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Sample of letter:

299 Mal".er n Road, Pe:rth, Australia
Tei. 062'79 42 Telex AB 94432

Our Ref JB/me

Your Ref

16 December 2000

Mr Victor Emanuel Garcia

Managing Director
Juguetes Madrilenos
Calle de Sagasta 173

Dear Mr Garcia,

Order No. 1234

At the Frankfurt Toy fair you placed a trial order of 40 teddy bears and 50
kangaroos with our company. Congratulations!

The requested order has now been dispatched by air and we expect the
goods to reach you within two weeks.

We hope that the toys sell well and that you will place a repeat order. For
this purpose we enclose our latest prospectus and an order form .

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Jan Brown
Sales Manager

Enc prospectus I order form

The standard elements of the modern business letter

a. The heading/Letterhead

The letterhead is carefully designed and printed and contains the basic
information that the recipient will need to reply to the letter:

• The organisation's name and status:

- Alan Waters(= name of the owner) - sole trader;
- A & B, A & Co., A & Sons, Toolmaker Company - partnership;
Company name + Ltd. - private limited company;
- Company name+ plc/PLC - public limited company ;
- Company name + Corp./Inc./Ltd./Co. - American corporation;

• in Britain, names of all directors or partners;
• telephone, telex, fax number;
• LOGO (=logograph) - single sign or picture presenting a company
name (often used as trade mark)

In correspondence that does not have a letterhead, the sender's address

is written on the top right-hand side of the page. In the UK, in contrast to the
practice in some other countries, it is not customary to write the sender's name
before the sender's address.

a. The date

Various date forms are currently in use, so this can be a matter of 'house
Be careful with the date: in Britain they write the day first , but in the
United States they write the month first. This means that:


is the eleventh of May two thousand and two in Great Britain but in the
United States it is the fifth of November! So it is better to write the month in
letters like this:


Examples of date forms:

25/12/01 This can appear on forms, invoices etc. In letters

the month and year should not be abbreviated, sc
- do not use the form 'Dec .99', for ·example.
25th December, 200 1 The fullest form. In modern letters, however, we de
not have to write th, rd, nd or st after the day.
25 December 2001 Increasingly used: just the number, and no commas

December 25 2001 Th e · Americ an system: avoid it in Europear

contexts .


1. How would you write these dates in a letter?

Y Jan. 16u1, 1999

> 2Ji-d March, 2000
> 6/11/98 (UK)
> 04.08.99 (USA)
2. Write the next two numbers in each sequence:

y 1st, 2nd, 3rct, 4th, ... , . .. .

y 7t\ 9t11, 11th, 13t\ .. ., ... .
> 29 111 May, 30t11 May, .... , . . . .
> July 4, July 5, July 6, .. ., ... .
> 1.4.99, 1.5.99, 1.6.99, ... , .. ..
b. References

If you look at the sample letter you will see :

Your ref
Our ref

This means your reference and our reference. A reference is useful for
filing. It tells you who wrote and signed the letter (your boss) and then who
typed it (the secretary). A reference may also include a file number and a date.
Our ref JB/me in that letter means that Jan Brown wrote it and his secretary,

Maria Emerson, typed it. JB and ME are their initials. What are
your initials? When you reply to a business letter, you fill in that letter's
references as 'Your rer' and add your own as 'Our ref'.

Now fill in "Our ref' below: · ·

Alan Waters wrote it John Brown wrote it You wrote it

Miki Tanaka typed it You typed it Jartet typed it
Your ref JB/rl Your ref HOL/01 Your ref MED/6/cb
Our ref AW/mt Our ref ................. Our ref ...... .. . . .......

c. The inside address contains:

_);; - name of the addressee (if known);

_);; - title (Mr./ Mrs./ Miss/ Ms with or without full stop);
_);; - first name, middle name, last name/surname/family name;
_);;;-Messrs. (= Messieurs) only used if sent to two or more persons
(partnership, not with impersonal name): Messers. P Jones and B.L.
_); ;- position in the company (The Finance Director) or department (The
Sales Department) if name not known;
_);; - name of company;
_);; - address of company
GB: house number or name of house/ street name/ town/ postcode/
USA: house number/ street name/ town/ state and ZIP code (zone
improvement plan);
_);; - POB (Post Box) instead of house number and street;

Special titles which should be included in addresses are many. They

include academic or medical titles: Doctor (Dt.), Professor (Prof); military
titles: Captain (Capt.), Major (Maj.), Colonel (Col.), General (Ge n.);
aristocratic title: Sir (which means that he is a knight; not to be confused with
the salutation Dear Sir and always followed by a given name - Sir John Brown,
not Sir J. Brown or Sir Brown), Dame, Lord, Baroness, etc. ·
Esq (with or without full stop; abbreviation for Esquire which is seldom
used now. If used, it can only be used instead of Mr and is placed after the
name, Do not use Esq and Mr at the same time: Bruce Stanford Esq, not Mr
Bruce Stanford Esq.
All these courtesy titles and special titles, except Esq, are also used in


d. Attention line (optional) - placed below the inside address:
For the attention of Mr. A.C. Brown
Attention of the Sales Manager
Att. I Attn.
e. The salutation:
>- to a company (if the person in charge is not known):
BE: Dear Sirs,
AE: Gentlemen:/ Ladies and Gentlemen
>- to an individual within the firm, name unknown:
Dear Sir I Dear Madam I Dear Sir or Madam
>- to an individual whose name is known:
Dear Mr. Redwood, I Dear Ms Woolf
>- to an individual whose name is known to the writer:
Dear Helen

f. The subject line- tells us exactly what the letter is about, for example,
the number of an order or invoice. It is placed after the salutation and it is
_usually underlined or written in block letters: _
Dear Mr Allworthy
Order No. B-270
Sometimes the word 'Re' is used. This means 'about', 'concerning':
Dear Miss Lang
Re: Your Insurance policy No. 120.4967

g. The body of the letter - contains the message proper;

h. The complimentary close - depends on the degree of formality:

BE: a. Dear Sir( s) requires: Yours faithfully

b. Dear Mr. Adler I Dear requires: Yours sincerely
colleague/ Dear customer
c. Dear John Kind regards/ Yours/ Best
Regards/ Best wishes/Affectionately
AE: a. Gentlemen:/Dear Sir/Dear Yours very truly! Truly yours
b. Dear Ms Frame Yours sincerely
c. Dear Eric Cordially/ Best regards

Letters, faxes, and emails

1 Letters: true or false? Read the following statements and decide which are true and which are false. the true ones 'T' and the false ones •F' in the spaces provided.

1 lf a letter begins with the recipient's name. e.g, Dear Mr Ross, it will dose
with \'oursfait~fully.
2 D The abbreviation c.c. stands for correct carbons.
3 0 lf you were writing a letter to Mr Peter Smith. the salutation would be
Dear Mr Peter Smith.
4 D The head of a company in the UK is known as the president
5 D In the USA, it is correct to open a letter with the salutation Gentlemen.
6 D In the UK.a date wntten 2.605 means 6 February 2005.

7 0 If a secretary signs a letter and the signature is followed by p.p. Daniel

Hams. it means that the secretary is stgrdng on behalf of Daniel Harris.
8 D The term pk after a UK company's name. e.g. Hathaway pie, stands for
Public Limited Corporation.
9 D The term Ltd after a UK company's name means Iimtted Uabibty
10 D If you do not know whether a female correspondent is married or not
a is correct to use the rourtesy title Ms instead of Mm or Mrs.
e.g.M.s Tessa Groves.
11 D This address rs an example of blocked style.
Peter Voss
Oberlweinfelcweg 33
5207 Therwi l
12 0 lt is always impolite to dose a letter Best wishes.

Content and style

1 Typicalsentences Sort out the jumbled words below to make six sentences typical of business
correspondence. Add capital letters and punctuation as necessary.

1 grateful! soon fa ! as I we I for I would I possible I reply I as I be

2 for I find I please I cheque! £4950 I a Jen.dosed
3 further I please! if I us I mforrnation I you! any I contact I need
4 april I your I you I letter t thank I 51 oft for
5 you I we I forward I to! from I look f hearing
6 pleasure I price list I enclosing I have! a I catalogue I om I I ! spring I and I in
4 Faxes and emails: Read the following statements and decide which are true and which are false.
true or false? Mark the true ones •1• and the false ones 'F• in the spaces provided.

1 D Confidential information should not be sent by fax and email

2 0 If necessary. faxes can be used as substitutes for original
3 D Fax is a short form of the word [acts.
4 [] Emails must end with Yoursfaithjullyor Your.s sincerely.
5 D Emoticons can be added to business emails to make them look
6 D Using capital letters to write an email is the same as shouting.
7 D @ in an email address means automatic.
8 D A letter or card is usually more suitable than an email for a personal
9 D In email header information, c.c. stands for confidential copies.
10 0 Emails are usually less formal than letters.
11 0 lt is not as important to use correct grammar and spelling in a business
email as it is in a letter.
12 D The addressee's name comes after the @sign in an email address.

8 Words and definitions Make words from the jumbled letters and match them with the
definitions below,

1 Document enclosed with a letter.

2 Figures and I or letters written at the top of a letter to identify it
3 Style of writing in \Vhkh each line starts directly below the one above.
4 Complimentary dose used at the end of a letter when the addressee's (
name is known.
5 Phrase written on a letter intended only to be read by the addressee. ·
6 Name and job title typed below a signature.
7 Separate document attached to an email message.
8 The name of someone's job, e.g, Sales Manager, Chief Buyer.


Unit 1


../ discuss the basic elements of a letter of enquiry
../ practise Incoterms
./ write routine enquiries
./ write enquiries about people-


Letters that ask for information used to be the most common in business
written communication. Businesses need a lot of information from each other
and also need information about people. Nowadays due to technological
advance in telecommunications very many users prefer telephoning or emailing
to the standard enquiry letter. This does not mean that enquiries are out of useo
On the contrary, there are situations
when a beautifully written letter of enquiry -

is a must. Can you think of an example?


