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why write business letters


I. Study the list of topical vocabulary to avoid the difficulties in understanding the text of this unit. Consult a dictionary to pronounce the words correctly.

greeting n – приветствие

inside address – внутренний адрес

message n – сообщение

paragraph n – абзац

(introductory paragraph – вводный абзац

main paragraph – основной абзац

concluding paragraph – заключительный абзац)

printed company form – фирменный бланк

sender’s return address – обратный адрес отправителя

signature n – подпись

subject line – тема письма

II. Read and translate into Russian the following international words and word combinations. Make up sentences using them.

Normal business activity, telephone number, e-mail address, communication, personal contacts, international, business correspondence, standard, personal signature, company logo, address, to address, to stress, style, natural, author, position, punctuation, abbreviation, catalogue, copy of cheque, certificate, contract, document.

III. Read and translate the text, say what its main points are.


Writing business letters is very important for normal business activity. Nowadays writing letters is more popular than ever before due to the Internet. In business people prefer to use e-mail than telephone communication, because it takes a lot of time to deal with the huge number of personal contacts. Besides, e-mail helps to work with foreign colleagues or international companies. Business correspondence serves to order a product, to provide or request information, to complain about something etc.

Sometimes business letters are written on printed company forms.

The typical business letter consists of the following standard parts:

the heading (including the date)

the inside address

the greeting

the body of the letter

the complimentary close

the signature.

All these parts are separated with a double space. This way of typing letter on a computer is called the block format.

The heading contains the name of the company or a company logo, the postal address, the telephone number(s), the number of fax and e-mail address. Also the heading includes the date. The date is typed two spaces below the sender’s return address, always on the right-hand side.

The inside address is the address of the person or company receiving the letter. The name and address of the company to which a letter is written are usually typed on the left-hand side.

The greeting (salutation) follows two spaces below the inside address with the words Dear Sir(s). Dear Mr. Jones. Dear Ms Jones or Dear Dr Thomson. Very often comma is typed after

the greeting.

Sometimes the writer places the subject line between the greeting and the body of the letter. The subject line helps to stress the purpose of a letter.

The body of the letter contains a message. The style of the business letter is formal. The language should be clear and natural. Sentences and paragraphs shouldn’t be too long. As business letters are written on behalf of a firm or company, the plural pronouns we and our are preferred to the singular ones I or my. Also the short forms such as we’ll or we’ve should be avoided in all formal letters.

The body of the letter consists of the introductory, main and concluding paragraphs. To separate different logical parts more effectively, additional spacing is used between paragraphs. In the introductory paragraph the author may refer to any previous correspondence or conversations, mention the sources of information and the reasons for writing the letter. The main paragraph gives information and facts concerning the subject of the letter. If there are some problems to describe in the main part, it is common to start a new paragraph for each idea or subject. In the concluding paragraph it is usual to express the hope for prospect collaboration or future success in business of the sender and correspondent.

The complimentary close is a way to express respect at the end of a business letter. The most common expressions used for the complimentary close are Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely .

A letter on paper should always be signed by hand and in ink, because a signature is a personal mark of the author. Below the personal signature it is necessary to type the name of the author, his position in the company or the name of the department he represents.

It is common to place the complimentary close, the personal and the typed signature on the left-hand side of the letter.

In a modern business letter, punctuation is used only in the sentences and in some abbreviations. There is no punctuation in the heading, the date or after the typed signature.

If there are enclosures, the abbreviation Encl. is typed in the bottom left-hand corner, with a short description of the enclosure (resume, price list, catalogue, copies of cheques, certificates, contracts, documents etc.).

IV. Read the sentences, substitute the underlined words by the synonyms from the box.

enclosures, to stress, correspondent,

inside address, correspondence

Business letter serves to order a product, to provide or request information, to complain about something etc.

Category: Personal Finance

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