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ENGLISH BUSINESS VOCABULARY

BUSINESS LETTERS: Useful Vocabulary

Phrases for contact, requests, complaints...



An effective business letter should be concise, clear, polite and friendly.
It's best to avoid complicated sentences.
Before starting, these guidelines will help you to prepare your letter.

Phrases and vocabulary for business letters:

PURPOSE EXAMPLES
Salutation • Dear Mr. Brown,
• Dear Ms. White,
• Dear Sir,
• Dear Madam,
• Dear Sir or Madam,
• Gentlemen,
Starting •  We are writing
- to inform you that ...
- to confirm ...
- to request ...
- to enquire about ...
- to provide the information you requested.
• I am contacting you for the following reason...
• I recently read/heard about ..... and would like to know ....
• Having seen your advertisement in ..., I would like to ...
• I would be interested in (obtaining / receiving) ...
• I received your address from ----- and would like to ...
• The aim of this letter is to (present/request/ask/enquire) ...
Referring to
previous contact
• Thank you for your letter of March 15.
• Thank you for contacting us.
• In reply to your request, ...
• Thank you for your letter regarding ...
• With reference to our telephone conversation yesterday...
• Further to our meeting last week ...
• It was a pleasure meeting you in London last month.
• I enjoyed having lunch with you last week in Tokyo.
• I would like to confirm the main points we discussed  on Tuesday. 
Making a request • We would appreciate it if you would ...
• I would be grateful if you could ...
• Could you please send me ...
• Could you possibly tell us / let us have ...
• In addition, I would like to receive ...
• It would be helpful if you could send us ...
• I am interested in (obtaining / receiving) ...
• I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
• Please let me know what action you propose to take.
Offering help • Would you like us to ...?
• We would be happy to ...
• We are quite willing to ...
• Our company would be pleased to ...
Giving good news • We are pleased to announce that ...
• I am delighted to inform you that ..
• You will be pleased to learn that ...
Giving bad news • We regret to inform you that ...
• I'm afraid it would not be possible to ...
• Unfortunately we cannot / we are unable to ...
• After careful consideration we have decided (not) to ...
Complaining • I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with ...
• I am writing to complain about ...
• Please note that the goods we ordered on ( date ) have not yet arrived.
• The goods we received are not similar to the sample.
• We regret to inform you that our order n° ----- is now considerably overdue.
• I would like to query the transport charges which seem unusually high.

next page  >>>  business letters, page 2


See also: formal vs informal letter writing
business letter guidelines

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.