Informal Letters



Informal letters are sent to people you know well (e.g. friends, relatives, your recent news, personal problems, information you need, etc. They are written in an informal style with a chatty, personal tone.

An informal letter should consist of:

a) an informal greeting (Dear Ken)

b) an introduction in which you write your opening remarks (asking about your friend's health, etc) and mention you reason for writing 'Hi! How are you? I thought I'd write and let you know that…';

c) a main body in which you write the main subject(s) a new paragraph for each topic;

d) a conclusion in which you write your closing remark 'That’s all my news for now. Write back soon...';

e) an informal ending (e.g. Lots of love…)


Present Perfect and Past Simple are often used in letters giving news.

The Present Perfect is used to refer to recent activities and the Past Simple to refer to activities which happened at a stated time in the past.

Opening remarks:

  • Hi, how's everything going? I've just heard that you passed all your exams. Congratulations!
  • Sorry that I haven’t written for ages, but I’ve been very busy studying. I’m writing because…
  • How are you? Sorry l've taken so long to write, but I've been busy settling in. Anyway, I thought I’d drop you a line to let you know how I'm getting on here.
  • How are you? I am sorry that l haven't written for a long time, but I've been really busy. Anyway, I thought I'd drop you a line to let you know that I've just passed my driving test!
  • Sorry I haven’t written for a while. I have been really busy studying for my exams. Only one more to go now!
  • How are you? I'm great! Actually, I have some really exciting news!

Closing remarks

  • Well, that's all my news for now. Please write back and let me know what you've been up to since I heard from you last. Say "hi" to Tom and Joanna, too. I promise I'll come back and visit all of you as soon as I can.
  • Well, that’s all for now. Please write soon- I can’t wait to hear what you've been up to. Take care.
  • Lots of love.
  • I can’t wait to see you again, and don’t forget to let me know if there’s anything I should bring to the barbecue.
  • Looking forward to seeing you and catching up on all your news.

Useful phrases

Thanking / Apologising

  • Many thanks for your last letter.
  • Thanks a lot for the letter.
  • It’s so good to hear from you, It’s been ages since we saw each other.
  • I’m sorry I haven’t written sooner, I have been really busy...
  • I’m sorry it has taken me so long to write to you, I have been really busy...

Friendly Opening Comment

  • That’s great news about the (house / job /etc. ,), I’m so happy for you.
  • I’m glad to hear about the ( house / job / etc. ), I always knew you would do it one day.
  • The (new house / job / etc. ) sounds brilliant, how are you settling in?

Giving News

  • That reminds me, ...
  • By the way, ...
  • You’ll never guess what happened to me last week...

Asking for Information / Help

  • Could you tell me...?
  • Please tell me...
  • Let me know if...

Giving Advice

  • You asked about . . . . . . . .. . . Well, the best thing to do is + infinitive
  • You wanted to know if . . . . . . . My advice would be + infinitive
  • About the . . . . . . . . . . . , I would recommend + gerund / noun

Making an invitation

  • I’m having a party and was wondering if you’d like to come.
  • You’d be more than welcome to come and stay some time. How about the 15th of June?

Accepting / rejecting invitation

  • I’d love to come and stay with you, thanks for the invitation.
  • I’d love to accept your invitation but I have an exam that week. What a shame! Perhaps another time.

Ending the letter

  • I must go, as it’s getting late and I have an early start tomorrow.
  • I’d better close now as I have homework to do.
  • Well, that’s all from me.

Friendly final comment

  • I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
  • I can’t wait to hear from you. Let me know how you are getting on.
  • I can’t wait to see you, I’m looking forward to your visit.
  • Keep in touch, I always look forward to your letters.

Signing off

  • All the best
  • Best wishes


Informal letter sample 1

LETTER WRITING: MY HOLIDAY PLANS/ plan to spend summer vacation:

Dear Amy,

How are you? I’m very happy because school is almost over! This time next week I will be staying with my grandparents at their cottage by Crystal Lake.

I heard on the weather forecast that it will probably be very hot summer so I will be swimming every day. My grandfather promised me that we will go fishing in the lake. I can’t wait!

Do you have any plans for the summer? Why don’t you ask...

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Informal letter sample 2

Letter to a friend describing summer vacation:

Dear Philip,

I am just writing to tell you what a marvelous holiday we had. We went on a camping holiday to the South of France and the weather was wonderful.

