Writing letters

How to Write a Formal Letter in English

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 21, 2017
How to Write a Formal Letter in English

With the development of new technologies, our language is suffering numerous attacks, specially when it comes to formal use of language. We have to distinguish what moments to use more formal and serious language than the kind we generally use to communicate with others. Generally, for job reasons such as writing a job application letter, and sometimes personal reasons, we're obliged to do so. However, as this kind of language is not something we often use, it can be hard to use it. For this reason, at oneHOWTO we explain how to write a formal letter in English. There's also an example of a formal letter if you click on it.

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Steps to follow:


Writing well is something we should always do, independently on the kind of message we want to send. If our letter must be formal, we have to take an even closer look to our spelling, grammar and syntax.


We must begin with a correct heading in which the name and details of the receiver are indicated, as well as the position the person occupies if you're addressing a company or government department. It is also advisable to make a small reference to the subject you'd like to write about in the letter. If you click on the picture above, you'll find an example of a formal letter.

How to Write a Formal Letter in English - Step 2

The initial greeting has to be exclusive for the person to whom we're writing, as well as correct and formal. This will be followed by colon and the body of the text will start to develop on the next line.


Dear Mr. X,

I am writing to you regarding ...


In the first paragraph of the letter you'll need to indicate the reason for it, or why you're writing. It will be necessary to give arguments to justify our opinion.

For example:

I believe that doing ..... is a mistake due to ....., as a study on this subject reflects....


The second paragraph, written apart from the first, must indicate what solutions we need or hope to have to confront our problem or worry that has motivated us to write the letter. You should write in clear and precise language for this kind of circumstances.


This is why I would like to suggest ...

In my opinion the best option to solve this problem is to ...


Last, we need to write a formal farewell, saying thank you for the person's attention and for the time dedicated. This farewell will be followed by our signature and our position, so they can identify us.

For example:


Mr Y

How to Write a Formal Letter in English - Step 6

Now that you've written the letter, make sure that you write the address on the envelope correctly so you can send it.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Write a Formal Letter in English, we recommend you visit our Hobbies & Science category.


  • Make sure you use correct and adequate language for the situation.
  • Be careful not to make spelling mistakes.
  • Carefully revise the letter before sending it to make sure it's correct and impeccable.
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1 comment
Jacob Emmanuel
My question is how many words must be in a formal letter
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jacob,

There is no word limit, it completely depends on the context and purpose of the letter.
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How to Write a Formal Letter in English