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IELTS Writing

IELTS Writing Task 1: Informal Letter

If you need help with informal letters for IELTS Writing Test, you're in the right place. This comprehensive guide encompasses essential IELTS Writing tips, concise examples, and a systematic approach to mastering all types of letters.

And these are what we are going to discuss:

  • Informal language in the IELTS General Writing task
  • IELTS letter writing sample
  • Letter of invitation
  • Letter of request
  • Letter of thanks or appreciation
  • Letter of suggestion
Usually we use informal letters to address family members, friends, and close colleagues. There are 4 main types of informal letters that are given in the exam. You’ll receive only 1 of them: letter of invitation(party, dinner, celebration), letter of request(asking questions, asking for advice, asking for help), Letter of thanks or appreciation, and letter of suggestion(suggesting ideas, plans, solutions).

Informal language

The informal style of writing is close to spoken English and it's OK to use:

  • informal words and expressions, such as stuff and blown away.
  • contractions, such as I’m, we’ve.
  • abbreviations, such as etc. and e.g.
  • informal phrasal verbs, such as turns out.
  • vague expressions, such as things and something.
  • emotional responses, such as I think it’s amazing.

Model answer

Task 1 example
A friend has agreed to look after your house and pet while you're on holiday. Write a letter to your friend.

In your letter:

  • give contact details for when you're away
  • give instructions about how to care for your pet
  • describe other household duties

Write at least 150 words.
Begin as follows: Dear...
TIPS on Linkers:

  1. Use at least 2-3 informal or neutral cohesive devices, for example:

  • also
  • First / second / finally
  • One more thing, …
  • Just one final thing.
  • Anyway, ... / actually, ...
  • As for …
TIPS on Vocabulary:

Use informal expressions throughout your letter.

Opening statements: I've been meaning to write for ages; Sorry for having been out of touch for a short while; I thought I'd drop you a line; I wanted to update you on my ...; I was so pleased to hear that …; It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other

Closing sentences: Anyway, tell me all your news and I promise not to leave it so long this time! I’ll finish now as I’m running out of space; Please write and let me know what’s new with you. Let's make a plan to see each other, OK? Please keep in touch and …; Please let me know how you are doing these days; Anyway, get in touch and let’s see if we can make a time

Closing phrases: Speak to you soon; Take care; Warm wishes; All the best, Lots of love, Yours, Best wishes, / Best, Love

Make sure you use some informal or neutral collocations, phrasal verbs and idioms, for example:

Collocations: to have fun; to stay in touch; to be a fan of; lovely/amazing /cool vibe; absolutely stunning; to be honest, to give a hand; to keep a secret; to have a chat

Phrasal verbs: hang out, get on well with, get back to (me), find out, get away with, mess around, drop by, pick sb/sth up, turn sth down, get over, put up with, ask out
Idioms: safe and sound, sick and tired, be on cloud nine, to be over the moon, as cool as a cucumber, as busy as a bee, to have a whale of a time

Letter of invitation

TIPS on topic-specific vocabulary:
Opening statements:
  • I thought I’d drop you a line and see if you fancy coming over for ...
  • I want to share some exciting news with you …
  • I’d like to invite you to …
  • I'm writing to invite you to ...

Closing sentences:
  • Would you like to come?
  • Hope you can come.
  • I really hope you’ll be able to come over.
  • I hope you’ll be able to make it.
  • It won’t be the same without you.
Other informal expressions:
  • It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other.
  • It will also be lovely to …
  • I would love to see you and …
  • You shouldn't have too much trouble finding …
  • It’ll be fun.

Letter of request

TIPS on topic-specific vocabulary:
Opening statements:
  • I’m writing to ask you a favour.
  • Can I ask a favour of you?
  • Could you do me a massive favour?
  • I wanted to ask if you …
  • I thought I’d drop you a line to ask about…
Closing sentences:
  • Thank you for your help.
  • Many thanks.
  • Thanks for your help.
  • You’re a lifesaver!
Other informal expressions:
  • Can you help me out with ...?
  • One more thing I was wondering about ...
  • One more thing I wanted to ask you about ...
  • Sorry to bombard you with so many questions.
  • Don't forget to ...
  • Please can you ...

Letter of thanks or appreciation

TIPS on topic-specific vocabulary:
Opening statements:
  • I just want to thank you for…
  • Many thanks for ...
  • I really appreciate you helping me out.
  • Thanks so much for ...
  • I just wanted to write and say thank you for everything.
Closing sentences:
  • Thanks again!
  • Thank you for your help once again.
  • Thanks for everything.
  • You’re a lifesaver!
  • I really owe you one!
Other informal expressions:
  • I don’t know what I’d do without you.
  • I'm so lucky to have you in my life.
  • You're such an amazing friend.
  • You have been a great friend to me.
  • You have always been there for me.

Letter of suggestion

TIPS on topic-specific vocabulary:
Opening statements:
  • I’m writing to give you some (travel) tips and advice.
  • I’m writing to give you some information to think about before …
  • I’d be happy to help you with …
  • Sure, I’ll be happy to ...
  • Let’s see if I can ...
Closing sentences:
  • I hope this helps.
  • Think about it and let me know.
  • Do let me know if…
  • Feel free to contact me any time.
  • Let me know if you need any more help.
Other informal expressions:
  • I’m thinking of...
  • Why don’t you...?
  • How about …?
  • Have you thought about …?
  • You should ...
  • You’d better …

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