The tent we stayed in was very comfortable. It had a cooker, a fridge and a TV. We were in the heart of the French countryside

and some of the views were great. The campsite itself was impressive. It was...

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Informal letter sample 3

Letter to a friend describing a trip:

Dear Claire,

Thank you a lot for your last letter. It was a nice surprise to hear from you. I'm sorry I haven't written to you earlier but I had to organise some things concerning my trip.

As you probably remember I've always wanted to visit some unusual places. And now, at last, off I went! But you'd never guess where I've chosen to spend my holiday. It's Antarctica! You would...

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Informal letter sample 4

Letter to friend about travelling/holiday:

Hi Marvin,

I'm writing this letter from Portugal. I am on holiday here with my family and we having a great time.

Right now, I am lying on the beach. My little brother is playing on the sand with his toys and my mother is watching him. My dad is swimming in the sea.

I just love it here. We get...

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Informal letter sample 5

Letter to friend about birthday party:

Hi Susan!

How was your birthday? Mine was great! We had a fancy dress party this year and I invited all my close friends.

I wore a funny orange clown suit and curly green hair. Everyone laughed as I walked around the room with my huge red plastic shoes. All my friends looked great too! My best friend Diane amazed us all with her fairy costume. She wore shiny silver wings and carried a long plastic wand.

The party was a lot of fun. We listened to cool...

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Informal letter sample 6

Letter to friend about a new house:

Dear Robert,

I'm writing to tell you about our new house. It's lovely! It's the nicest house I have ever seen. It's much bigger than our last one but also more expensive. The house looks very modern. There are many rooms with large windows and wooden floors.

I finally have a room that I don't have to share with my younger brother. My bedroom is on the second floor and I have a great view.

The best thing about this house


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Informal letter sample 7

Letter to friend about a surprise party:

Dear Jessica,

How are things? I'm sorry that I haven't sent you an email but I've been really busy lately.

For the last two days, I have been organising a surprise party for my best friend, Sally. I have already decorated the house with balloons and coloured lights. I still have so many things to do but luckily, Sophie and Pat have been helping with the preparations.

So far, Sophie has invited all our friends and Pat has...

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Informal letter sample 8

Letter to friend about a university:

Dear Mike,

How are you? Thank you for your letter of 10th June. I am sorry for not having written to you earlier, but I have had a lot of things to do.

You know it was a very hard year for me. I spent my time getting ready for my exams and I was doing well in practically all subjects. After passing the exams I was enrolled to the University. The whole course of study is four years. My major subject is mathematics. I am really good at it and do Maths whenever I have a chance. I take...

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Informal letter sample 9

Letter to friend about learning languages in England:

Dear John,

Thanks for your letter. I’m sorry that I haven’t written for so long, but I’ve been really busy.

I’ve got some good news! I’ve manage to persuade my parents to let me spend a year in England learning the language. I’ll be studying at King’s School. So I hope we’ll be able to meet and to talk when I am there.

But I must admit that now I am getting a bit worried because everything is so different there. I wonder if I’ll be able to adapt to living with a host family. What...

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Informal letter sample 10

Letter to friend about camping:

Hi Susan,

How are you? I hope the summer job is going well. Have you decided where to go on holiday? That skiing break sounds the best, doesn’t it?

Anyway, we’re camping here on the Isle of Skye. We’re staying on a campsite in the middle of nowhere. We’ve been here for five days, but it feels longer. It’s rained every single...

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Informal letter sample 11

Letter to friend about visiting Scotland:

Dear Jane,

We’re staying at a hotel in Scotland. The weather has been great — really hot and sunny. We’ve been very lucky so far.

Everyone here says that it usually rains in September.  We’ve done a lot of fascinating things. We’ve climbed mountains, and we’ve sailed across one of the lakes. You know that Scotland is famous for its lakes. The best known of them is Loch Ness where according to the...

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Informal letter sample 12

Letter to friend about visiting London:

Dear Jane,

Thanks for your letter. I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long, but I’ve been really busy with my exams. Now, it’s all over and I’m having a short rest in London with my family.

London is wonderful! We are staying in a hotel not far from the centre so we are able to walk around London almost all day long. It’s amazing because London is a 24-hour city. We’ve already seen most of the famous sights. Yesterday we visited
the Tower of London and enjoyed the legends told by the...

