Writing » B1+ Writing Exercises and Tests » An informal email – asking for and giving advice
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  • An informal email – asking for and giving advice

    Exercise 1

    Check the ‘Explanation’ tab above before doing these exercises. Fill in the gaps with the words in the box.

    best      ‘d like      doing      know      my regards      to hear      reason      should      touch      treating      wondering if

    Hi there Tom,

    Sorry that I haven't been in 1 for a while, but we have been really busy. As you probably 2 , we are moving into the new apartment, and we have been packing everything up. In a week or so, we'll probably be living in our new place. We're so excited! I hope you can visit next year.

    How's life 3 you? Hope you and Sarah are 4 well. I was really glad 5 that David could get into Oxford. He's always been such a brilliant student. You must be a very proud dad right now!

    Anyway, the 6 I'm writing is because I want to take Susan on a trip to the north of Spain next month and, as I know you and Sarah went to Cantabria last summer, I was 7 you could give me some advice. Can you tell me about a nice place to stay? Do you think I 8 rent an apartment or book a room in a hotel? Also, I 9 some information about restaurants and places to visit.

    Well, that's all for now. I hope you can visit us soon. We want to show you our new home. Give 10 to Sarah and David.



    PS Susan doesn't know anything about the trip. It's going to be a surprise.


  • Informal email giving advice

    Read the following informal email and check the different parts and the expressions used.

    Hi Tony,

    How are you doing? It’s lovely to have news from you. I’m glad to know that you are finally moving into your brand new apartment. I know you have been waiting a long time for this. And thanks for the invitation, of course we’d like to come. Anyway, I’m pleased to hear you have finally decided to visit the north of Spain, as I suggested you. You’re going to love it!

    I think you should rent a holiday apartment and a car; that will give you much more freedom to explore the region at your own pace and convenience. You’ll see that the apartments are quite inexpensive. I’ll send you the details of the house we stayed in when we were there; it was nice and cozy. About the places to visit, you should visit the main mountain and beach towns. I’ll make you a list of the places we went to. I can’t now because I’m at work. And restaurants are easy. Why don’t you check which places have four or five stars on TripAdvisor? The food is always delicious!

    Well, I hope this helps. I’m looking forward to visiting you next year. It’ll be great to meet again. Give my regards to Susan



    Check the useful language.

    ➪ Greeting and signature or closing line. These are the first and last lines in an email or letter.

    ➪ Opening lines in the first paragraph and closing lines in the last paragraph.

    ➪ Responding to good news.

    ➪ Thanking your reader for an invitation and accepting it.

    ➪ Giving advice.

    Structure and useful language


    The greeting is used to address your reader. You can start with something like ‘Dear John’, but if you have a close relationship with the reader, there are some other expressions that you can use.

    • Dear John,
    • Hi/Hello John,
    • Hi there John,
    • John,

    Opening lines (paragraph one)

    In the first paragraph you can start by asking about how your reader is. Here you have some sample sentences that may be useful.

    • How are you?
    • How are things?
    • How have you been?
    • How are you doing?
    • How is life treating you?
    • I hope you are doing well.

    You can also make reference to their last email, apologise for not writing earlier, etc.

    • Thanks for your last email/letter. 
    • It is nice/great to hear from you.
    • It’s lovely to have news from you.
    • Sorry for not writing earlier. 
    • Sorry that I haven’t been in touch for a while.

    You can respond to good or bad news using the following sentences.

    • (I’m) glad to hear about/that…
    • (I’m) so pleased to hear about/that..
    • (I’m sorry) to hear about/that…

    Body of the email/letter (paragraph two)

    In the second paragraph you should introduce the reason why you are writing. You can use some useful language such as:

    • Anyway, the reason I’m writing is to/because…
    • Anyway, I’m writing to/because…
    • Anyway, I’m writing to let you know that…
    • I was wondering if…

    Ending the email/letter (paragraph three)

    In the third paragraph (or fourth paragraph if the body of the email takes up two paragraphs), is where you basically say goodbye. Here you have some common language.

    • Well, that’s all for now. 
    • (I) hope I can see you soon. 
    • I’m looking forward to seeing you/hearing from you soon. 
    • Give my regards to…


    The signature is the closing words where you include your name. Here you have some common expressions.

    • Regards,
    • Love,
    • Lots of love,
    • All the best,
    • Best,
    • Cheers,
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