An enquiry is a short and simple, sometimes pre-printed, form of business

correspondence through which you ask a potential partner for:
• their catalogue, price-lists, presentation brochures or prospectuses,
• samples and demonstrations,
• terms and methods of payment,

o goods on approval, sale or return
• estimate or tender

Enquii-ies can be made by telephone, telex, fax, e--maiI or postcard.

A first enquiry (sent to a supplier with whom you have not previously
· done business) should include:

a) a brief mention of how you obtained your potential supph-~r's m1~l

(embassy, consulate, chamber of ·commerce; exhibition or trade fair; a
recommendation from a business associate, advertisement in the press)
b) the demand in your area for the goods which the supplier deals in
c) details of what you'd like your prospective supplier to send you (catalogue,
price list, discounts, methods of payment, delivery times, samples)
d) a closing sentence to round off the enquiry
-------------·'"- -- - = - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - -
Now look at the following ways you can express the above:
Your name has been given us by the British Chamber of C ommerce . ..
We saw your products demonstrated at the Bucharest Fair earlier this
year, and would like to know whetheL ..
Your advertisement in this month's issue of "The Entrepreneur" states
that you can offer ...
We visited your website at www.e .ro. and we want to know if. .... ..,.
There is a high demand here for high-quality trainers of the type you
Demand for this type of machine is not high, but sales this year will
probably exceed 25,000 pounds.
There is yet no market here for luxury articles of this type, but less
expensive models sell very well throughout the year. _
You can count on a high turnover if prices are competi tive and deliveries
Wil1 you please send us your catalogue and price 11st for. . .
Will you please quote prices C. I. F. Amsterdam for the folJowing items
in the quantities stated: ... .i . ~
We are also interested in your terms of payment and in discounts offered
; ·•. ,J
for regular purchases and large orders.

We would appreciate a sample of each of the items listed above.
If we place orders with you prompt deli very is compulsory. Can you
guaran tee deli very within three weeks of receiving orders?
We are looking forward to hearing from you
We would appreciate a prompt answer
As our own customers are pressing us for a quotation, we hope you will
be able to make us an offer within a fortn ight from today's date.
Please, e-mail me back with the info requested.

This is the indirect enquiry sent to people whose reaction you do not
know or anticipate. Since most businesses; however, welcome enquiries and
cooperate in giving information you can also address them in the direct style
as it is time saving. If you or your organisation prefer directness you can always
use a direct-drderplan:

@ Begin directly stating your rea-son for writing: either a specific questio-;J
or a general request for information. I
@ Include necessary information - if it is needed.
@'If you raise several issues m:1mber thetn in a reader friendly format.
@ End with goodwill and use one of the suit'able complimentary closes .

Now look at the letter addressed by Metalica Industries Ltd. to Business

& English Studies &Training Institute on the next page. This letter is from a
company training director to the director of a management-training program.
The company training director already received literature on the program but
needs additiona1 information. The letter is asking for this information .

Notice the use of the direct style - a general request for information
introduces the specific question (whether to send employees to a management
course). T he reference to the brochure in the firs t paragraph tells what the
writer/sender already knows and helps the reader/receiver to answer. The
questions raised are numbered which focuses the reader's attention to them
and, at the same time, will make the reply easy to give. Notice also that when
explanations are necessary they are given along with the questions. The" positive
ending shows goodwill and contributes to a quick response .

. ---. ,, ·· · ~ ; ·

.~:· . _ .," ..-" .. '- ...c';~

-- - -~--~~~~~---~~-,

Metalica Industries), Ltd. Iri

41 Victoriei Ave.; 1115250 Ramnicu Sarat

Tel:+ 038 71 1239,'Fax + 038 7 1123 8;
e-mail: www. metali

Ms. Ana Bruno

Business & English Studies &Training Institute
47 Independence Drive
73 642 Bucharest I
Dear Ms . Bruno,
. I
Send me, please, more information to help us decide whether to send some I
of our executives to your Management Courses. V\Te have your illustrated !
brochure and the course programmes you mailed in Jul y. Specifi cally, we i
needthe answers to the following questions: iri
- ' ' ! 'I
I. What is the background level of your programme? Ous cmnpany has I i
engineers, accountants, researchers and business administrators. lVfost / - I
. ._.

have college degrees. Some do not. 1

2. What is the certification you give for your course? Does it include college I
credit? Some of our executives are working on degrees and want credi t 1

- I
3. Vvhat are your quantity discounts? We could send about eight exec utives j
each course. I

4. What are the names and addresses of your forme r clients rn the

We will appreciate your prompt answer. And we look forward to the II

possibility of sending our executives to you in the years ahead. I
(£) • ,);: . /,;t,
CMJ1JN/n r:/Utyt
_,Cosmin Filip
Training Director
"---------------~~--~~---- --- )
~ :~




Letters asking for information about people are a special form of

routine enquiries. As professional mobility increases in today's business
environment enquiries about people are more widely used than ever.
Considering the impact of internationalization on corr1pany culture and job
mobility we have to be aware of the i111portance of this type of enquiries
and the sensitive issues that may be caused if they are not properly planned
and written. Normally, they should follow this genera] plan:


Here are some special requirements to observe when writing enquiries

about people:
A. Respect Human Rights

Letters about people are highly personal and the exchange of p ersonal
information is very s~nsitive as it invqlves moral and legal rights . I~omanian
companies have started to become more aware about these sensitive issues
and the media reports cases of good and bad practice in this respect with
a view to educating both employers and employees. In the United States,
for example, some companies do not permit thei r personnel to write ·letters
about people because legal rights are involved. The companies that do I

allow the writing of such letters ought to do their best to protect the rig hts t'
. r:I..
of the people involved. Int.e rnet users have no doubt not.iced the windo w
display that lets them know that sending personal data through the Intern et f:
is sensitive and can be used against their own interests. l· i
A good rule of thumb when you enquire or write about peop le is to
seek truth and to act in good faith. you should distinguish carefully between
fact and opinion and for the most part report fact. You should ask only for
information you need for business purposes and only if the person concerned
has authorized the enqui:r;y. All information about people is confidenti al.

B. What questions to ask?

., Enquiries for references about job applicants vary, depending on the

job to be done. When you plan your enquiry you should first analyse the
job and the applicant. This will help you clarify the questions that need
to be asked in order ·to receive answers to help you decide whether you
have the right applican t for the job.
If you want to hire a sales person, for example, you would need to
know about the applicant's personal~ty. So the questions to be asked \Nill
refer to the applicant's ability to meet' and get along with people, conver-
sational skills and aggressiveness. If you want to hire a an accountant,
however, such information might be of little importance. Instead you would
probably look for information about knowledge of the fie ld, experien ce,
and work habits.
It is advisable to avoid questions about the applicant's race, religion,
sex, age, pregnancy and marital status or any other question that is not
related to the job. Practices defer from country to country, with the United
States being the most sensitive to legal and ethical aspects related to the
right to privacy.
Do not forget" that usually the reader needs to know the nature,
responsibilities and requirements of the job in order to give you useful

"""' - -
information. Therefore help th,e reader ..and yourself by including with the
questions any information or explanation that wi ll help the reader answer.

3.PRAcnc~ ,T
1. Now look_ at the following enquuy an d com me nt on its
effectiveness. Refer to style, length, relevant infonnati on.

Dear Ms. Condeescu:

Mr. Hariton Neagu has applied to us for a job and has given your name ,
as a reference. He indicates that he worked under your supervision during I
the period 1996 - 2000. · I
We would be most appreciative if you would take some time and give ·
us your evaluation of Mr. Neagu. We are especially interested in his ability
to handle responsibility, knowledge of office procedures, work habits , and
morals .
Thanking you in advance for your courtesy, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

2. Work with a partner and write an improved versi on of the above

enquiry taking into account the points made in the presentation .

3. Look at the Jetter below. Your boss, Ramona M. Frunzetti, has left
you the letter to print out and mail during the day. T he letter was
authorized by Camelia Cater, an applicant for an accounti ng
position in yo ur company: It is a concise, we ll written letter but
unfortunately somebody deleted by mistake the 5 questions that
Ms Mcintosh from Sucaba-Bandera, Inco has to answer. Since
your experience in working for Ms Frunzetti, the HR manager, is
q uite long; you are not very worried. Make up the 5 m1ssmg
questions so that you can finish the letter and send if.

1.Complete the fragments of a letter of enquiry with the following words:

reference selection ability requirements assignments recommendation position

internship considerations response function business pressures assistance appraisal1

a)John Doe, a former intern with your company, has applied for a full-time …………… in our accounting
office. In an effort to assure a fair ................. process, we follow up on each reference submitted by our
applicants. May we ask you to help us evaluate John's application by sending us your personal ………..?

Our understanding is that John worked directly under your supervision during a summer ……………… with
your firm. We would appreciate your fully confidential …………….. of John's performance under your
direction. Three specific ……………… are essential to the position he is seeking. Could you please describe
for us (1) how he related to his co-workers, (2) his ability to cope with pressure, and (3) his willingness to
take on new or unfamiliar ……………… on short notice?

Since our decision must be made by the end of the month, we would like to receive your …………………
before April 25. If you are unable to send us a written recommendation in the envelope provided, we
would be happy to receive a phone call from you any time during regular ………………….. hours at 555-
5555. We know that your time is valuable and appreciate your …………………… in this matter.

b) One of your former employees, Eric Doe, has applied for a senior accountant position with our firm
and has listed you as a ……………... Could you please send us a letter offering your frank appraisal of Mr.
Doe's …………….. to fill this position?

Mr. Doe meets the education and certification ………………………. of the position, so we need information
about his work habits, his ability to …………… as part of a team, and his ability to function under
deadline……. Your assessment, which will be kept strictly confidential, is important to our hiring process.

