to the Editor
False Friends and the Varieties of English
Are England and America really divided by the same language?
Business English: Writing e-mails
UK version ¦ US
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Communicating with people in a business context often
requires a more formal style than when writing to friends and family.
In the 21st century, the most common form of communication between colleagues
is almost certainly e-mail. Because e-mails are designed for speed, they
usually avoid the formal expressions used in letters, relying more heavily
on the use of incomplete sentences and abbreviations.
Below you can find an example e-mail and notes explaining
its features. Some of the notes also include some useful set phrases often
used in e-mails.
Sorry for the delay in replying — its hectic here today.
Just to confirm — weve got 50 delegates going to the conference.
Pls book rooms B4 end of today. Numbers as follows:
23 twin rooms, 4 singles. Ill need confirmation and reservation
nos asap — can you e-mail me later?
Attached is all the info you need.
do not need to begin with a formal greeting. Dear David, David,
or even just Hi are all acceptable ways of starting an e-mail.
is very easy to sound abrupt in an e-mail, so a short greeting can help
to lighten the tone.
are usually written at speed, so people very often do not write in complete
or grammatically correct sentences.
are also often used to save time. Pls
is short for "please", B4 means
"before", and asap means "as
soon as possible".
often send documents or pictures with the e-mail: these are known as attachments.
your e-mail with something short like Best
(short for Best Wishes), Regards,
or Yours if you are writing to someone
you do not know well.
usually sign e-mails with their first name.