Learn how to write instructions for a colleague.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

From: Amelia Smith
To: Tim Young
Subject: Things to do for the team meeting

Tim,

We have a team meeting in Room 310 on Friday 26 November at 11 a.m. We are expecting 25 members of our international team there.

  • Could you please book the room for us? 
  • Would you please prepare 25 pens and notepads for the meeting? 
  • Also, can you write an email to the team members to tell them the time and place of the meeting?

Thanks very much for your help. If you have any questions about this just let me know – I'll be in the office tomorrow morning.

Best,

Amelia

Tips

1. You can start a note with just the name of the person you are writing to or Hi ... . You don’t need to use Dear … .

2. Make sure dates are very clear. Include the day, date and time.

3. Explain the reason for the instructions.

4. Write clear and polite instructions. Use phrases like Can / Could / Would you please … ?

5. At the end offer the chance to ask questions and check the instructions.

6. Finish the note with Best, or Thanks, and then your name underneath.

Discussion

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Language level

Beginner: A1

Comments

I prefer to give instructions by writing a note to avoid misunderstandings with my colleagues. That's the easiest way for me to give instructions.

When I need to give instructions to my colleagues, I prefer to do this one by sending an email, because I like to register all the details of the information. Today I learned how modals verbs, like could and would, are important to give instructions politely.

Hi
Sarah,

We have a meeting in The meeting room in our office on 21 April at 2 p.m.
The members are 10 people.

would you please coordinate it?
would you please prepare 10 pens and notebooks for them?
could you email address and time meeting for them?

Thank you so much for your help. I will be there at 10 p.m.

Best,
Nana

I prefer to write the instructions note because we can review it at any time and remember what we need it’s better for us especially when instructions have dates and times . On the other side speaking definitely all body forget some details.

Hi Francis,
Please note that we have a customer meeting on tomorrow Monday at 11 am. Around 30 members will attend the meeting.
Could you please arrange meeting room for tomorrow at 11 in the morning..?
Can please arrange 30 notepad and pens..?
Could you tell office boy to clean out in the meeting room Also tell him keep 30 bottle water on the table.

Thanks and Best Regards
Shamsukprm75.

I prefer to write them an email, because we can check it any time we want;

It depends on the situation. I usually write a note because the note makes fewer errors. I sometimes speak because speak provides more powerful communication.

I usually use a note because if a person forgets he can go back to it.

I prefer to write a note to avoid losing information. Also, It's more comfortable to back to email any time to recheck the instructions.

It depends, because if I cannot meet with my colleague, I prefer to give him instructions in a write note. But if I can meet with the other one, I prefer to speak instructions.

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