Since we need to fill this position as quickly as possible, we look forward to receiving your letter within
the next two weeks. If you prefer to speak to me directly, please call me at 555-5555.

2.Read the following pieces of advice:

a.Tell your supplier what sort of organization you are.

b.Specify how you have heard about the company you are contacting.

c.Ask for catalogues, price lists, etc.

d.Ask for details. You should be specific and state exactly what you want.

e.Ask for samples and demonstrations.

f.Ask for an estimate or tender.2

g.End with a polite closing.

h.Indicate the possibility of substantial orders or further business.

3.Match these pieces of advice with the statements below:

1.I am planning to come and study in London next autumn and would be grateful if you could send me
details of your fees. I am particularly interested in courses in computing.

2.We hope to hear from you in the near future.

3.The British Consulate in Madrid has told us that you are looking for an agent in Spain to represent

4.If the product is satisfactory, we will place further orders with you in the future.

5.We are writing to a number of building contractors to invite estimates for the conversion of
Northborough Airfield3 into a sports centre. The work will include erecting buildings. The deadline for
completion is the end of December. If you can provide a competitive estimate please contact us at ...

6.Finally, we would like to point out that delivery before Christmas is essential, and hope that you can
offer us that guarantee.

7.We have heard about your latest equipment in laser surgery and would like more details. Please send
us any information you can supply, marking the letter 'For the Attention of Professor Kazuhiro', Tokyo
General Hospital, Tokyo.

8.We would be grateful for an early reply.

9.We are a co-operative wholesale4 society based in Zurich.

10.Could you please send your current catalogue and price list for exhibition stands? We are particularly
interested in stands suitable for displaying furniture.

11.If the prices quoted are competitive and the quality up to standard, we will order on a regular basis.

12.The Zena Chemical Company invites tenders from private contractors for the disposal of chemical
waste. Only those licensed to deal with toxic substance should apply. Further details from…

13.If you can agree to the concessions we have asked for, we will place a substantial order.

14.We were impressed by the selection of gardening tools displayed on your stand at this year's
Hamburg Gardening Exhibition.

15.Please would you send me an up-to-date price list for your building materials.

Estimates are quotations to complete a job, e.g. putting a new roof on a factory. Tenders are similar to
quotations, but in written form. They are often used when the job is a large one, e g. building a complete factory.
When the work is a large undertaking, there are often newspaper advertisements inviting tenders.
aerodrome, airport
the selling of goods in large quantities to be retailed by others.
Letter Practice 1
� � '" 0,; " _.

Complete the sentences in this letter. Use the words below.

appreciate custom known received

continued earliest possible reference


20 1 24 M I LANO
TEl.! (OZ) 777098 FAX: (OZ) 753899

December 1 , 2 0 -

Jouris Knockaert
Mem p h i s Design
Tu lpplein 4
1 0 1 8 GX Amsterdam

Dear Mr. Knockaert:

I (1 ) ______ your spri ng catalog and was pleased to see you are
aga i n maki ng you r l i ne of Memphis furniture. As you know, our fu rnitu re store
is (2) i n Europe as the biggest distributor of origi n a l
Memp h i s designs.

We wo uld l i ke to carry your new l i n e of Memphis furniture, but we do not

want to confuse our customers. Many of our customers w i l l only buy the
"origi nal" Mem p h i s furn iture from the 1 9 805. I s the date of man ufacture noted
on the furn iture? If not, wou ld it be (3) ______ to do so?

Your catalog does not make any (4) ______ to custom orders. Our
customers often want specific colors of fabric and wood. I s it possible to (5)
______ order these?

I wou ld (6) ______ heari ng from you at your (7 ) ------

conven ience and look forward to (8) ______ good relations w ith
Mem phis Design.

Si ncerely,

l?- . Caracciolo
R. Caracciolo
Sen ior Partner

� Unit 7
Letter Practice 1
- - � � - �.- - ",- " " . � ,''''' �-. , � - --#�....",.---

Complete the sentences in this letter. Use the words below.

addition hesitate further separate

custom-made inquiry pleased your

December 10, 20-

Mr. Roberto Caracciolo

Design 80
Piazza della Republica, 17
20 1 24 Milano

Dear Mr. Caracciolo:

Thank you for ( 1 ) ______ letter of December 1 . We, too, are excited
about our line of Memphis furniture reproductions.

I am (2) _______ to tell you that all reproductions are labeled and cannot
be confused with the original Memphis furniture we produced in the 1980s. In
(3) _______ , each rep roduction is stamped with the date it was produced.

I am sorry that we cannot fulfill your request for custom orders of fabric or wood
at this time. Perhaps we will do this in the future. Our Roma line of fine furniture
can be (4) . A Roma catalog will be sent to you under

(5) covec

If you have any (6) questions, please do not (7) ------

to contact me directly.

Again, thank you for your (8) ______

Sincerely yours,

Jouris Knockaert
President, Memphis Design

.� U nit 8


• discuss types of offers
• discuss·features of offers
• revise incoterms
., practice writing offers
e revise and practice adjective/noun/verb+ preposition combination


In pairs, try to answer the f oHowing questioJn§

1. What information would you include in an answer to a letter of

enquiry (offer)? .
2. Who would you send .an offer to?
3. What information would you include to "ternpt" the addressee to
send you an offer as quickly as possible?
4. As a buyer what would you look for in an offer except a good


Offers are the second link in the commercial communication, preceding

the drawing up and signing of a contract. Offers can be

@ solicited offers, requested by another person or company and are in

this case,·a reply to a general or specific enquiry your company has

' ...,.

• unsolicited offers, sales letters sent at the initiative of the manufacturer

I exporter I seller without a previous enquiry or
• a personalised or not personalised promotional fl yer advertising the
company's products.

While enquiries are not legally binding, offers can be
• . binding or firm
• conditioned, in which case the reasons for the rest1icb ons of the binding
status need to be mentioned by specific formula ti ons like : the offer is
valid until . . . , while stock lasts etc. or
• informative

Although there is a wide range of offers, the outhne below or slight

variations thereof is common to most answers to letters of enqiury (offers):
• Opening - in the case of an unsolicited offer - the opening g]ves reasons
for your sending the offer.
- in the case of a solicited offer you should
answer the enquirer's questions as specifically as possib1 e
address your prospective customer by name (e.g. Dear l\!ir.
thank the writer for his/her inquiry
mention the date of his/her letter
mention any other references that appear;
• Mention of the availability/inavailability of the produci(s) required.
• Mention of one or two selling points that make your product(s)
attractive and competitive.
• Mention of enclosures. Indicate if you enclose price-lists, catalogues,
prospectuses (make sure they are cunent ones), or if you send samples
under separate cover.
• Mention of price. The prices quoted can be gross prices (including
costs and charges such as transport, 'i surance and taxes) or net prices
(excluding extra costs). When prices tend to fluctuate, let your
prospective customer know that they are subject to chan ge .
e Mention of discounts. Discounts may be deducted from the net or gross I .
·price of produc ts and services. M.(lnUf(lcturers and wholesalers m.ay
allow f l

a trade discount - to sellers in similar trades

a quantity discount - to orders over a certain amount
a cash discount - if payment is made within a certai n time or
a loyalty discount - when firms have a long association.
s Mention of methods of payment. One of several methods of payment
(letter of credit, bill of exchange, "sight draft, cheque etc.) may be
suggested or required

Here is a specimen answer to an enquli:ry
'- - - - - - - -----··--------...
Lindt & Sprungli GmbH " - ..
Kafkaweg 125, Da52072 Aacheirn


Telefon 02 41/322 45,,0

Fax 02 41/322 45~17

Mr. R. Kinkaid Your ref: RK/dh

, Chief Buyer Our ref: WS/ 12
F. Lynch & Co Ltd.
125 Pennine Avenue
Glasgow, G7, 3TG 2. lVfay 20-

Dear Mr Kinkaid
Thank you for your letter of 20 April, in which you enqui red about om I
confectionery products. I
We are pleased to enclose our latest price list and cato1ogue as requested. ·
Please note that the prices are quoted c.i.f. Hamburg.

We would particularly like to draw your attention to our

•. marzipan chocolates (catalogue code CB 08) and
" coffee truffles (catalogue code CA 11) I

f. ;

for which there is a special discount of 5% on all orders received within the
nex t 30 days, in addition to our usual 15% trade discount. We deal on payment
by irrevocable L/C payable at sight, issued by a prime international bank.

Should you have any other queries, please contact us agai n. I

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and can assure you that your I
order will be dealt with promptly.
Yours sincerely

I: .

Wolfgang Steiner
Senior Sales Manager




The. offer is usually an answer to a letter of enquiry. T he following words

demand, request, query are close in meaning to enquiry and often confused
with it. Read the explanations given for each word.

demand v·. means a. ask for something as if one is cornmandin g; it is

almost an order.
e .g. I demand that you leave this office at once, or else I call security.
b . require (something); need
e.g. -M anagerial positions demand good interpersonal skills.
denzand n. means a. command, strong reques t
e.g. The truckdri vers' demands for a wage increase is still under debate .
b. (in econ01nics) desire of customers for goods or
services which they ·
wish to buy or use; it is the opposite of supply.
e.g. With the rise of prices for elect1icity, demands for electrical appliances
has dropped.
be in demand nieans much wanted; popular
e.g. Our garden furniture has been in great demand this summer.
on demand means when asked for
e.g. Samples of our new swimwear line are av ailable on demand.
denianding adj . requiring a lot of time , effort, skill
e.g. Working in the media can be exciting but also very demanding .
enquiry (also spelt inquiry) about someboby/something means:
a. a request for information
e.g. The bank has had a lot of enqui ries a?out its new savings scheme.
b. a formal investigation
e.g. Police are making a full enquiry relating to the forged banknotes
enquire (also spe1t inquire) v. about somebody/something
e .g. I am wri ting to enquire about your Proficiency courses in English
beginning in September.
request v. and n . means to ask somebody (especially politely} to do
e .g. Passengers are requested to rem ain seated until the t;1ircraft comes to
a complete stop.


e.g. It is important to learn how to make a polite request in a foreign

language .

