LETTERS. Hints of Business Correspondence
A very large part of business in the world is conducted by means of correspondence. Therefore, it is extremely important to be able to write good business letters — letters that represent one’s self and one’s organisation to best advantage. Writing good business letters is a matter of detailed and often quite specialised technique, which is not so complicated as you have been let to fear. All you need is the supply of visiting cards, some good paper, a pen, a typewriter, personal computer and some good will.
General Rules of Business Correspondence .You should be familiar with two kinds of letters: business letters and personal letters. Business organisations usually use printed letter-head for their business letters. Private business letters are typed on plain paper. You should answer all letters promptly: within ten days at the outside. If you can’t fully answer them within that period, the least you can do is to acknowledge them and explain your delay.
¾ Let everyone involved know what action has been taken on a letter.
¾ You should always write a thank-you note to anyone who has given you a letter of introduction, reporting at the same time how well you were received or what results the introduction produced.
¾ You should sign and send out only the letters that are well typed, well spaced, faultlessly neat and inviting to the eye, i.e. letters that make a good first impression. The letter you write is always a mirror which reflects your appearance, taste and character.
When writing a business letter in English, be careful not to use an old-fashion commercial instruction book as a guide. The style of writing is changing rapidly. Every year it gets simpler and less formal. Business correspondents prefer simple English to express what they want to say as effectively as possible. But a writer of a business letter must create a good impression, so a few words to promote a feeling of friendship and good will be just to the place.
However, compliments must not be exaggerated, as they may produce the opposite effect, and the reader may feel that the writer is being insincere. The following is to be remembered when writing a business letter in English:
1. Make a new paragraph for a new subject.
2. Say what you want to say in the simplest, clearest way.
3. Don’t say aggressively.
4. Don’t exaggerate compliments.
5. Remember that real feelings will have more effect than pretended ones.
VOCABULARY TO STUDY AND USE:
Exercise 1. Fill in the blanks with the necessary words:
1. It was a great pleasure for us to … your letter of May 21 (receive, get, send).
2. We would welcome the … to co-operate with you (opportunity, desire, reason).
3. We would like to … your catalogues periodically (recommend, get, receive).
4. May I have the … of inviting you to visit our firm (pleasure, decision, permission).
5. We would ask you to wire us … other day (some, any, every).
6. We would like to continue this … with an educational program (trend, tradition, communication).
Exercise 2. Complete the following sentences:
1. A very large part of business in the world … .
2. Writing good business letters is … .
3. Business organisations usually use … .
4. You should answer all letters … .
5. Let everyone involved know … .
6. You should always write a thank-you note … .
7. I received many letters from … .
8. When I want to send a letter I usually go to … .
9. We send telegrams at … .
10. May I have the opportunity to wish you … .
11. It was a great pleasure to receive … .
12. Would it be possible for you to tell me … .
13. We beg to inform you that … .
14. Please, let me know how … .
Exercise 3. Translate into English:
1. Дозвольте скористатися нагодою і привітати Вас зі святом.
2. Ми будемо раді відповісти на будь-які запитання, що цікавлять Вас.
3. Ми розраховуємо на співробітництво з Вами.
4. Чи не могли б Ви повідомити нам подробиці про Вашу фірму?
5. Маємо честь повідомити Вас, що ми готові підтримувати співробітництво з Вашим підприємством.
6. Я хочу надіслати рекомендаційний лист.
1. Why is it extremely important to be able to write good business letters?
2. What should you remember writing a business letter in English?
3. What kind of expressions do business correspondents prefer?
4. What are the main points to be remembered when writing a business letter in English?
STYLES OF LETTERS
Business letters may be written in:
¾ The first person singular: «I must apologize for the delay in fulfilling your order of November 20. I shall see that the spare parts are sent immediately».
¾ The first person plural: «We must apologize …»
¾ The impersonal passive: «The delay in fulfilling your order is regretted. The spare parts will be sent immediately…»
Note: The first person singular can be used only by a person of authority as he is reporting his personal actions and opinions and yet they represent those of the firm and organization.
The impersonal passive is inclined to be cold and distant; the first person forms are therefore usually to be preferred.
Exercise 1. Translate into Ukrainian:
1. It was a great pleasure for us to receive your letter.
2. We would welcome the opportunity to co-operate with you.
3. We would like to receive your catalogues.
4. May I have the pleasure of inviting you to visit our firm?
5. May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year?
6. We would like to continue this trend with an educational exchange among educators of our two countries.
7. We are happy to receive your letter.
8. The problem to be solved was of great importance.
9. He supposes us to sent letters by air-mail.
10. The members of the committee are reported to come to an agreement.
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