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 email because it remains a note of what has been said

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.

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.

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

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