(up )on request means when asked for, on deman d

query" (not common in AE) v. and n. means:
a. (ask) a question about a specific point which needs clarification .
e.g. The report on solutions for turnover increase has raised several que1i es .
b. express doubt about something, question
e.g. I'm certain the companiy's accountant will query your travel expenses.

10.4. Complete the following sentences with demand, enquby, rrequrestJ

query or words and expressions derived from them. Be §llll!re t({}
use the correct form.

1. The management here makes too many ... on its staff.

. 2. After the leakage of information about our latest product we set ·
up a 'fuU ....
3. Vvhat I particularly appreci ate about him as a manager is that he
sets goals that are . . . but realistic.
4 . In answer to your .. . of 14 May, I regret to inform you that we
no longer manufacture the type of lawn mower you refer to.
5. I'm happy to inform you that your .. . for the con1pany to fi n ance
your 2 weeks training course has been granted.
6. If I may, I have a . .. about
7 . As the warm weather is approaching '171'.e expec t an increased
for air-conditioners in the next few weeks.
8. As ... , I enclose our new catalogue and feel sure that you will
find in it many items that will interest you .

10.5. Booklet, brochure, cataloglLe; leaflet are often co:nfHsed. Read

the explanations below, then complete the sentences with U:he
appropriate word. Be sure to use t he correct form.

A booklet is a thin book of about 20 pages, usually on 21 x 15 cm paper

and in papet covers, containing e.g. instructions for use, biief information on
education institutions, various exams etc.

A brochure is similar to a booklet but its primary role is advertising.

Therefore it is in colour and printed on glossy paper.

•.. r ' ' ~~"fM'n,_.,.~

... :!,.._~:~~.·.~

A catalogue/catalog (AE) serves both information and advertising

purposes. It is generally quite large, at least 50 and sometimes up to l ,ooo or
i· more pages and contains a list of goods - usually with prices, illustrations,
1- technical .details - that can be bought froi,n a manufacturer or supplier.

A leaflet is one sheet of paper, usually folded into two or three sections,
providin g information on a product, service or event.

1. Our ARGOS spring/summer ... contains over 4,000 top quality

products for you to choose from.
2. You can find information about our plant and its products in th is
glossy . . . distributed by our PR people.
3. Unfortunately most of the ... distributed in the street every day
land in the next wastebasket.
4. You will receive a .. . with full instructions in English, German ,
I French and Spanish upon purchase of the microwave oven .
I- 5. Our ... for the coming trade-fair look really impressive - lots of
colour and first-rate photographs.
6. Try to squeeze this advertisment of our fitness centre onto a one-
page . ...


Write a letter to Don McLean, Purchasing rv.fanager of the retai l chain

ToysRUs, 68 Glendale Road, Edinburgh, E6 8TG. You are the Sales Manager

Many adjectives I nouns I verbs are ifoH1Dwed !by a pairtkuda r ·
preposition which is, more often than not, diffe:reITTtt rnr nuissnng in One lillafrve
language of the users. It is therefore advisab[\8 to lieaurn the adjecfrvq~ I
noun I verb + preposition combinations as muurlh arnd piradke them in
context. Here are three lists of common adjective§ I IDlOill!Jrn§ /verlhs aJrlld ttlhe
prepositions that norn1ally follow them.

a. Adjective + preposition combililatfons

Accustomed to doubtful about proud of

afraid of enthusi astic about . related to
answerable to excited about responsible to sb. /for sth .
annoyed about sth. I famous for rich in
with sb . good at I for I with sth. satisfied with
attached to guilty of serious about
anxious abou t identical to similar to
aware of interes ted in sorry about sth. I for
bad at I for I with sth. opposed to doing smth. /(feel) sony
capable of pleased with for sb.
critical of popular wi th suspicious of
depen dent on used to (=accustomed
different from to) J
lb. Nomrn +preposition combiITTiatfoll1l§·

ddiction to demand for order for

dvantage of
disadvantage of price of
Advice on example of reason for
l Altemati ve to experience of I in reply to
Benefit of fall in I of request for
Connec tion with I increase in I of ri se in I of
between interest in solution to
. 'l
Cause of lack of sympathy for
Cheque for matter with tax on h 1

cost of need for troub le with · ,.

decrease in I of opinion of witness to
damage to
-·--·---·----,~~----~J ~

. 1

Words referring to increase or decrease can be followed by Mlrll or IDlif. hn

refers to someth]ng that has risen or fallen; o:f refers to a quantity or amount.

e .g. There has been a dramatic increase in price,; over the lastfe1v months.
There has been an increase of 5.6 %.

c. Verb + preposition combinations

Account for consent to negotiate with !
agree on, to sth. I with consist of (be made up pay for I
sb., sth . of sth.) I in (• .have refer to
allow for sth. as its chief or only rely on
amount to element or feature) succeed in
approve of sb., sth . . cope with take care of
apply for deal with talk to
apologi ze to sb. for sth. depend on think about sth . (=con--
[. argue about hear about I fro m centrate on) I of sth.
I .
believe in hope for (= consider)
belong to insist on wait for
complain to look at I for worry about
comply with look forward to write to
conform to

10.7. Complete the sentences using an adjective from box A aurud a

preposition from box B (some prepositions can occtff more thaim .
once). The first one has been done for you as m11 ex21mple.

responsible of
l I
to w ith
simi lar satisfied about
aw are different J
1. Some of the staff are not very _______ relocating to a cheaper
2. Could you tell me who is customer complaints?
3. My current job is very my previous one.
4. She has a lot of responsibility. She is only the
Managing Director.
5. Last month the company's sales dropped dramatically. This is only
- - - - - --a slump registered 5 years ago.
6. I've always been people who don't look you in the
;· 7. Our shareholders are greatly _ _ _ _ _ _ the profit and loss
account we publish twice a year.


8. The chaim1an opened the meeting by saying he was _ _ _ _ __

the progress made.
9. The press were the company because staff training
had not improved.
10. Most American companies are a growth in
competition from A sian producers.

10.8. Complete the sentences using a Rrnu.n from bmr A and a

preposition frmn box B (some preposition§ cmrn occur more than

lack cheque m for
increase nse of to
experience request with

reply addiction
trouble cost .
1. As soon as we receive your $2500 vve will despatch
the goods which will reach you within a few days.
2. There has been a considerable unemployment over
the last 6 months.
3. If the bank grants our - - - - -- - a larger overdraft we can
consider increasing R&D funds.
4. H ave we received a that complaint we sent a week
5. Ye sterday the Dresdner Bank announced an intere st rate
_ _ _ _ _ _ o,5%. I
6. drugs is one of the severest problems of our time.
7. What it boils down to when speaking about inflation is, in the long
term, the raw materials.
8. Unfortunately, after 2 years the research had to be abandoned for
- - -- -- funds.
9. After a lot of - - - - - - - customers who \vouldn't pay us, we
sought legal advice.
10. Given his little \Vorking overseas, I don't believe he
would be suitable for the job in Singapore.

10.9. Complete the sentences using a, verb from b ox A. amid 21
preposition from box B (some prepositions can occuur moire than

A .B
think 2x amount m to
succeed refer of about
depend comply with on with.
look forward consist

1. The consultancy fees much more than we ca afford.

2. I need to admit that, despite my previous misgivings, I totally
- - - - - - - the
way our new sales agent handled the crisis.
3. I am confident we will reaching our sales target of a
12% increse.
4. All the toys sold through our chain of retail stores fully
_ __ _ _ _ _ European safety standards.
5. Our company is setting up a joii1t venture, but we
would like more information on local employment and tax conditions
6. The amount of discounts we allow - - - - - - -- the size of orders
and their regularity.
7. We thank you for your interest and - - -·- - hearing from
you soon:
8. Today's agenda three items: review of our marketing
performance in the cmTent year, new products and marketing plans
for next year.
9. Thank you for the additional information. We are _ _ _ _
your offer and will get back to you shortly. ·
10. If you · the attached leflet you will find all the
necessary details on our special trade discounts.


Look at the following quotations. Do you agree 1t1ith the ideas' expressed?
To what extent? Comment on their applicability to our own business context.

Coffee stains 9n the flip--down trays mean [to the passengers]_ that we do
our engine maintenance wrong.

t ......, -·~-- ... ~


. •'

• To practice ordering goods/services
• To handle correspondence related to orders


1. Order letters seem to have- gone out of fash ion. However with the
advance of the Internet things may have changed. Discuss the importance of
writing order letters nowadays.
2. Who would you send an order (letter) to?
3. What information would you include in an order?


Order letters are rarely written today as orders are placed orally with
salespeople or made on a company's official order form which is pre-printed.
Since electronicmail is so popular nowadays there can be situations when you
have to send an email which,more oft~n than not takes the form of a classical
letter, especially in formal situations. Even if you place an order by phone thi s
must be confirmed in writing. If you work for a company it is good practice to
accompany the order by a covering letter or a compliment slip ._
.' ~

It is therefore important" to k~ow how to write a proper orde{1'etter when

it is the case to do so. You have to be careful and have in your Tetter a1l the
relevant information such as the date and a reference 1nrnl!Rnlber that should be
quoted in any c01Tespondence_which refers to the order. A letter should also.
confirm terms of payment, discount~, delivery and packing.

As a guide to writing an order letter follow this plan :
~ start directly giving clear authorization
~ give a clear list arranging items with identifying facts (quantity,
quality, price, catalogue number)
~ cover details of delivery and terms of payment
~ end on a goodwill note

A · covering letter for an order should have the following points,

depending on what the actual situation is . Under each heading you have
some useful language to be used in various occasions.

~ say that an order is enclosed:

The enclosed order (No. 5623) is for 70 gross of golden buttons.
Please find enclosed our Order No. MZ-23850 for 45 blue and
silver breakfast sets.
Your letter of 4 July prompted me to place a trial order fo r the
new body lotion you mentioned. Therefore, please find enclosed....

