When you write email, you have to make sure your style is appropriate. Too casual, and you will seem unprofessional; too formal, and you might seem unfriendly or cold.
There are three styles you can choose from when writing email: formal; neutral; and casual.
|Not common.||Common at work.||Common between friends.|
|Polite, careful language.
Formal words (usually from Latin).
|Clear and direct language.
|Casual language like speech.
|Complaints, requests, proposals etc.
Messages to strangers.
|Messages between colleagues and clients.||Messages between friends & family.
For very close colleagues.
|Correct grammar & spelling very important.
Mistakes can be a big problem.
|Some informal grammar is OK.
Can use contractions like "don't" or "I'm".
Spelling & grammar should still be correct.
|Some spelling & grammar mistakes are OK.|
In your day-to-day life, you will find that most of the time you write neutral or casual emails. Formal emails are much rarer.
With casual emails, you can make a few mistakes. However, in a business setting, your grammar, spelling and punctuation should always be correct. Mistakes in grammar and spelling are unprofessional. You can use a neutral style in business. It can help you develop a closer relationship with clients and colleagues. Your language can be more personal, and you don't have to worry too much about formal expressions. Everyone is busy, so people appreciate a short and clear message.
Here is a table of casual and formal email phrases for you to use. When you are using a neutral tone, it is a good idea to use a few formal phrases too, so that you are polite and friendly.
|What do you need?||Please let us know your requirements.|
|Thanks for your email on the 17th.||Thank you for your email of the 17th.|
|Sorry, I can't make it.||I am afraid that I will not be able to attend.|
|I'm sorry to tell you that...||It is with regret that we advise you that...|
|I promise...||I can assure you that...|
|Could you...?||I was wondering if you would be able to...|
|You haven't...||We note that you have not...|
|Don't forget...||We would like to remind you that...|
|I need to...||It is necessary for me to...|
|Shall I...?:||Would you life me to...?|
|But...||However, ... /Nevertheless, ...|
|Also...||In addition... /Furthermore, ...|
|So...||Therefore, .../Consequently, ...|
|Could you please...?||I would be grateful if you could...|
|Sorry for...||Please accept our sincerest apologies for...|
|Re...||With regard to... /With reference to...|
|See you next week.||I look forward to meeting with you next week.|