General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

In IELTS General Training module Task 1, you will be given the task of writing a letter to someone. There are two types of letters, formal and informal. This GT Writing Task 1 post focuses on writing an informal letter to a friend and a formal letter to a university cafeteria authority. Here, you will find the basic differences between a formal and an informal letter, the processes or plans that you need to write such letters and two model answers for both formal and informal letters with some important tips.

General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

So, let’s begin.

Formal or informal?

The only difference that you can trace between a formal and an informal letter is the person you are asked to write to.

In a formal letter, you are asked to write to an unknown person or a person you know but in an official situation.

In an informal letter, you are asked to write to a very close person, like your friend, or family.

This is the principal difference between the two letters. Let us have a look at some examples:

#Sample letter no. 1

General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

#Sample letter no. 2

General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

#Sample letter no. 3

General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

#Sample letter no. 4

General Training IELTS: how to write a Formal and an Informal letter; with structures, tips and model answers

There are four examples here. Which one do you think is a formal letter?

Let us analyze the letters and find out about the person we are asked to write to.

In the first letter, we are asked to write to the manager of your workplace. It is true that you know this person, but you must understand that the person is known to you officially. So, this is considered a formal situation and your letter should be a formal one. The language of the letter should also be in a formal tone.

The second letter, however, asks us to write to a local shop or store. So, this is, for sure, a formal situation. Same goes for the third letter, where we have to write a letter to a university cafeteria authority. These letters should also have a formal language.

The last letter, however, particularly states the word ‘friend’ and we can consider this situation as an informal one. So, this will be an informal letter and the language should also be informal.

The layouts of GT Task 1 questions and the planning:

Look at the sample questions. Do you find any similarities?

The question layout of all GT letters is the same. They present us a scenario; then give us the instruction to write a letter to a person and finally provide us with three points on which our writing should be focused on.

This question structure gives us ample opportunity to plan and shape our writing correctly.

Now, many of my previous students had the thought of not doing a plan for the writing and this decision resulted in poor grading in the exam. Whatever you write, how big or small it is, you need to have a plan which will give your writing a solid structure. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR TIME. Once you practice this planning in your free time in your house or IELTS classes, once you become habituated, you will find out that it takes a very low amount of time to make a plan. At first, it might take you 10 minutes; but later on, after doing a lot of practice, it will reduce down to 3/5 minutes.

Here are the planned structures for an informal and a formal letter which I instruct my students to follow:

Informal letter structure:

Dear [the first name only of friend],

Paragraph 1- (How are you? Hope you are well. Sorry for not being in touch for a short while.) Then, state the reason for your writing this letter (I’m writing to inform you that…./ )

Paragraph 2- point 1 with supporting lines

Paragraph 3- point 2 with supporting lines

Paragraph 4- point 3 with supporting lines

All the best. I can’t wait to hear from you soon./ I look forward to hearing from you soon/ Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Wishes,

[Your first name only]

This is how you can write an informal letter.

Formal letter structure:

Dear Sir/Madam,  (If there is a name in the question, include the name with Mr. Miss. Or Mrs. For example, Dear Mr. Stephen, )

Paragraph 1- State the reason for writing to them. (I am writing with regard to… / I am writing this letter in order to …. .. . )

Paragraph 2- point 1 with supporting lines

Paragraph 3- point 2 with supporting lines

Paragraph 4- point 3 with supporting lines

I look forward to your prompt reply. / I look forward to hearing from you. / I am looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours/ Yours faithfully,

[Your Full Name]

This is how you can write a formal letter.

These are great structures and you need not worry about them. You need to think more about the body paragraphs more than the Introductory and Concluding paragraphs.

Languages for informal and formal letters:

Languages for the Informal letter:

Here is a variety of languages that you can use in any informal letter. You can also use other languages, but give these a try.

If you want to state your reason for writing:

  • I’m writing this letter to tell you about …. . .
  • I’m just writing to let you know that …. . .
  • I’m writing to inform you that …. . .

If you want to convey pleasure/ happiness/ satisfaction

  • It was exciting to hear about .. . ..
  • I was delighted to hear about….
  • I was overjoyed to find out that ……

If you want to make an apology/ regret:

  • I’m so sorry about …..
  • I’m so sorry to hear that …..
  • It breaks my heart to know about .. .. . .
  • I’d like to apologize for ….

If you want to ask for help/ assistance:

  • I hope to get some help from you in regards. .. .. .
  • Could you do me a favor .. .. . .
  • I’d be really grateful if you could…..
  • Would it be possible for you to help me in .. . . . ..