~confirm the terms of payment, discounts agreed, delivery dates:

You gave us a 12.5% trade discount. Although we expected a
larger one, we will place an order' with you. However we hope
that you will consider a review of this allowance at some time in the
future. Thank you for the 25% trade discount and 7% quantity discount
you allowed us.
1, Delivery before 12 April is a firm condition ·of this order. l-'Ve
reserve the right to refuse goods delivered after that time .
~mention terms of delivery. Even if you have a forwarding agent
you need to give them instructions on how you want the goods
packed, etc. This is important when the consignment arrives late
or in damaged condition. Your letter would be evidence of the
steps you have taken to a~oid any problems. ·
Please send the goods DHL as we need them, urgently.
: I]f~;:ftiachines mi~st be wellgreased with all movable parts secured
b1efore being loaded into crates which must be marked * and
numbered 1 to 5.
. E_ach crystal glass ·is to be individually wrapped in thick paper,
packed in polystyrene and shipped in cardboard boxes.



23 Vigilanti Str,
Edinburgh E2 9EB

Ref EB/i d
15 January 200_
Mr Ted Frost
Border Tweeds Ltd
Gaunts Common

Dear Mr Frost

Thank you for your quotation of 6 January , also for the san1ples of tweed .

. We enclose our order no 37 to be sent by British Road Services. Please

deliver by 10 February as the tweed is required to complete an urgent
export order.

Yours sincerely,
'Eric '13a/(j:r

Eric Baker
Chief Buyer

I .



1.Read the following pieces of advice:

a.Make it clear that there is an order accompanying the letter.

b.Confirm terms of payment.

c.Confirm the agreed discounts.

d.Confirm the delivery dates.

e.Advise the company on how you want the goods packed/ Advise the company on how you want the
goods sent.

f.End with a polite closing.

2.Match these pieces of advice with the statements below:

1.We wiII place further orders if this one is completed to our satisfaction.

2.We advise delivery by road to avoid constant handling of this fragile consignment1.

3.It is essential that the goods are delivered before the beginning of November, in time for the
Christmas sales period.

4.We hope that this wiII be the first of many orders we place with you.

5.The enclosed order (no. R154) is for 50 packets of A4 copier paper.

6.If our sales targets are met, we shall be placing further orders in the near future.

7.... and we agreed that payments would be made …

8.Delivery before 28 February is a firm condition of this order, and we reserve the right to refuse goods
delivered after that time.

9.I look forward to receiving your confirmation.

10.The carpets should be wrapped, and packaging reinforced at both ends to avoid wear.

11.Thank you for your reply of 4 May regarding our email about the mobile phones. Enclosed you will
find our official order (No. B 563) for ...

12.Please confirm that you can complete the work before the end of March, as the opening of the store
is planned for early April.

13.Finally, we would like to confirm that the 25% trade discount is quite satisfactory.

a batch of goods destined for or delivered to someone.
Model Letter: Requ esting a Service

Look at the different elements of a letter requesting a service.

CeliFirst, Inc.
1 0 Horbor PI.ce Bdltimore, Moryld"d 21220

Tel: (443) 5 5 5 ·5522

Fax: (443) 5 5 5 · 5 5 5 7
www.cellf; ..
January 28, 20-
Jan Tu rner
Arrowhead East Conference C e n ter
4 1 2 Bel levue Lane
An n apol i s, MD 2 1 401

Dear Ms. Tu rner:

Opening __ -1-:1... [ I n our telephone conversation yesterday, we d i scussed � I a ns to cond uct o u r tra i n i n g
sem i nar at yo ur conference center. I wou ld l i ke t o contirm those p l a n s .


The dates of the sem i nar are March 1 5 th and 1 6t h . The hours are 1 :00 P. M . to 6:00
P.M. on the 1 5 th and 9:00 A . M . to 3 :00 P.M. on the 1 6t h . Ei ghty people w i l l be
attendi ng. We w i l l need a tota l of fou r rooms: one large room and th ree sma l ler
break-o ut rooms.
Focus ---....�
... I

As we disc ussed, we w i l l need a m i crophone and speakers i n the large room as

wel l as a computer projecti o n system. In each break-out room, we w i l l need five
tab l es, and a mon i tor and VCR.

On Mardi 1 6th, we w i l l have a catered l u nch. I wo u l d appreci ate your fax i ng me

the menu choi ces as soon as poss i b le, but no later than Friday, February 4th .

Action --- -r--.... I I wou ld also appreci ate receivi ng the projected costs for our two-day meeting. You do
not need to in clude the l u nch catering costs at this time. Cou ld you fax or e-ma i l me
your cost projections by January 3 1 st? I w i l l give you final confirmation of our
reservation by close-of-busi ness on the 3 1 st.

Closing __ -+....... [

I wzmt to thank you fo. r your help i n p l a n n i n g our sem i nar. I look forward to
meet i n g you next week when I come to look over you r fac i l ities.

B est wishes,

Curt MarK..$
Curt Marks
Spec i a l Projects Officer Useful Language
I n our conversation yesterday, we discussed --- '
'--________________--1 I would like to confirm ___ .

We will need ___ .

I would appreciate receiving

.� Unit 3
The body of a letter requesting a service generally has four parts.

Part Content Example

Opening Tel l why you are writing. In our telephone conversation yesterday, we
discussed plans to conduct qur training seminar at
your conference center. . . .

Focus Give details about The dates of the seminar are March 1 5th and
your request. 1 6th. The hours are 1 :00 P.M. to 6:00 P. M. on the
1 5th and 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. on the 1 6th.
Eighty people will be attending. We will need a
total of four rooms: one large room and three
smaller break-out rooms. . . .

Action Give a time frame. . . . Could you fax or e-mail me your cost projections
by January 31 st? . . .

Closing Thank the reader and I want to thank you for your help in planning
mention future our seminar. I look forward to meeting you
communication. next week . . . .

Practice 1 Write 0 if the sentence is for the opening, F for focus, A for action, or C
for clOSing.

1. __ I look forward to your response.

2. We expect 25 participants.

iWef1; SAID 3. __ Please call me to confirm the rooms by next Friday.

The expression
4. I'm sending you confirmation today of the details that
business usually means we discussed.
5:00 P.M., since most
'--_ ._-.,..._--- ----

businesses are open from

9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. In
We are holding our annual meeting and I would like to get
informal correspondence,
information about your facilities.
you can use the abbreviation I will get back to you by COB April 1 with the names of
COB. (I will fax this report by the participants.
COB tomorrow.)
I look forward to your phone call.
In addition to the meeting rooms, we will reserve five guest < V 'JUI.",

9. __ We now need chairs and tables for 35 attendees.

10. __ I would like to confirm the information that we discussed on the
phone today.
11. __ We look forward to meeting with you.
12. Are you available to meet on Thursday at 3:00?

-- I would like you to confirm the menu by the end of the week.
__ I await your confirmation.
-_ We will need a buffet lunch for Monday, Tuesday, and WE�dnes(iay
-_ I would like to receive information about your conference !<",!ll!U"" " 1

Requesting a Service �
Writing You r Message
. ,.
(O p e n i ng
In the opening of the letter, explain why you are writing. Often, when
requesting a service, you are following up on a previous conversation. Make
specific reference to the earlier communication.

Practice 2 Complete these sentences. Use the prepositions at, by, for, in, of, or on. Some of
the prepositions may be used more than one time.

1. Thank you ____ your telephone call this morning.

2. We would like to hold our meeting Barnaby Place.

3. Please e-mail the menu Wednesday morning.

4. We will need sixty chairs the large room.

5. I would like a list ____ rates for the meeting rooms.

6. The meeting will end ____ July 14th.

The focus of a letter requesting a service is to let the service provider know
what you need. Be as clear and exact as possible.
Not clear and exact We need some rooms.
Clear and exact We will need a total offour rooms: one large
room and three smaller break-out rooms.

Practice 3 Choose the sentence that is more clear and exact.

1. a. We will need a microphone and speakers.

b. We need sound equipment.
2. a. Can you get back to me sometime?
b. Could you fax or e-mail me your response tomorrow?
3. a. Eighty people will attend the meeting.
b. Fewer than one hundred people will attend the meeting.
4. a. We are going to have a two-day meeting, March 15th and 16th.
b. We are going to have a meeting.
5. a. The training seminar will take place on March 15 and 16.

/WelL SAID 6.
b. The training seminar will take place in March.
Would it be possible to have audiovisual equipment in the
ASAP means as soon as

possible. Using ASAP means

break-out rooms?
that you need something
b. Would it be possible to have a monitor and VCR in each of the three
very quickly, but it doesn't smaller break-out rooms?
give an exact date and time.
If you need something done
a. We'll need a few rooms.
by a certain time or date, b. We will need a total of four rooms.
be specific.
8. a. Could you e-mail or fax me your cost projections by tomorrow?
b. Could you e-mail me your cost projections ASAP?

� Unit 3
In the action part of the letter, give a time frame for some action to be done.
You may promise to do something, or you may ask the recipient of the letter
to do something. Again, it is important to be specific.
You also must be polite. Use would or could to ask someone to do something.
I would also appreciate receiving the projected costs for our
two-day meeting.
Could you fax or e-mail me your costs by January 31st?

Practice 4 Rewrite these sentences as polite requests using would or could. Add your own
time frame.

Fax me the menus. Would you fax me. the. R!! M'W 9th?

