Writing informal letters and emails involves writing letters or emails to friends or relatives.

When writing an informal letter or email our language is more relaxed and we are able to use abbreviations which is rare in other forms of English writing, except perhaps when using direct speech.

You may find some of the phrases below useful, especially if you are a student of English as a second language and you are sitting an exam such as Cambridge First Certificate Exam (CFE), Cambridge Advanced Exam (CAE), Cambridge Proficiency Exam (CPE) or Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Exams such as EOI Intermediate 2, EOI Avanzado 1 or EOI Avanzado 2.

Look also at Writing Formal Letters and Emails and compare.

Useful Phrases for informal letter writing

Informal Letters - Greetings:

  • Dear Jim
  • Hello Jim
  • Hi Jim

Informal Letters - Introductory paragraph:

  • Sorry I haven't written for ages
  • Sorry it's taken me so long to write
  • How's it going?
  • How are you?
  • How are things with you?
  • How are things?

An informal letter referring to good news:

  • Glad to hear about
  • I'm really glad to hear about
  • I'm very happy to hear about
  • I was very happy to read about
  • Great news about your

An informal letter referring to bad news:

  • I'm extremely sorry to hear about
  • I'm very sorry to hear about
  • Sorry to read about
  • Its very sad to hear about your
  • I can't tell you how sad I am that

Informal Letters - Introducing points

  • By the way
  • Did you hear about
  • Did you see
  • Have you seen
  • Tell me about
  • Oh, another thing

Ending an informal letter or email:

  • Well, time to go
  • Well, it's time to go
  • Well, got to go
  • Well, time to close
  • I've got to leave off now
  • Write soon
  • Make sure you write soon
  • Love
  • Lots of love
  • All my love
  • Will write again soon
  • Look after yourself
  • Take care of yourself
  • All the best
  • Everything good

Writing Informal Letters - Sample Questions

Writing Informal Letters and emails - Sample Question 1

Write 120-150 words in an appropriate style

Your Scottish friend, Maggie, has sent you an email asking you to help her organise a special surprise birthday party for her brother Rupert. Read Maggies email and the notes you have made. Then write an email to Maggie using all your notes..

We must make sure that Rupert doesn't know we are planning this surprise. I'm not sure how many people to invite but our house is definitely too small. Do you think we should book the Royal hotel for the evening and have the party there? You know that Rupert is very keen on music so we could hire a live band.

I've also been wondering what we could all buy as a present. What do you think?

Could you come the day before the party to help with preparations. There's a lot to plan so I'd really like your help. Can you suggest something else that will really make the party special?

All for now.

best wishes,


Your notes:

  • Paragraph 1 - Royal Hotel sounds OK but very expensive.
  • Paragraph 2 - Rupert really enjoys fishing.
  • Paragraph 3 - Sorry, busy that day.
  • Paragraph 3 - Something else - Yes, how about ....

Write your email. You must use grammatically correct sentences with accurate spelling and punctuation in a style appropriate for the situation.

Writing Informal Letters and emails - Sample Question 2

Write 120-150 words or 250 plus words for Advanced students in an appropriate style.

You are studying in Britain and you've recently received a letter from a friend, Susan, who is interested in in arranging a day trip for a group of students. Read Susan's letter, the advertisement and the notes you have made. Then write a letter to Susan, using all your notes.

..... and the students in my class are really interested in going on a day trip. I know you went on a boat trip with your class recently. Could you tell me what it was like and whether you'd recommend it?


Castle and Lake Boat Trips

  • Departures 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. daily
  • Lunch at restaurant
  • Afternoon at lake with choice of water sports
  • Reasonable prices with reductions for groups

Your notes:

  • Earlier boat less crowded
  • Take a packed lunch because ........
  • You must try ........(watersport)
  • Group minimum is 15

Write your letter. You must use grammatically correct sentences with accurate spelling and punctuation in a style appropriate for the situation.

From Writing Informal Letters to Home
From Writing Informal Letters to Escritura en inglés