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Informal letter sample 13

Letter to friend about visiting Sydney:

Dear Andrew,

Well, here we are in Sydney! The weather is fantastic! We are staying in a 4­star hotel by the Circular Quay. The view is amazing and the service is great. We have access to great pubs, restaurants and shopping down at the Rocks.

The restaurants are great! There is a mix similar to what we see in the US (Italian, Chinese, Thai and American). The only difference in the food is the Australian specialties such as crocodile, wallaby, ostrich and kangaroo. Tipping is not...

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Informal letter sample 14

Letter to friend about visiting California:

Dear Helen,

How are you? Hope you are OK. Well, here I am in California and my dream has finally come true.

We are staying in a small hotel in San Francisco. It’s a great city full of picturesque houses. The symbol of the city is the Golden Gate Bridge that stretches across the mouth of San Francisco Bay. The scenery from the bridge is wonderful, and
I’ve already taken some great photos.

Tomorrow we are leaving for Los Angeles. I look...

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Informal letter sample 15

Letter to friend about theatres in your town:

Dear Mary,

How nice of you to write me about your last visit to the theatre.

I’d like to tell you about theatres in my town. There are two theatres in our town. One theatre is the professional one, and the other one is amateur. As for me, I’m a theatre­goer. I try to go there twice a month.

The performances are different. To my mind, some...

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Informal letter sample 16

Letter to friend about your birthday:

Dear Aunt Susan,

Thank you very much for your letter. It was interesting to learn about your family traditions.

My birthday is on April 19th. It is spring time, and we usually go to the countryside to have a picnic. We play different games, make a fire and enjoy our time. On my last birthday we didn’t go anywhere. My parents prepared a surprise party to me. When I came home from school, the house was...

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Informal letter sample 17

Letter to friend about staying healthy:

Dear Pat,

Thanks for the letter. You should write more often! Anyway, how are things? I hope everything is OK at school.

It’s great that you’ve started to take care of your health! As for keeping fit, I’d say that above all you need patience! Keeping fit is something you should do regularly and try and keep it up over a long time. If you don’t, it won’t have any effect.

First of all, start gently. Begin by walking — you can walk to school, use the stairs (not the lift) and then go for longer walks in the park. Then you should think...

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Informal letter sample 18

Letter to friend about favourite TV programme:

Dear Paul,

How are you? I’m fine though I’m very busy these days. I’m getting ready for my final exams at school. Thank you for your letter. It was interesting to learn more about American television.

In your letter you asked me about my favourite TV programme. The series “The Code of Honour” is one of the few that I attempt to regularly tune into each week. A friend of mine talked me into...

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Informal letter sample 19

Letter to friend about distance learning:

Dear David,

Thanks a lot for your letter. I was so glad to hear from you.

In your letter you asked me if distance learning is popular in my country. Well, more than seven million students are enrolled in distance learning programs. The statistics speak for themselves. There are lots of benefits of online learning. Firstly, students can combine their job and studies. Secondly, you can simultaneously...

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Informal letter sample 20

Letter to friend about relationship with your parents:

Dear Adam,

Thanks a lot for your letter. It was nice to hear from you. In your letter you told me that your parents disapprove of your girlfriend.

Well, it happens very often. The parent and child have different beliefs on who is right and who is wrong. The parent believes that they are right, but the child thinks that they are wrong.

Fortunately, I don’t have any conflicts with...

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Informal letter sample 21

Letter to friend about parents and their influencing your career choice:

Dear Helen,

Thanks a lot for your letter. I was happy to hear from you.

In your letter you asked me if my parents influence my career choice. We all take time to ‘find our feet’. Parents will often say things such as “pick a course you think you’ll like” or “why don’t you apply for this job”. Though it may seem they’re doing the right thing in terms of steering their children in the right direction, parents also need to understand that we all need space and time to discover what we truly want...

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Informal letter sample 22

Letter to friend about moving abroad:

Dear Gary,

Hope you are doing well.

I’m doing fine, though my life is quite hectic at the moment because, as you know, I am moving abroad and there is so much to do! There are a few things that I can’t take with me because they are too big so I am seeing if any of my friends would be interested in buying them. One of the things I do not want to take with me is my television, and I thought you might like to buy it off me for a cheap price.

It’s a 32“ flat screen TV, and it’s a Phillips model. It has a USB...

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