2. Send me the cost projections. _________________________

Many conferences begin .

with a session attended by 3. Provide lunch. ______________________________________

all the participants. After this

session, the large group 4. Open three additional rooms for break-out meetings. _________

breaks out into smaller

groups. The smaller sessions
are held in break-out rooms.
S. Give me the price per person for coffee breaks. _____________

The expression per person

means for each person. For
example, if the price of the
coffee break is $5.00 per 6. Put audiovisual equipment in the three break-out rooms. _______

person and there are 1 00

people, the total cost of the
coffee break is $500.00.
7. E-mail me the cost per person. ______________________

8. Get back to me on the dates of the training seminar. _____________

9. Add two more speakers in the large room. ____________

10. Tell me the total number of attendees. _______________

In the clOSing, mention some further communication. The communication

may be a phone call, a meeting, a letter, a fax, or an e-mail.

Practice 5 Write sentences using the expression I look forward to [+ -ing verb]. Use each
type of communication listed below. Add a specific time.

1. receiving an e-mail I looK, forward to re.cei1dYg' your e.-mail to"W(;(2rrow

2. receiving a fax ______________________________________

3. receiving a letter __________________________

4. receiving a phone call _____________________________

5. meeting ____________________________

Requesting a Service .�
letter Practice 1
, � - � - - ' � .. . --,

Complete the sentences in this letter. Use the words below.

approximately confirm forward rooms

available conversation possible take place

Bectrlcal Engineering
55 Lakeshore Drive
Chicago, lL 60603

June 1 1 , 20-

Ms. Joanne Way

Cal iforni a Convention and Trade Center
1 5 5 Figueroa Street
los Angeles, CA 9 1 3 3 5

Dear M s . Way:

In o u r telephone (1 ) th is morni ng, we d iscussed the upcom ing

convention of the Assoc iation of Electrical Engi neering. I want to (2) ______

the fo l l owi ng information.

The conference w i l l (3) ______ December 3-4. We expect

(4) 700 engi neers and exhibitors to attend the conference.
We w i l l need one l arge hall for the welcome speech and fifteen break-out
(5) , each with a 50-person capacity. Overhead projectors and
computers should be (6) for each roo m.

Wou ld it be (7) ______ for you to provide a formal l u nch on the fi nal day of
the conference? I f so, please fax the menu selections to me before Friday.

I al so look (8) to receiving you r price esti mates by next Monday.

Please call me if you need additional i nformation.

Si ncerely,

John Onal
Events Manager

1!.; Unit 3
Model Letter: Confirm ing a Service
.. "" . . �

Look at the different elements of a letter confirming a service.

Arrowhead East Conference Center

4 1 2 Bellevue Lane
Anna polis, MD 2 1 401

February 4, 20-

Mr. Curt Marks

Special Projects Officer
CeliFirst, Inc.
10 Harbor Place
Baltimore, Maryland 2 1220

Opening ------Hl...
[ Dear Mr. Marks:

Thank you for your January 28 letter expressing interest in Arrowhead East
Conference Center. This letter will confirm our subsequent telephone call
discussing plans for your meeting.

We understand your company would like to reserve our conference facilities March
15 and 16. Eighty people will attend your meeting. You will need a total of four
rooms: one large room and three smaller break-out rooms.

As you requested, we will provide a microphone and speakers in the large room, as
well as a computer projection system. We understand that you are bringing your
Focus ------+....1..
own computer. We need to know the computer's model and operating system.
Please provide us this information four weeks before the start of the conference.

In each break-out room , we will provide five tables and a monitor and VCR. Please
let us know whether you want 6' rectangular tables or 4' round tables. This request
can be submitted one week before the conference.


On March 16, we will provide a buffet lunch. The menu choices were faxed to you
last Friday. Please tell us your menu selections one week before the conference.
Action ----- -+...... 1
As you requested, I faxed the projected costs last week. After you decide on the

required equipment and the type of lunch, we can finalize the cost estimate.

_____ j-IIIoo- I appreciate having the opportunity to plan your meeting. We look forward to
showing you our facility when you visit this week.


Jan 7urne.r
Useful Language
This letter will confirm
Jan Turner
___ .
Meeting Planner
]T/ss We understand your company would like

Ii! As you requested, ___

Please provide us this information ___ .

� Unit 4

Composing Your Message

"-' - - � � - - * < �

The body of a letter confirming a service generally has four parts.

Part Content Example

Opening Tell why you are writing. . . . This letter will confirm our
subsequent telephone call discussing
plans for your meeting.
Focus Restate the client's We understand your company would
needs completely. like to reserve our conference facilities
March 1 5 and 1 6 . . . .
Action Discuss problems, if any. On March 1 6, we will provide a buffet
lunch. The menu choices were faxed
to you last Friday. Please tell us your
menu selections one week before
the conference�. �.. .
Closing Thank the reader. I appreciate having the opportunity to
plan your meeting . . . .

Practice 1 In each question, two of the sentences are appropriate to use in a letter
confi rming a service. Circle the letters of the two sentences.

1. Opening
a. We are pleased to confirm the plans for your conference, March 12-13.
b. Did you need a place for your meeting?
c. I am confirming the arrangements for your company's reception on
May 11.
2. Focus
a. As you outlined in your fax, we can provide six large rooms equipped
with microphones and speakers.
b. As you said on the phone, you will need one room that can be made
I Goodt Business .,
larger or smaller.
c. I know you need many different services for your meeting.

Look at the 3. Action

second memo a.Please let us know a week before your conference begins whether you
on page 27. will need a technician's assistance.
The letters cc b. Our meeting rooms are very large.
mean carbon
copy. When you c. We will fax the price estimates to you today.
put a name after ce, it
4. Closing
means that the person gets
a copy of the e-mail or a. We thank you for this opportunity to serve you.

letter because it contains b. I will fax the estimates tomorrow.

c. We are happy that you have chosen Sunburst as your event planner.
important information.

Confirming a Service 1!,)

Kitline Ltd.
78 Chestnut Road
Mr. Li viu Nicolau
Sales Manager
Moblux SRL
. 7621 lStr. Austrului 15, Sector 5
Bucure~ti , Romania

Our ref: JS/ gm/Rom 25

Your ref:

Since we have firm orders from our customers, plea_se arrange for an '
immediate dispatch of the missing cupboards. We aresorry to remind you
that, if you do not replace the wrong goods -within 10 day_s as from the
receipt of this letter, we will be obliged to refer to the Penalty Clause
sti pulated in our contract.
According to a previous agreement with you, we have placed the merchandise
in our warehouse and we will keep it there until you can collect it. I.

To help you avoid additional transportation costs, we could find a local H

buyer for the tables and we are ready to do that if you can offer us a 2%
discount for the remaining shipments. If this is not convenient for you, you
will have to pay for the time when your goods have been stored in our
warehouse. I
I look forward to hearing from you soon. I
Yours sincerely I
Jane Smart
Supply Manager

·"''·"' ··; -· .· ·

Though a letter of complaint refers to undesirable facts, mistakes made
by our partners, with negative effect on our activity, the tone of the letter should
be polite and respectful, no mater the degree of our irritation. We have to Etart
from the idea that many mistakes occur acc.identally, that we make mistakes
ourselves and that, sometimes, it is easier to be helpful than vindicative.

2.2 When you make a written complaint, the aspects you are writing
about should be presented in a certain order. Below is a !i§t of
the points a letter of complaints usually includes. Analyse M§
Jane Smart's letter and divide it into 6 parts according to 11:llu:
.following points:

a. stating the subject; reference to documents (connection with the

"subject line", if expressed)
b. stating the rea~on of complaint;
c. suggesting possible causes of the problem;
d. stating the action-you request your partner to take;
e. mentioning the action taken by you (if any)
f. making suggestions to solve the problem (special requests to
compensate you for the losses suffered; mentioning penalties if the
partners may fail to repair the situation).

2.3 Explaining the problen1

In a letter of complaint, the paragraph explaining the problem is a key

one and has double function. On the one hand, it must signal your partner that
something wrong happened, and, on the other hand, it should maintain - by
tone - the previous friendly relationship. Therefore, the writer should select
words carefully and combine them skillfully so that the reader should understand
his/her full responsibility for all the negative consequences detiving from the
mis take but, at the same time should find, in the letter, the necessary
encouragement to take action and solve the problem. Stiiking a balance between
irritation and tolerance, inviting to immediate action and warning - when
necessary - about possible penalties or legal action, expressing goodwill and
understanding is, no doubt, the most difficult task in w1iting a letter of complai nt.
We give below a list of w_ords and phrases that can be used to build up
polite negative messages:

"we are sorry but we have to remind you that. ..... '

"Unfortunately, ... .. ."

"we regretfully inform you that. .. ... "
"we regret but we have to dr"aw your attention to .. .. .. "
"we are sorry to inform you that. ..... "
"we were surprised to find out that. ..... "

2.3.a You have been in the.building industry for a long period of time and
you have good reputation for the quality of your works. Recently, you have ~
had difficulties with some of your new suppliers. You are preparing for writing i
some complaint letters .to them. Write a paragraph explafoing the problem in I
each of the following situations: ·1

non-delivery of gravel
ten -boxes of bolts missing from the last shipment j.

100 tons of lime delivered without Guarantee Cerificate lI

500 tons of edge · iron .sent to your site by mistake

• i
100 tins of paint of a lower quality than that agreed on
mistakes in Invoice no . 245 of 21 Jan. 2002 for 200 tons of
reinforcing bars; unit price given as . ....... ~ ... instead of . ~ .... :J

Use any of the expressions given in 2.3 above to begin your paragraph of
2.4 Suggesting a solution ~1
Suggesting a solution is another important point of a complaint letter. ~I
Surprisingly, when you make a complaint, you are in a favorable position as J
yqu are the first to make suggestions .for solving the problem. You have to 1
know how to take advantage of it. Your partner will have to give priority to
your suggestions being more willing to accept them in order to ·avoid damaging II
his/her position. This is why you should analyze the situation carefully an d j

make reasonable and realistic .proposals that, given the circumstances, may .· :J

serve you best.

2.4.a Select one of the ~olutions in column A which a customer may

use to make suggestions for each of the claims in column B:

- ....-.Gi<.•


r --..
t:'..~~>·~\?t~·.~ t ' ,

i 1. Please replace the wrong i terns and a. On checking the consignment, we
I applx a reduction of 5% in price in have found out that there was a
f order to compensate the delay you shortage of 156 kg of meat
caused us.

