Video: Introductory phrases


The instructions in the question tell you that you do NOT need to write any addresses at the beginning of your letter. They will also tell you how to begin. For example, you might be told to write this. In other cases, you are not given a name or title, and are told to begin like this. This means that you have to add a name. Remember that the type of person you are writing to helps you decide what name to use. If you are writing to a friend, you should use the person’s first name. For example, Dear Sue. If you are writing a more formal letter, you would use the persons title and surname. For example, Dear Mr Smith for a man, Dear Mrs Smith for a married woman, Miss Smith for a woman who is not married or Ms Smith for a woman who may or may not be married. Next you need to consider what opening phrase to use. This depends on register – who you are writing to – and the reason for your letter. The purpose of an opening phrase is to state the reason for writing. Some types of letters can use a general opening phrase such as this. Other types of letter, for example a letter of complaint, have common opening phrases such as this. On the next page, you will see some useful opening phrases for the common types of letters you may see in the IELTS test.

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