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Formal letter writing tone - task 1 general IELTS writing

In the general IELTS exam, creating a formal tone is important for formal or semi-formal letters. The only difference between a formal and semi-formal letter is that with formal letters the person is completely unknown to us. With formal letters, the person is known to use by name, usually surname. Here are some tips on how to create the formal tone -

a) Use the correct beginnings and endings. With formal letters use 'Dear Sir or Madam', and with semi formal letters address in the following ways according to gender and marital status - 'Dear Mr. Green', 'Dear Miss. Jenkins', 'Dear Mrs. Apple', 'Dear Ms. Frost'. The letter should be signed off in the following ways along with your full name - 'Yours faithfully' for formal letters and 'Yours sincerely,' for semi-formal letters.

b) Do not use contractions. Always write in the full form. Example - 'I will', not 'I'll'.

c) Use the passive voice when appropriate. For example - a letter of complaint might use the passive voice.

d) Use formal letter writing vocabulary and expressions. For example - ' I regret to advise you that'.

e) Try to stick to simple tenses whenever grammatically possible as they create a more formal tone than continuous tenses.


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