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

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      Rosella 3 weeks ago

      it is wrong to answer questions in the introductory paragraph eg don't write "if so thanks be to God". it is the recipient of the letter that tells you i am fine.

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      Englishstudent 6 weeks ago

      To whom it may concern,

      I feel a little but lost about different manners of openings of formal letters ( I understand the informal letters very well). But in formal letters, there are a number of possibilities regarding the opening; I mean, when can be use the following openings:

      - Dear Sir/ Madam,

      - When the letter is sent only to a group of men, how do we greet that?

      - As for women: when do we make use of " Miss" "Mrs" and " Ms"?

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      Prachi 7 weeks ago

      Whom's address

    • profile image

      Student 8 weeks ago

      I was trying to get information for a writing guide for my coursework, key words like 'informal', so I didn't find this very helpful

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      ever i have read this 8 weeks ago

      it was very nice teach of each part of letter................................. thank you

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      unknown 2 months ago

      Don't know what to write

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      Kwaku 2 months ago

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      This letter writing does not have about my exam

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      Pawanjot 2 months ago

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      sachin pawara 2 months ago

      Informal letter by change the address

    • profile image

      Siddhesh Malunjkar 2 months ago

      I loved it but senders address

      Is at left side......

      But i liked it....

    • profile image

      Abhay dwivedi 2 months ago

      Dangerous khiladhi

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      unknown 2 months ago

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      pratyusha chatterjee 2 months ago

      Yes like it very nice letter