If you want to give a bad or sad news

  • To tell you the truth, I didn’t like the way .. . .. .
  • I feel so sorry to tell you that .. . .
  • I’m afraid to let you know that … .

If you want to close the letter:

  • All the best. I can’t wait to hear from you soon.
  • Take care. Write back soon.
  • Best wishes. Keep in touch.

More things to remember:

  • Never use anything that looks odd.
  • Never use mobile/smartphone language or abbreviated forms such as ‘bcoz’, ‘n8’, ‘lol’, ‘omg’.
  • Never use emoticons such as 😉 🙂 🙁
  • You may write contracted forms in an informal letter like I’ve, I’d, They’ll etc.

Languages for Formal letter:

Here is a list of useful language for the candidates to apply in a formal letter. Please remember that the languages you decide to use will depend on the perspective of the given question.

If you want to begin or start your letter:

  • I am writing this letter regarding…
  • I am writing to bring to your notice…
  • I am writing to officially notify you that…
  • I am writing to articulate my dissatisfaction with…..

If you want to make official requests or suggestions

  • I was wondering if it would be possible for you to…..
  • I would be indebted if you would.…
  • I am entitled to appeal that you…..
  • I would like to suggest that…..

If you want the receiver of the letter to contact/ reach you:

  • You can reach me on this number…. . .
  • Feel free to contact me … .. .
  • I am available in the following number .. . . .

If you want to finish or end:

  • I look forward to receiving your response.
  • I look forward to hearing from you.
  • I await your prompt service.
  • I thank you for your consideration.
  • Please respond at the earliest convenience.

Model answers:

Here is a model answer for Sample letter no. 4 (Informal letter):

Dear John,

How are you? Hope you are well. Sorry for not being in touch for a short while. You have asked me to give you some advice concerning whether you should choose history or computer science at university to study, and in this letter, I am trying to give you some practical suggestions.

As you know, the world is changing fast and becoming competitive every single moment. Moreover, your university life is a preparation ground for your future career. Hence, your first concern should be to choose a subject that will best equip you to get a handsome salary. Without a doubt, computer science presents far wider job options than history.

Additionally, this is the world of the high-technology revolution and computer literacy is a must for everyone. It will also be essential for people to be equipped with computer skills merely to lead life easily and sustainably. Although history might sound extremely fascinating, it can’t offer as many possibilities as computer science can.

If you have any special interest in history, I would suggest you read about it in your spare time. However, you should concentrate more on your career and computer science guarantees a successful career with numerous benefits. I hope you think about it before making the decision.

All the best. I can’t wait to hear from you soon.

Wishes,

John.

You can write some more informal letters following this model answer.

Here is a model answer for Sample letter no. 3 (Formal letter):

Dear Mr. Roberts,

I am writing this letter to inform you about the service that you are providing at the university cafeteria. I would like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to the workforce behind this café for the excellent service and I also believe that it would be even more gorgeous if some necessary upgrades are made. I am hopeful that you would consult with the higher authority about my suggestions.

It is my personal view that our university cafeteria offers an excellent environment as well as the best culinary experience. It is quite a challenging place for the chefs, workers and the management as they have to deal with students of different cultures and attitudes and yet they are doing an excellent job.

Nevertheless, many students, including I, believe that the food served here is way too pricey. Our canteen charges $12-$25 for each lunch box and this is considerably higher if compared to XYZ University and other local colleges.

It is, unfortunately, quite possible that students will soon make a U-turn in their choice to eat here as many of them cannot afford the lunch. As a person who would love to carry on eating delicious food at this magnificent eatery, I would like to suggest you consult with the authority about this issue as soon as possible. I trust this will assist the cafeteria management to become cautious about the pricing of the food.

Feel free to contact me through the Student Council if you have anything to know.

Yours faithfully,

John Alexander.

You can write some more formal letters following this model answer.

I hope this post has helped you in taking preparation for General Training IELTS Writing Task 1: writing an informal and a formal letter.

Please leave a comment below if you have further queires about GT letters. You can always reach me at ieltsdeal@gmail.com.

If you think the post is helpful, please follow and like us:
error0

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Releated

Academic IELTS Writing Task 1: Cambridge 14 Test 2; combined / mixed graph; a bar chart and a table on exports of five items; with two model answers and tips

This Academic IELTS Writing post focuses on two model answers for a combined/mixed graph from Cambridge 14 Test 2 on the export of five items. In this post, I’ve written two model answers for you, and given some tips to write Task 1 answers in a great way. I hope this post helps you with your […]

error: Protected content!