Structure of a business letter

inquiry - запит delivery - доставлення
reply to inquiry – відповідь на запит offer- пропозиція
Letter of credit (L/C) - акредитив complaint – рекламація, скарга
invoice – рахунок-фактура intended line – червоний рядок (з абзацу)
Bill of Lading (B/L) - коносамент form - бланк
Bill of Exchange – трата, переказний вексель heading- заголовок (листа) salutation- звернення
Letter of Insurance –страховий поліс subscription- підпис; заключна форма ввічливості
order -замовлення letterhead – заголовок бланку
shipment- відправлення recipient – одержувач, адресат
reference – посилання (на автора листа) affix signature – ставити підпис sender – відправник enclosure – додаток

Business letters include all kinds of commercial letters, replies to inquiries, Letters of Credit, invoices, Bills of Lading, Bills of Exchange or drafts, letters of insurance, orders, letters of shipment, letters of delivery, offers, letters of complaints, replies to those mentioned above, etc.

A business letter should be as short as possible, polite, and its language must be simple.

A private business letter is written by hand, each paragraph begins with an indented line. But if a letter is sent by an organization it is typed on the form of this organization. In this case it is not necessary to use indented lines.

A business letter is usually composed of the following elements: heading, date, address, salutation, text, subscription.

A letter can be typed on the organization’s form. Any form has its letterhead printed typographically. The letterhead bears the name of the organization or the firm, sending this letter, its address, address for telegrams, telephone, telex, fax. If you do not use this form, write your address (as a sender) on the upper right side of the letter. Do not indicate your name here, if will follow your signature. Ukrainian names of foreign trade organizations are not translated into foreign languages. They are written with Latin letters. Your telephone number may be written below.

The date is written on the right side above (under your address or under a typographical letterhead of the form). In Great Britain the date may be indicated as follows: 7th April, 2001 or 7 April 2001. In the USA it is usually written like this: April 7, 2001.

As a rule, before or after the address of the recipient a reference is indicated which the sender asks to mention in the reply to the letter. A common reference represents the initials of the person who wrote the letter and those of the typist who typed it. The name and address of the recipient (inside address) is written on the left above.



The salutation is written on the left. If you don’t know the reader’s name, the opening salutation is Dear Sir, Dear Sir or Madam, or Dear Sirs. If you know the reader’s name, the opening salutation is Dear Ms... or Dear Mr... . In the subscription the expression Yours faithfully is usually used if you are not acquainted the persons or Yours sincerely if you write to a man (woman) whom you know at least by correspondence. In American English more common are the expressions Sincerely, Sincerely yours. The signature is affixed by hand above the typed name of the author.

If some material is added to the letter the word Enclosures or the abbreviation Encl is written in the left lower corner of the letter.

1 What kinds of letters does business correspondence include? 2 What are the major elements of a business letter? 3 When is the letterhead used? 4 What does the reference mean in a letter? 5 Where is the address of the recipient written? 6 How should the text of the letter be written? 7 What phrases are used in the salutation of business letter? 8 What should be written in the subscription of a letter? 9 What may be enclosed in a business letter? 10 How is usually the signature affixed? 11 Where is the date of the letter written? 12 What does the letterhead bear?

1 This is how a business school teacher is explaining the parts of a business letter to a student:

T.: Well then, your company's name and address is printed at the top of the letter. This is called the letterhead. And the person you are writing to is the reader.
S.: I see. So the letterhead's at the top of the letter, and the reader's name and address is on the left.
T.: That's right. Below the reader's name and address are the references.
S.: Oh yes. "Ref" is short for "reference", I suppose.
T.: Yes. The references are usually the initials of the writer's name and the secretary's name. In this letter JB stands for Joy Bradley and SY stands for Simon Young. Now, what is there on the right?
S.: The twenty - third of January, two thousand and nine. It's the date.
T.: Yes. The date's on the right. Now, on the left, under the references is the opening salutation.
S.: The opening salutation is "Dear Ms Meiners"?
T.: Yes. And below the opening salutation is the body of the letter - this is what you really want to write.
S.: So the body of the letter is between the opening salutation and the closing salutation.
T.: Yes. "Yours sincerely" is the closing salutation.
S.: And then there is the signature and the writer's name and the writer's position in the firm.
T.: That's right. The signature is above the writer's name and the name is above the writer's position in the firm. What's Simon Young's position?
S.: He's a sales assistant.
T.: Right.
S.: What does "Encl" mean at the bottom?
T.: It stands for "enclosure". It means something is enclosed with the letter.
S.: Oh I see. In this letter the enclosure is the catalogue.
T.: Right.

2 Now read the letter and name its elements:



Brighter Office Supplies Limited
13 Mill Street
Harlow ………. 1
Essex CM202JR
Telephone Harlow 26 721
Telex 81259
Cables/Telegrams BOS Harlow

Ms A Meiners
Simple Stationers Ltd …………………………………………………………………………. 2
15 Mowbray Road
London NW65EJ

23 January 2009 ………………………... 3

Your ref: AM / SN ………………………………………………………………………… 4
Our ref: SY / JB

Dear Ms Meiners, …………………………………………………………………………………... 5

Thank you for your letter of 18 January. Our current catalogue is enclosed as you requested, but I am afraid our price list is unavailable at the moment as it is being reprinted. However, I will send you one as soon as they are available. Thank you for your interest in the company. We look forward to doing business with you in the future. …..….. 6

Yours sincerely, ………………………………………………………………………….. 7

Simon Young …………………………………………………………………………………... 8

Simon Young ……………………………………………………………………………. 9

Sales assistant …………………………………………………………………………… 10

Encl ……………………………………………………………………………………… 11


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