2. As you have caused us se1ious trou- b. We are suprised to find out that

I bles, please speed up the dispatch

of goods. Due to the present situa-
two of the computers we have
bough t from you do· not work.
tion, we shall apply a 3% reduction
to payment.
3. Please take action to speed up pay- c. We are really upset that you failed
ment operations and also add the in sending us the goods at the ti me
corresponding amount for delayed agreed on. · I
payment as per Payment Clause in
our Contract. . I

4. Please send us the missing quantity d. We have recently checked our i

as soon as possible. Taking into accounts and .have surprisingly
account the inconveniences crea- found out that you did not pay for
ted, we find it reasonable to be the goods you have purchased from
offered a 2% discount for the whole us according to Invoice no. 259 of
quantity ordered. · 10 Dec. 2000. -· j


3.1 Replace the words given in italics by suitable synonyms:

a. Equal quantities of goods will be sent at regular intervals by trucks.

b. We have to write to him again about the missing quanti~y we have
found out on checking the trucks.
c. Repeated complaints may affect the image of the company.
d. They discovered the defect only when the production unit was first
e. The time fixed.for dispatching the materials shall be strictly observed.
f. Some partners.from whom you buy goods are very keen with terms of
g. In case you receive a complaint you have to investigate the situation at

,. ..... ~.l ..

h. Why don't you let them know about the extra quantity you discovered .i
with the last week delivery?
l. Our partner sent a letter referring to the mistake our installing team
J. They have suffered serious losses and expect something from us to
balance this.


4.1 Oral vs. Written complaints

In business, as in our every-day life, we may find ourselves in the

uncomfortable situation of making complaints either orally or in writing. As
you know, when we have to make complaints orally, our face expression, our
looks and, particularly, the intensity of our voice carry additional emotional
information. By observing the partner's reaction; we can intensify or diminish
these signals so as to communicate our feelings without destroying the business
When we communicate this i_n writing, we have to rely only on the power
of the written words and on our ability to combine them such a way as to build
up polite negative mess ages: .

"We regretfully inform you that. ..... "

"We regret to mention that you failed in packing the goods as. per our
instructions and ...... "
"As your latest consignment contafos goods 'o f a lower quality than that
agreed on, we are obliged to ... "
"We are sorry to inform/to let you know that. .. ... "
"Unfortunately, ... . .'. ''
"We have been quite surprised to find out that ...... "
"We are sorry but we have to remind you tha:t ...... "

4.1.a Read the oral con1plaints given below and then find s1Ullltalb ~e
equivalents for thein to be used in letters of complaints. You may choosie
from the forn1ulas above or may express the complaint in a diffe:r~m1t bli!lt
adequate way.:

a. "You see, we have checked the consignment carefully. Half of the goods
are absolutely unacceptable. If you compare them we the reference
sample, it will be very clear thqt they are of a low quality. I wonder
how was that possible?"

b. "It's amazing! We have opened all the boxes and they all contained
toys: This must have been another partner's order."
c. "Believe me, it's not pleasant at aH, but I have to mention it again.
Your people in the Accounting Depa1imen·t have made a mess of these
documents. I'1n sorry but we ,can'{have busilless with amateurs."
d. "Look, Mr. Clemon. We can't do with these materials. I don't like to
say that, but if you do not send us replacements as soon as possible, I
will have to cancel the remaining of our order 23 7 of 20 March 2002.
Sorry, but there's no other way out of this situation. "

4.2. Mild to Strong Complaints

Con1plaint letters may express various levels of insatisfaction. Conse~

quently, their tone n1ay vary from mild to strong complaints. The frag1nents
given below have been taken from various letter~ of~compla!nt. A:rraITTge
then1 according to -the intensity of con1plaint, (fron1 the, mHdest to tlhe
strongest/almost threat). Discuss this with your ·deskmate identifyhng
explicit and implicit elements of the message that helped you to esfa.b!i§Jh
the level of the complaint.
a. "We are sorry to inform you that, if you do ·not replace the wrong
· goods within 10 days as from the date ofthi_s letter, we will be obliged .
to refer to the Penalty Clause stip~lated in our contract.' - . .
• i. • ' '·

b. "We do remind you that you are responsible for all the maintenance
works for this first year. If you do not ·send someone . to carry out the
works as soon as possible, we have no other alte1native than to suit
you in the court".
c. "We have been ~urprised to find out that the goods have . been so
negligently packed, taking into account that you have observed our
instructions strictly with all the previous orders. Please look into this
matter and make sure that this will not happen in the future."
d, "Your latest ,consignment has again been marked as "undershipment".
_We are really annoyed at your persistence into .negligence. Provided
that the remaining quantity is not sent in a week, we will be forced to
cancel our order and find another supplier."
e. "We are sorry t.o inform you that, as payment is substantially overdue
and you did not answer any of our previous letters on this subject, we
have instructed our solicitors to take the required legal proceedings
·· for solving the situation."

Model Claim letter
- r � ' . � � " � .

Look at the different ele ments of a claim letter.

Wils 8r
5 1 Wimbleton Road Toronto, Ontario M4D 2V8 Canada
TEL: (416) 5 5 5 -4444 • FAX: (4I ?) 5 5 5 -4443 • WWW.WILSCO.NET.CA

May 7, 2G-

Ms. Rowanda Fisher

Customer Service Manager
New Tech Answers
454 Liberty Road
Philadelphia, PA 1 9 1 48

Dear Ms. Fisher:

In a recent shipment from New Tech Answers, there were two problems: we
received the wrong manuals and our account was incorrectly billed.
On April 1 , we placed the following order: one copy ofTM-005 3-3 and one
copy ofTM-0056-7. On May 7, we received two copies ofTM-0035-3. We
did not receive TM-()()5 3-3 or TM-0056-7.

Focus -
-t...... [ We are returning-under separate cover-the two copies ofTM-0035-3.

Please send us the two (2) manuals that we ordered. Also, please correct
our account, no. 594-NT. The invoice was for US$ 3 2 . 50 (thirty-two United
Action States dollars and tlfty cents). The correct invoice total should be
Can$32.50 (thirty-two Canadian dollars and tlfty cents), or, at today's
exchange rate, US$22. 18 (twenty-two United States dollars and eighteen
cents). A copy of the invoice is enclosed.

Closing --------,... [ Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Cordially yours,

Holly Park
Purchasing Supervisor

Useful language
Enclosure: Invoice (photocopy)

'--______....,-______-__:_--1 In a recent shipment from ___ ,

On we ordered ___ .

On we received
We are returning ___ .

Also, please correct ___ .

A copy of ___ is enclosed.

� Unit 9
The body of a claim letter generally has four parts.

Part Content Example

Opening Explain the problem. In a recent shipment from New Tech Answers,
there were two problems: we received the
wrong manuals and our account was
incorrectly billed . . . .
� Focus Give your reaction. We are returning-under separate cover-the

two copies of TM-0035-3.
$; Action Give a solution. Please send us the two (2) manuals that we
ordered. Also please correct our account,
no. 594-NT. . . .
Closing Thank the reader. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Practice 1 In each question, two of the sentences are approp riate to use in a claim letter.
Circle the letters of the two sentences.

1. Opening
a. Your shipment of file cabinets arrived damaged on March 12.
b. We only received two of the three cartons of copy paper that we
ordered on April 10.
c. We would like to receive a catalog.

2. Focus
I Good; Business .,
a. You will receive, by overnight courier, the incorrectly addressed
software package.
b. Thank you for sending the pens, even if they were the wrong color.
When you send

a claim letter, c. I have returned the manuals to your attention.
3. Action
such as a. I would like you to cancel the order and credit our account for the two
receipts, manuals we did not receive.
invoices, photos of b. I would like to receive the two additional software packages by
damaged goods, or November 15.
anything that would prove
there was a problem. Be c. Your company makes too many mistakes.
sure to send photocopies of 4. Closing
documentation, not
originals. You should keep a. Don't let it happen again!
the originals for your b. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
c. I appreciate your taking care of this for me.

Writing Claim Letters .�

Letter Practice 1
, �. - , . <

Cor:nplete the sentences in this letter. Use the words below.

correct incorrect missing receiving

cover invoice order returning

5 1 Wimblecon Road Toronto, Ontario M4D 2V8 Canada

TEL: (416) 5 5 5 -4444 • FAX: (416) 5 5 5-4443 • WWW.WILSCO.NET.CA

October 20, 20-

Mr. Gerry Kindlet

Telephone Accessories
1746 Park Avenue
New York; NY 10007

Ref: Web order: AF342.56 on October 15, 20-

Dear Mr. Kindlet:

On October 1 5 , we placed an ( 1 ) ______ for an Amsta 3245

telephone. We received the following: one telephone without a handset,

a headset we did not order, and an (2) ______ invoice.

I am (3) the headset-under separate

(4) to you by overnight mail.

Please send the (5) handset. Also, please

(6) the invoice, and send a new one. We did not order a

headset, yet we received one and were charged for two!

I appreciate your making the adjustments to our ( 7) ______ and

look forward to (8) the handset.

Sincerely yours,

Marian Godal
Purchasing Department

lV Unit 9




Explain the following sentences paying attenti on to the meaning of the

words given in italics:

*Managers should adjust their own mindset to the local cultural

* Please do not adjust your sets! (warning on a TV screen)
*The psychologist of the s-c ool has written in his report:
* "Frank Collings is a well-adjusted young man".
*The clierit is right. We have to send him an adjustnient letter.


