Letters Asking for Information

Greeting or Salutation

Formal

1. First names are NOT used, surnames or names and surnames are used

2. Miss or Mrs are NOT used if you don’t know whether she’s married or not

Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Mr/Ms Smith, Dear Dr Smith...

Dear Mr John Brown,

To whom it may concern:

Informal

First names are used

Hi Pete, Hello Jane,

Dear Mum,


Introduction

  • state the reason for writing.
  • paraphrase the contents of the task
  • acknowledge the letter of an addressee
  • comment on the information from an addressee
  • or an advertisement seen.


Main Body

What information can be requested:

  • time of coming
  • length of staying
  • price
  • any facilities
  • people involved
  • things available
  • others

Informal Asking for Information:

  • Can you tell of…?
  • I‘d like to know…
  • D'you know…
  • (Got/Have you) any idea…?
  • Could anyone tell me…?
  • (Do/Would) you happen to know…?
  • I don't suppose you (would) know…?
  • I wonder if you could tell me…
  • I wonder if someone could tell me…?
  • Could you let me know/explain to me…?
  • I wonder if you could bring me more information about…?
  • I’d appreciate if you told me if/whether/why/when…
  • I’ve got to know/need to know who/ how many/ how much…?
  • I hate to be a nuisance but…
  • I would also like to know if there is...
  • Could you tell me how many...

Formal asking for information:

  • Could you clarify…?
  • Can you send me / inform me of…?
  • I am writing to receive further information about...
  • I am writing to enquire about...
  • I am writing to receive more detailed information about...
  • I am writing to receive further details about...
  • With reference to your advertisement in…
  • I would be grateful if you could tell me...
  • I am writing to ask for more information about...
  • Could you also give me some more information about...

Asking for the first piece of information:

  • The first thing I would like to know is...
  • First of all I would like to know...
  • I wonder if you would mind telling me first of all...?

Asking for further information:

  • Could you also tell me...?
  • Could you also inform me...?
  • Would you also mind informing me...?
  • Would you also mind telling me...?
  • Do you know...?
  • I would also like to know if...
  • I would also like to know whether...
  • I hope you might also let me know about…


Conclusion

Closing remarks: ask for a reply, express gratitude in advance.

Full name

If you don't know the name: If you know the name:
Greeting: Dear Sir/Madam
Ending: Yours faithfully
Greeting: Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Black
Ending: Yours sincerely


Useful phrases

Formal:

I look forward to hearing from you.

I look forward to receiving

I would appreciate it if you could inform me as soon as possible Informal

Informal:

Please, let me know

Send me the details

Tell me soon


Sample Semi-formal

You have not seen your friend for a long time. You are going to do some volunteer work your friend knows a lot a bout. Write your friend a letter, in which tell

  • about the latest news;
  • where you want to be a volunteer;
  • and ask for some information about this work.

___________________________________________________________________________

Dear Frank,

Hi! How are things? You might not remember me, as it was a year ago, when we spent together four weeks in Australia. I am Steve and we were together in the company of our friends. I’ll never forget those days.You might be surprised to hear from me. Sorry it has been so long since we last met.

As for the latest news, I’ve just moved into my new apartment because I had to sell the old one. What about you? Are you still working as a dance coach?

Guess what? This year I am going with my girlfriend to Uganda as volunteers and as we know you’ve recently been there. We thought that you could brought us some useful information.

One thing is the food and drink. Could you tell me if they are safe there and if to buy them how much they will cost? Another thing is the work. Is it hard? I'd also like a bit more information about how old the volunteers are. What sort of clothes should I bring? And about people there, I d like to know if you need to have good teaching skills to do the volunteer work well.

Finally, Could you tell me what medicine we have to take there?

Write back soon and let me as soon as you can.

Love,

Steve

__________________________________________________________________________

Sample Informal

You have got a pen-pal and want to visit your friend for the first time. Write a letter, in which ask

  • about a present to be made for the occasion;
  • what clothes to take with;
  • about food preferences.

___________________________________________________________________________

Dear Robert,

Hi there! I know you’ve recently entered the university. I hope you're enjoying your college year. Thanks very much for asking me to come and visit you in London. As you know, I haven't travelled to England before, so I thought I'd write and ask you a few questions.

This is the first time I shall see your family, so I want to bring a present with me and I wondered what would be appreciated. Perhaps you could let me know what your mum's and dad’s hobbies are and then I could come up with an idea based on one of them.

Also, what sort of clothes should I bring? I know it's pretty wet where you live but do I need jumpers or lighter clothes? What sort of activities are we likely to do while I'm there and should I bring things like trainers or my guitar?

Lastly, I hate to be a nuisance but I hope you remember that I'm a vegetarian. I do eat fish and eggs but I don't eat red meat or chicken at all. Is that going to be a problem?

This is all for now.

See you soon

Best regards,

Sam

___________________________________________________________________________


Ideas for writing

1. You would like to participate in a science seminar in another country.
Write a letter to the person in charge of the seminar and ask for detailed information regarding the dates, program, accommodation and cost.

2. You are organizing an executive event for the school-leavers of your school.
Write a letter to the person in charge of a venue that you are considering for the event and ask for detailed information regarding dates, services and costs.

3. You and a friend want to be volunteers in the World Support Programme. Write a letter asking for information and details.

4. You are planning to apply for a scholarship but you do not have enough information. Write a letter to inquire for further details.

5. Your friend has recently been abroad living in a host family with the purpose of learning a foreign language. Ask him/her about the program and living conditions.

6. You want to attend the courses in Computer Sciences. Write a letter to school with the request for information.

7. You want to live in a student hostel for a year/or you want to rent an apartment as a student for a year. Ask the hostel administration as much information as you can.

8. You want to get a driving license. Write to the School Authority for as much information as possible.

9. You want to attend dog obedience classes.Write to the School Authority for as much information as possible.

10. You decided to apply for the culinary course too.Write to the School Authority for as much information as possible.

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