Letter refusing an invitation.
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Letter refusing an invitation.

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Task. B1 level.

Write a letter, about 120-150 words following these instructions. At the end of this post, you will find information about the structure of a letter.

I have been invited to a party but don’t want to go. I have to write a short e-mail, thanking the person for the invitation, explaining why I can’t go and arranging a meeting in the future.

And this could well be an example…

Hi Shirley,

How are you? I’m glad to hear from you.

First of all, thanks for your invitation, but I am afraid I won’t be able to go because my sister Lucía is getting married that weekend. Do you remember my sister? All the family is very nervous and we have a lot of work, we have too many things to do.

I look forward to seeing you again. I don’t remember when it was the last time we met and I have a lot of things to tell you. Maybe we could meet on 24th October. What do you think about this date? It won’t be possible to meet you in November because I’ll have a lot of work.

Well Shirley, I hope to see you very soon.

Best wishes,

Aixa.


Structure of a letter.

As you probably know, there are several kinds of letters such as:

  • Letters of complaint.
  • Letters of request.
  • Letters asking for, giving, refusing or accepting information, an advice or an invitation.
  • Letters expressing congratulations, thanks or regret.
  • Letters of apology.
  • Letters of application for a job.
  • Letters to the editor or authorities, giving your opinion or suggestions.

The style of the letter depends on who it is addressed to. It is not the same to write a letter asking a university for information as it is to write an email to a friend. The passive voice can be used in formal letters, as well as complex sentences, no abbreviated forms, non-colloquial English and so on. Whilst informal letters can include, idioms, colloquial English, abbreviated forms, etc.

Be that as it may, a successful letter consists of:

  • A suitable greeting, depending on the style: Dear Mr Smith, Dear Anne, Dear Sir or Madam…
  • An introductory paragraph, where the reason for writing should be clearly exposed using expressions such as, I am writing to express my strong, I am writing in response to, I am writing to request, I was terribly sorry to receive…
  • A main body, explaining the subject into separated paragraphs using, firstly, according to, as you can imagine, as we all know, for all that, not only, but also…
  • A conclusion, in which you sum up the subject or express what you expect from them using, I expect to hear from you, I hope that this matter can be, without adding I would appreciate…
  • An ending, depending on the style and the greeting. If you have begun a formal letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” as a greeting, you have to end with ”Yours faithfully” or alternatively, you decided to begin with “Dear Mr Smith”, you have to end with “Yours sincerely”. But there are others formal and informal endings such as: best wishes, with love, sincerely, regards, yours…

Here, you will find more examples of letters or click on Tag Cloud, in the sidebar menu.