A complaint should always be answered promptly. The sooner the reply,

the greater the chance to diminish the negative effects that a mi stake may have
on a business relatioship. An adjustment letter is, therefore, an attempt to restore
goodwill and maintain the company's good reputation.
Its tone should be polite and reconciliatory and should help achieve the
following fu nctions:

- confirming receipt of the compl aint letter and expressing regret for
what happened;
- explaining the cause(s) of the problem; ,
- - mentioning the action taken so that the problem may not happen again;

j ·-'.~u;. ,
. !.

reassming the customer;

stabng the steps taken in order to solve the problem;
- giving your opinion on the customer's solution, by accepting it or
coming up with a counterproposal; ,
apologiz,ing for the trouble caused and ending optimisticaHy.

2.1 Accepting responsibility

2.1. a Arrange the following fragments in the right o:rder, accon:liing
to the functions presented above, and you wHI re-coiDJ.strr·ll!d the
adjustment letter sent by Mr Nicolau (Moblux SRL) to tlhie Slllippliy
Manager of "Kitline Ltd."

Dear Ms Smart
Re: Your letter of 20 May 2001

1. Apologising for the trouble caused to you, we do hope that this

regret_able mistake will not affect our future co-operation.

2. We have taken immediate action and two trucks carrying the

missing items are already on the way to your company. They will
• I
be there next Wednesday. "1

3. We have looked into this matter and descovered that the forwadin r:
' ...

agent has misdirected one of our orders and sent you the wrong

goods. We have given clear instructions to our agent so that such 1


things may not happen again . j

4. Thank you for your above-mentioned letter by which you inform l

us that two of our trucks contained the wrong goods . !

5. We appreciate your understanding of the situatuion and find your
proposal for sell_ing the tables locally quite reasonable. A 3%
discount will be applied to the remaining shipments whic h- we
hope to cover satisfactorily the loss you incurred. I
Yours sincerely,

Liviu Nicolau
Sales Manager. iI
l ~-

2.1.b Consider the situations (1- b) and (4- a) given in activiity 2.5.22 9
Unit 1 above. Write the main paragraph of the two adjustment letters
that could be sent in these situations, making a counterproposal for eaich
of the solutions indicated by the client.

2.2 Rejecting responsibility

Business practice proves taht. clients are not always justified in their
complaints. The cient's claim may derive from misinterpretation of the contract
clauses, of the terms of agreement or from non-observance of instructions. In
such a case, the reply letter has, largely, the same structure as when the claim
is justified. However, one paragraph should state clearly that you cannot accept
respc;msibility for the mistake and, consequently, no compensation should be

·· 22.-a Choose a suitable paragraph from colomn B in order to reject

the complaints in coiumn A:

1. the quality of paint is not the same a. We are s01Ty but we cannot accept 1
a~ that agrred on; the client asks your complaint. Our expert has
for a 3% reductioi1 in price for the established that you did not observe I
whole quantity the maintainance instruction s. i
T~~refore, we cannot assumme any
responsibility. · ;
2. the equipment has been installed b. Our people have checke d the
soon after unpacking; however, it whole lot carefully and found out that.
does not work; replacement 1s the fabric has been damaged during '.
required transportation. Consequently, we
cannot be kept responsible as the
darriage occurred in transit.
c.' We have investigated your
3. the whole lot of fabric must be
complaint carefully. Samples of the
replaced a~ it is stained and torn
material have been taken and tested
again. They comply fully with the
standard agreed on . We are soITy but
we cannot accept your complaint
and, consequently,. rio reduction in
payment will be made.

1 '.
~ ,.;,.

,4. after three months of operation, fiye d. Our experts b'tve looked into the .
of the washing machines bought matter and say that the equipment has
for the hotel laundry show serious not been installed accordjng to our
defects; the client claims that the instructions. Therefote, we can offer
machines must be replaced you technical assistance to correct
these installing defects, but we do not
accept to replace the equipment.


Fill in the following with suitable wordsfrom those given below, changing
theirform when necessary. Some of them are used more than one time:

mistake, beyond, wrong, inconvenience, to accept (twice), :required!?

to keep, take steps, store, to collect (twice), replacements, responsibm\ty9
to do, goodwill, local, to store, to reject, regret, room, advantages, to incu lr·~
best, to answer, to restore, to look; merchandise,

A letter of complaint should be ... 1 ... at once. First of all, you should
' '
! express your .. . 2 ... or the ... 3 ... created. If you did not have time to .. .4 ...
into. the matter, promise to do it as soon as possib l~. If it is clea~ly your fault,
then do not hesitate to .. . 5. ,. responsibility
and ... 6 ... your ... 7>... to ... 8 .. .
goodwill. If you have sent your client the ... 9 . .. goods, then you have to. .. . 10 .. .
so as to ... 11 ... the merchandise sent by ... 12 ... and deliver the required ... i 3 .. .
. To avoid additio.~a1 costs, yo~ may ·ask your client to find a ... 14 ... buyer for
your goods. Usually, clients ... 15 ... this, requesting some ... 16 ... instead.
Whether they do not have enough ... 17 ... to ... 18 ... your goods, yoi1 will
have to . . . 19 .. . the ... 20 ... at your own expense. If the damage produced is
... 21 ... your ... 22 ... , the claim should be ... 23 .. . politely, showing th at you
cannot be ... 24 ... respon_sible for the loss your client ... 25 ....


You are a supplier of electronic equipment. You have recently sold a
computerised system for £3: manufactoring unit and assumed resposibility for
installing the system and training the client's operation and maintainance staff.

All tests carried out under your supervision have been successful.
However, on the fi rst day of work, something went wrong, 45% of the system
has been damaged and the uni t has been stopped. Your client has sent you the
fallowing letter:
···· -··~~·-~

Colton Manufactory
71 Chestnut Street
Brighton 4BT 2 YS j
. UK I

22 November 2001
Mr Dan Dumitrescu
S ales M anager
Super Electronic System
72 Steaua de mare
R omania

Dear Mr Dumitrescu
Re: Order no . 2750 of 8 Oct 2001

· . We regret toinfortn you that the computeri sed system we have bought 1·

from you as per the above-mentioned order has been 45% damaged on
commissioning the unit. . . l

As it comes·out from our investigation , the damage occmTed as a result II

of bad operation. Since you have undertaken to train our operation and
maintainance staff, we keep you responsible for the losses we have incun-ed I
and insist tfiat: , I
- you replace and re-install the whole system ;
- you train our staff again;
- you cover the loss resulting from delay.·

We look forward to your taking urgent action .

Yours sincerely,

Frank Dew
M anager of J'echnical Department

Model djus� !m ent Letter "
Look at the different elements of an adjustment letter.

454 Uber1y Road I Philadephia. F'ennsyMlnia 19148

May 1 6, 2 0-

Ms. H o l l y Park
Wils & Company, Ltd.
5 1 Wi m b l eton Road
Toronto, Ontario M4 D 2V8

Dear Ms. Park:

Opening ______
-+...... [ we have received your letter of May 7 about the s h i pment of the
wrong manuals,

Focus _______
+..... [ We apo logize for the error and w i l l correct it to you r sati sfact i o n .
Two manuals-TM-0053-3 and TM-0056-7-have been sent to your
attention u nder separate cover. In this letter, I have enclosed a d i scou nt
Action coupon for ten percent off you r next purchase, I n add ition, a rev i sed
i nvoice is enclosed. We have al so deducted the cost of s h i p p i n g

- a n d h a nd l i ng.

Closing _______
-+J.... [ Aga i n , we regret the error and apologi ze for any i nconven ience. We look
forward to serving you in the future.

S i n cerely yours,

Rowanda F i s her
Customer Serv ice M a n ager

Useful Language

We apologize for the error.

A revised ___ is enclosed.
Again , we regret the error and apologize for any inconvenience.
We look forward to serving you in the future .
.IV Un it 1 0
The body of an adjustment letter generally has four parts.

Part Content Example

Opening Acknowledge the mistake. We have received your letter of
May 7 about the shipment of the
wrong manuals.
Focus Apologize for the error. We apologize for the error and will
correct it to your satisfaction.
Action Give a solution. Two manuals-TM-0053-3 and
TM-0056-7-have been sent to your
attention under separate cover. . . .
Closing Apologize again to the reader. Again, we regret the error and apologize
for any inconvenience. We look forward to
serving you in the future.

Practice 1 I n each q uestion, two of the sentences are approp riate for an adjustment letter.
Circle the letters of the two sentences.

1. Opening
a. We have received your March 13th letter regarding the damaged file
b. Thank you for your June 3rd fax detailing the items missing from our
c. I'm sorry we don't have any recent catalogs.

2. Focus
a. The post office has been making many mistakes lately.
b. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.
c. I'm sorry that we did not fill your order to your satisfaction.

3. Action
a. We don't have what you need, so try another company.
b. The pencils you ordered have been shipped in the color you requested,
along with a complimentary pencil sharpener.
c. You will receive by overnight courier the latest version of the
accounting package.
4. Closing
a. Next time, spend more for shipping and this won't happen.

b. Let me say again how much we regret any inconvenience.

c. We cannot apologize enough. Your satisfaction is very important to us.

Writing Adjustment Letters !J...,)

Letter Practice 1

Complete the sentences in this letter. Use the words below.

apologize enclosing providing regret

damaged inconvenience regarding replacement

454 Uber1y Rood I Philadephio. PennsyMlnio 19148

May 1 7, 20-

Ms. Vanessa Idris

Office Manager
Empress Trad ing Corporation
62 504 Putrajaya
Selangor, Malaysia

Dear Ms. Idris:

Thank you for your fax of May 1 0 ( 1 ) ______ the damaged

CD-ROM you received. We (2) for the damage and for
the (3) _____

We are shippi ng by overn ight mail a (4) ______ CD-ROM.

In addition, we are (5) a complimentary training
video. Th is video w i l l help you make the most of your new
accounti ng software.

Again, we (6) ______ the fact that the accounting software

package arrived with a (7) CD-ROM. We are sure
you wi l l fi nd the accounting package usefu l, and we look forward to
(8) you with other high quality products.

Si ncerely you rs,

Rowanda Fisher
Customer Serv ice Manager

!!!!..J Unit 1 0