful for further details about . . . . . the course / the festival / etc. I would be interested to know . . . . . how many / how much / if it would be possible to / etc. I also have some queries regarding . . . . . costs / the timetable / the bands performing / etc. I would like to know the price of a ticket and whether the cost of the flight is included. Could you also indicate whether the room is a double or a single? Giving information / responding to questions With regard to the number of students wishing to participate, we estimate that there will be . . . . In answer to your question regarding accommodation, we require . . . . . . You wanted to know whether . . . . . You asked about . . . . . . Regarding your question about . . .. . Accepting / rejecting offers Thank you for your offer to provide transport from the airport, but I have already made other arrangements. I would like to accept your kind offer of a tour of London. Apologising Unfortunately, I do not think . . . . . I am afraid I will not be able to . . . . I am very sorry but . . . . . Ending the letter Thank you in advance for your assistance. I look forward to receiving your reply. Thank you for your attention. I look forward to receiving your reply. I hope I have been of assistance, and that you enjoy the . . . . . . . Signing off Yours faithfully Yours sincerely (If you wrote “Dear Sir / Madam”) (If you wrote “Dear Mr Jones”) Formal letters should also include: Clear Paragraphs. No contractions: I have, I would Avoid phrasal verbs If possible. Use latinate verbs: receive, enquire Formal linking words: Furthermore, however, despite Relative clauses.