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How to Write Informal Letters in English (with Examples)

Updated on December 11, 2015

In this article, you'll learn how to write informal letters in English, with sample opening and closing sentences. Also, learn the proper formatting for the address, date, and signature; and about the structure and content of personal letters. Additionally, I've added some templates and samples of complete letters.

What is an Informal Letter?

An informal letter is a letter that is written in a personal fashion. You can write them to relatives or friends, but also really to anyone with whom you have a non-professional relationship with, although this doesn't exclude business partners or workers with whom you're friendly with either. There are different ways to carry out this type of letter depending on which country you're in. This article will address the English/American way.

We'll discuss the following elements:

  • address
  • date
  • opening
  • text / body / content
  • closing / end
  • signature

Address

Your personal address should be located at the top right corner of the page, since you do not always know if someone has your address in case they want to reply. Remember to also fill in your country of residence (if that is where you are writing from).

Example:

  • Street name and number: 33 Downing Street
  • Postal code and city: 7777 AS Amsterdam
  • Country: The Netherlands


Addressee:

The addressee or receiver's address is usually located on the front of the envelope. You can, however, also choose to place it at the top left of the letter, just below your own address.

Example:

  • Sur name, last name: John White
  • Street name and number: 21 Madison Road
  • Postal code, city: NP 194 Oxford
  • State or Province: Oxfordshire
  • Country: United Kingdom

Date

In a number of countries, people will insert the city where the letter is being written from. The English, however, do no such thing. The date is usually located below your own address. Simply leave one line below open, and insert the date. The month, day and year are the normal thing to mention. Sometimes even only the month and day will be sufficient. (Do not forget that in English, the months are spelled with capital letters.)

Example:

  • English letter: 22 November, 2011
  • American letter: November 22, 2011

Body

The contents of your letter should be written in a personal and friendly tone. However, it's important to adjust your use of language to the person you are writing to. A good way of assessing how you should write is to think about how you would interact with each other in real life. Also, the English and the Americans are fond of exchanging social niceties. For example, they like asking a few polite questions "How are you?" or "How was your holiday?" for example. In general, they are not as direct as most Europeans.

  • In the first paragraph of your body, you should state your reason for writing.
  • In the second and following paragraphs, expand on what you mentioned in the first paragraph.
  • In the final paragraphs, you can make some concluding remarks.

Opening

How do you address someone in English? This is fairly straightforward, and it is usually not as important as would be with a business or formal letter. However, there are still a few things that you should know about in terms of addressing someone properly in an informal latter.

  • First of all, in England there is no period after "Mr," but in American letters there is one.
  • Secondly, women are addressed as "Mrs." if they are married, and with "Ms." when they are not.

Examples:

This heavily depends on how well you know the person in question. Carefully consider your relationship with him or her. You could simply say: "Hi Richard," but it is always safer to just say "Dear Richard," (Never forget the comma!)

Sample Opening Sentences

Your opening should be casual, and not as stiff as they would be in business letters.

Examples:

  • How are you?
  • How have you been?
  • How is life treating you?
  • How are the kids?
  • I hope you are doing well
  • I hope you, Mike, and the kids are having a great time in. . .

Ending

Closing sentences examples:

  • I am looking forward to seeing you.
  • I can't wait to see you soon.
  • I can't wait to hear from you.
  • I am looking forward to hearing from you, I hope to be hearing from you soon.
  • See you soon.
  • Send my love to. . .
  • I hope you are doing well.
  • Give my regards to. . .

Signature

In terms of signing off, the choice is yours and you have a lot of freedom here. Here are some examples:

  • Best wishes,
  • Best,
  • Kindly,
  • Kind regards,
  • Best regards,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love,

Pre-Written Examples

Below are some samples letters. You will see that they adhere to the same structure as discussed in this article. These will give you a better understanding of how the letters can be written.

Source
Source

Comments

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    • creativegenius profile image

      Brian Scott 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the examples. They were easy to follow. For me, the opening is the most difficult.

    • Sai supraja 3 years ago

      No comments

    • bhanu prakash 3 years ago

      Same as supraja

    • Anirudh 3 years ago

      my teacher said that we write receiver's address in an informal letter and you are saying write your own address

      what should i do now ????

    • ddddd 3 years ago

      it was superb i really liked it i would like to have more examples

    • niharika 3 years ago

      Format is correct and very well explained but the examples are not that good...........

    • salim 3 years ago

      merci you helped me so much

    • yami 3 years ago

      opening sentences are not so impressing

    • smarty 2 years ago

      you commeters who are writing ,it's not good

      if you know better then put it in internet

    • Karishma 2 years ago

      It has nothing in it. I wanted a sample of informal letter not the procedure of writing it. Please first understand the question and then answer it. RUBBISH!!!

    • aishwarya 2 years ago

      startings r very bad.... i asked how 2 begin starting of d first paragraph

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      a hopeless site! it is not at all up to the mark and my question is also not at all answered

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    • Selinah 22 months ago

      Loving the letters, nw i have a clear idea on What ill write about.

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      bad bad very bad only few are coming

    • malika 19 months ago

      love this webside

    • Kamal 18 months ago

      Tnx v.much for openings & endings.

      tnx a lot

    • xyz 17 months ago

      not bad

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    • 7 months ago

      no comments

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      nice to read the letter and used good words of english very helpful to e=write the letter

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    • rocinr 4 months ago

      i thought we were not supposed to start a letter with a question?

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      should we leave a line betwwen paragraph

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    • aysha 3 months ago

      Good I like the examples

      and same people are writing very stupid comments so plz if u like so learn and if u think that it's not useful so write your own and let us know

    • Subhankar 3 months ago

      Very well explained it ha helped in my exams

    • Eeman 3 months ago

      i want to write a informal letter to my mom telling her about that i had fight with a friend

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    • omowunmi 8 weeks ago

      a good example

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    • Anna 3 weeks ago

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    • Mansi 2 weeks ago

      I like this letter . This letter help me to do holiday hoework .thanks

    • 2 weeks ago

      super

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      thanks a lot ^^

    • Pranet Abwani 8 days ago

      Not bad

    • ANDREW 7 days ago

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