Unit 9: Email etiquette

Don’t be rude! Be sure to follow these fundamental rules on what to write and what not to write in your emails.

Email etiquette

In Task 1, you will see the rules that are left blank in the article below.

Email dos and don'ts

A lot of people still have problems writing emails. I should know – I receive badly written emails every day! So I hope these suggestions will help.

Rule 1:

Always check you've got the right name in the 'To' box. And make sure your email only goes to the people who need to read it. Remember that if you reply to all, then everyone will get your email. Does the whole sales team really need to read your email to one person about something unimportant?

Rule 2:

This sounds obvious, but don't forget to attach them! A word of advice – attach the file you want to send before you start writing. That way, you can't forget to attach it!

Rule 3:

No. If you write 'CAN YOU LET ME KNOW THIS WEEK?' you are basically shouting at your reader. They will think you are very rude. So just don't do it.

Rule 4:

Short emails sometimes sound rude. People won't read very long emails. Keep emails short, but remember to be polite and friendly, too.

Rule 5:

This is important, especially if it's a work email. If you make mistakes in your email, people will think you also make mistakes in your work. So always check everything carefully. Ask a colleague to read and check it before you hit 'Send'.

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Submitted by IlyaK on Tue, 16/03/2021 - 20:40

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I think that this course is important for everyone!

Hello IlyaK,

I'm glad you found it useful. I just let you know that our Effective email communication course, which is available to our subscribers, goes into much more detail. I even learned some useful things from it myself!

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kreker on Fri, 11/12/2020 - 16:14

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very useful rules and reminders to avoid mistakes when writing a letter

Submitted by _Sergey222 on Thu, 10/12/2020 - 14:58

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The course is completed.!! I gained new knowledge and strengthened old ones. It was interesting.

Hello _Sergey222,

If you are particularly interested in improving your emails in English, I would recommend you try our Effective email communication course. This course will become available to our subscribers sometime in January 2021 and is really very good.

I just wanted to mention this in case you were interested. There will be an announcement about it on our home page and/or in our newsletter in January.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Julia.a on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 00:48

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I completed the entire course in about 3 hours. I learned a lot for myself

Submitted by anna999 on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 23:58

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I am sure that this course will be remembered for a long time and will be very useful!

Submitted by EvgeniyKulikov on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 15:27

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I went through the whole course, learned a lot of new things and in the future I will apply them in writing letters

Submitted by margarita.draganchuk on Mon, 07/12/2020 - 18:25

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Great assignment! I will remember these rules so that in the future I will not make mistakes when writing emails. The whole course was quite interesting and informative, thank you very much!

Submitted by Pavel_Kharchenko on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 12:37

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I completed this course in about 2 - 2.5 hours. It was interesting and informative, in addition, this knowledge will be useful to me in my work. Thanks!

Submitted by Nikita Maslov on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 13:59

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I got all this course by 2 hours, last tasks were more interesting, however it all are pretty easy and not much information

Submitted by vika_belan on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 13:59

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I finished the whole course in about 2 hours. It was interesting and informative. Thanks!

Submitted by Ruffle on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 07:48

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Kolovorotniy finished whole course in 1 day, lol

Submitted by sindhallb on Wed, 09/09/2020 - 14:15

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Really very helpful topic covered here by today

Submitted by paulahupaula on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 06:31

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It is a good way to learn how to write a correct email. Thanks so much

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 15:09

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I'm snowed under with tons of emails during COVID-19. :|

Submitted by Dilnoza Sulaymonova on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 13:00

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useful tips for emailing

Submitted by yuldus83 on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 12:08

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Very useful tips in writing formal e-mails, sometimes people don't pay attention to some points considering them a trifle!

