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Formal English is used in for example, books, official documents, news reports, business letters or official speeches.
 English is used in everyday conversation and in personal emails.

In formal writing sentences are longer and more complex whereas in informal writing they are shorter and simpler.

Differences between Formal and Informal expressions when writing an email:



Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Mr/Mrs (surname) Dear (first name), Hi, Hello
Beginnings Beginnings
  • With reference to our telephone conversation yesterday (about)
  • Thank you for your email regarding
  • I am writing on behalf of
  • I am writing to draw your attention to
  • It was nice to hear from you
  • It’s been ages since I’ve heard from you
  • How are you? Hope you and your family are doing well
  • I am writing to let you know
Making a request Making a request
  • I would appreciate if you could
  • I would be most grateful if you would
  • Would you be so kind and
  • I was wondering if you could


  • You don’t mind …ing (…) (for me), do you?
  • Do me a favour, will you?
  • Would it be possible for you to?
  • Can/Could I ask you to?
Apologising Apologising
  • We apologise for any inconvenience caused
  • Please accept our sincere apologies
  • Sorry for any trouble caused
  • We are very sorry

  • I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with
  • I find it most unsatisfactory that
  • I’d like to complain about

  • I’m fed up with (someone/something)
  • I am not happy with
  • I’m rather annoyed with

  • I look forward to hearing from you
  • If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me
  • Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions

  • Give my love to
  • Hope to hear from you soon
  • Just give me a call if you have any questions
Signing off

  • Yours sincerely (Dear + name)
  • Yours faithfully (Dear Sir/Madam)
Signing off

  • Lots of love
  • All the best
  • Best wishes

Now good luck with the quiz below 🙂

created by Tess Giordmaina

[ssquiz id=’12’ all]

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English expressions – Formal and Informal writing, 3.7 out of 5 based on 47 ratings