Writing Letters: Formal Style

Formal style is used in letters to someone you do not know.

Formal greeting:

Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Mr./Mrs., Miss/Ms Black

Introduction and opening remarks:

the clear reason for writing.

Main body:

each paragraph starts with a topical sentence according to a subtopic of a paragraph, the number of paragraphs depends on the number of task subtopics.

The characteristics of formal style are: frequent use of passive, formal language (complex sentences, non colloquial English, no contractions).

Conclusion and closing remarks.

Formal ending: 

Yours sincerely when you have used Dear Mr Black.

Yours faithfully when you have used Dear Sir/Madam.

Use Ms when you do not know whether the woman is married or not.

Sample Letter

You recently stayed in a hotel in a large city. The weather was very unusual for the time of the year and the heating / cooling system in the hotel was quite inadequate.

Write a letter to the manager of the hotel. In your letter:

  • give details of what went wrong
  • explain what you had to do to overcome the problem at the time
  • say what action you would like the manager to take
  • You should write at least 100 words.

    You do NOT need to write your own address.

    Begin your letter as follows:

    Dear __________


    Dear Sir/Madam!

    I am writing in connection with my recent stay at the Four Seasons in London, England. Unfortunately, due to a malfunctioning heater in my room, I spent three miserable nights at your hotel from April 26 to 29, 2017.

    When I arrived in London, there was an unexpected snowstorm. I understand it does not usually snow in April; however, when I got to my room, the heating did not work. Though after complaining, a technician was summoned, he informed me they had to install a new heating unit. When I asked to be moved to another room, I was told the hotel was completely booked. Unfortunately, each night after work I returned to discover the problem had not been rectified. Eventually, I spent three horribly uncomfortable nights, wearing my coat to bed, wearing socks around the room and ending up with a bad cold from the unheated room. I had no time to complain as I had to catch a flight home right after my conference.

    I am shocked by this terrible service. This is not what anyone expects for $400 a night! To compensate me for this tremendous inconvenience, I ask that you refund my money right away and offer me a free, more comfortable stay in one of your finer suites in the future. If not, I am prepared to take my complaint to a higher authority.

    I look forward to hearing from you at the earliest.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr John McFee


    Уважаемый господин/госпожа!

    Я пишу в связи с моим недавним пребыванием в отеле "Four Seasons" в Лондоне, Англия. К сожалению, из-за несправного нагревателя в моем номере я провел три ужасные ночи с 26-го по 29-го апреля 2017 года.

    Когда я приехал в Лондон, произошел неожиданный снегопад. Я понимаю, что в апреле обычно не идет снег, но когда я попал в мою комнату, там не было обогревателя. После жалобы на это, ко мне направили техника, который проинформировал меня о необходимости установки нового отопительного блока. Когда я попросил дать мне другой номер, мне сказали, что отель полностью занят. К сожалению, каждый вечер после работы я возвращался, чтобы обнаружить, что проблема не была устранена. В итоге, я провел три ужасно неудобных ночи, надевая пальто в постель, постоянно в носках, страдая от нестерпимого холода в неотапливаемой комнате. Я не успел пожаловаться, поскольку спешил на самолет после своей конференции.

    Я шокирован ужасным обслуживанием. Это не то, чего можно ожидать от номера за 400 долларов в сутки. Чтобы компенсировать эти огромные неудобства, я прошу вас вернуть мне деньги. В случае отказа, я готов жаловаться выше.

    Я с нетерпением жду ответа от вас, как можно быстрее.

    С уважением,

    Джон Макфи

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