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The Form of the Business Letter Private letters and business letters are different not only in their form but also in their general tone. The tone of private letters is informal. We send them to close friends and relatives who know us very well. We want to tell them our news, we ask about their health and feelings, we make the letter interesting or funny. We use informal language ( idioms and slang, incomplete sentences, contracted forms, few passive verb forms etc.) The salutations and the endings are informal (Dear Jane, Hi,....Love, Yours, Take care,...).The layout is also very simple – we put our address in the top right-hand corner and the date below it. Business letters, on the other hand, are usually sent to unknown people and are therefore more formal. They should be simple, clear, accurate and very polite. We follow a common layout, use polite phrases and formal language with no contractions. All business letters have the followingessential parts: 1. Letterhead The letterhead is printed at the top of the letter sheet. It contains at least the firm's name, logo, and postal address. It may also include other details, such as telephone and fax number, e-mail etc. 2. Inside address The inside address consists of the addressee's name and postal address. Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms, and the plural forms Messrs and Mmes are common titles of courtesy. The postal address consists of - house number, followed by street, - name of town or city and postcode (UK), name of state and zipcode(USA), - name of country. If the addressee has a post-office box, the POB number is substituted for the house number and street. When a letter is sent to a person" s temporary address, the abbreviation c/o(care of) is used. Arc Music Productions International Ltd Mr Harry Davis POB III 85 Jane St East Grinstead Wesr Sussex-RHl94FZNew York, NY 10014 UKUSA The postal address may also include special instructions to the post office and the addressee e.g. Registered, Please forward, Confidential, Express Delivery. 3. References References help the reader to find out what the letter refers to - the dictator's initials, followed by those of the typist, letters and numbers indicating the writer's department or section. 4. Date The date may be written in various ways: 12 August 2004 12th August 2004 August 12, 2004 or all-numeric form in the order year,month and day 2004-08-12 5. Salutation In letters to individuals the following salutations are used: Dear Sir, Dear Madam, Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Mr Baker, Dear Ms Smith In letters to business firms, the salutations Dear Sirs (UK) or Gentlemen(USA) are used. 6. Body of the letter The body of the letter contains the message. Most letters do not exceed one page. The body always starts with the capital letter. We leave a line space between paragraphs if the blocked style is used. 7.Complimentary close If the letter begins with Dear Sir, Dear Madam etc., it will close with Yours faithfully. If the letter begins with a personal name (Dear Mr Cook), it will close with Yours sincerely. 8.Signature The name of the writer and his/her position in the firm are typed below the handwritten signature. The name of the firm is written above the signature. Business letters may have someoptional parts if necessary: 1. Attention line The attention line is used to bring the letter addressed to a business firm to the attention of a particular person. It is typed below the inside address. (Attention: Mr James or att. Mr James) 2. Subject line The subject matter of the letter may be indicated in a subject line below or above the salutation. 3. Enclosures and carbon copies When enclosures are to be sent with the letter, or when another person is to receive a carbon copy, this is indicated in the left-hand lower corner of the sheet. (Enclosure, Enclosures, Enc, Encs, Encl, Two enclosures, Encs (2), or cc: Mr Robert Smith) The most common form of layout used in business letters now is the block form. In a fully blocked letter the date, the inside address, the salutation, the lines of each paragraph, the complimentary close and the signature begin flush with the left-hand margin. In writing business letters it will help us a lot if we remember the followingfrequent phrases: Opening phrases I. We thank you (Many thanks) for your letter of 3rd June. 2. In reply to your letter of May 10 we wish to inform you... 3. We refer to your fax of 2nd September. 4. With reference to your letter of8 March we wish to say ... Phrases announcing a new fact We wish to say (to tell you, to let you know) that ...We would like to inform you that... Phrases announcing a pleasant or an unpleasant fact We are pleased (glad, happy) to learn. . . We have pleasure to inform you ...We are sorry. (we regret) to have to let you know that ... Requests We ask you to send us kindly ...We request you to send us...We should be glad if you would let us have your reply soon.We shall be pleased if you will send your reply by return.We will (would) appreciate your attention to this matter. Closing phrases We are looking forward to an early reply (to receiving an early reply).We hope you will give this matter your best (full) attention.We await your reply as soon as possible.We hope to hear from you soon. The form of the British business letter Printed letterhead RELIANCE HOLDINGS FINANCE GROUP 85 Martin Lane London EC2N 6BJ Telephone 01-5883781 Reference Your ref: LEIN Our ref: CVE/PR Date14November 200_ Inside address Homemakers Ltd Hardware Dealers 14Castle Road Edinburgh DE5I O3L Attention Attention: Mr P James line SalutationDear Sirs Subject line Up-to-date list of addresses Body of letterThank you for your letter of11November, asking for an up-to-date list of addresses of our branches. We have pleasure in enclosing this brochure, showing the location of all our branches at home and abroad. ComplimenYours faithfully tary close ~ ~ ~-(handwritten signature) Typed nameS Carson PositionSecretary in the company Enclosure Enc