Submitted by Lal on Sat, 11/04/2020 - 08:07

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Hello Sir Re:what or why What did you leave the meeting early for? Instead of 'what' can one use 'why' e.g. Why did you leave the meeting early for? Thank you. Regards Lal

Hello Lal

You are right in thinking that 'why' and 'what for' mean the same thing, but please note that 'what' is used with 'for':

What did you leave the meeting early for?
Why did you leave the meeting early?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kuchkarovamuhayyo on Tue, 09/07/2019 - 13:58

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I also think that these tips are useful in official writing. If you are applying for a job, you must write your resume in an official form. Concise and clear tips on working with e-mail. I always left a message saying that you need to be careful with any sending letter.

Submitted by Nazarova Feruza on Fri, 05/07/2019 - 07:49

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Necessary rules for writing E-mail letters.

Submitted by Nazarova Feruza on Fri, 05/07/2019 - 07:25

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I also think it is not possible to write short letters all the time.

Submitted by Shoira on Fri, 28/06/2019 - 13:25

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I also always mostly use e-mail, in the future I will try to use these rules

Submitted by Shoira on Tue, 25/06/2019 - 11:43

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I also think that writing letters should be as short as possible, understandable and always without mistakes.

Submitted by MINH HUE on Mon, 24/06/2019 - 03:02

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The short and straightforward tips for pertinent email for works. I send the email without attached files or wrongful email addresses although I always keep reminder myself to be carefully with any sending email.

Submitted by d makhmudova on Sat, 22/06/2019 - 18:30

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I consider this tips are useful in formal writing. If you are applying for a job you need to write your CV in formal way. Even your letter which is being sent to employer should be written accurately in formal form.

Submitted by Akmal Karimov on Tue, 18/06/2019 - 10:30

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How can you get an answer to the letter you wrote?

Hello Akmal Karimov

People often use a phrase such as 'I look forward to hearing from you soon' or 'I look forward to your reply' at the end of the letter to indicate that they expect a response.

Is that what you mean?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Elizabeth Parisi on Thu, 10/01/2019 - 22:59

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Can you tell me a simply rule, so my emails don't look like long letters?

Hi Elizabeth Parisi

I'd recommend you first think about what you want to happen as a result of sending the email. For example, do you want the receiver to send you something? If so, then state, as concisely as possible, what you want. To be concise, give important details (e.g. if it's a new phone, say which model and what colour) but avoid including any other details that are not essential (e.g. how they send you the phone).

You might want to do an internet search for 'how to write concise emails' -- I'm sure you can find lots of other useful ideas. It's also a good idea to read lots of examples.

Good luck!

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by pedimitris on Mon, 18/06/2018 - 18:11

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useful task learning proper way of handling mail. Great work!

Submitted by Maha Maha on Tue, 16/01/2018 - 07:48

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mostly I don't use email, but in the future when i write an email I'll do this rules, thanks :)

Submitted by rawand marshall on Mon, 25/12/2017 - 17:56

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really i get benefit from all unite specially the last unite ..it make me notice all my e-mail read and checking twice before sending ... I love my work ..

Submitted by Mohamed Isse on Mon, 20/11/2017 - 06:48

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hello sir, I am Issa. I am new the using of this web. i am asking to assist me how write an email with my supervisor when I want to request him on leave ( holiday)

Hello again Issa,

I would suggest you do an internet search for 'example email leave request' or something similar. I'm sure that you can find several good examples.

Depending on your boss, I would suggest making it neither informal nor very formal -- in most business situations, a polite, direct message using simple language is the best option.

If you have any specific question about a sentence you find in the example email, you can ask us here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Hoai Nam on Mon, 13/11/2017 - 07:58

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This is an useful website for me to learn and reinforce my English skills. After I went through 9 units, I found that I have acquired a lot of knowledge and more confident on writing email. Thank you very much.

Submitted by Thae Thae on Mon, 17/07/2017 - 10:46

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Hello, I always use email. So that is useful for me and easy to understand more than earlier.

Submitted by Ashwini on Mon, 03/07/2017 - 20:15

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Hello, Pls tell me, How to ask in a polite manner for the right set of information from a client of a company if they have not provided the required set of information/ have sent wrong details. Regards, Ashwini

Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 04/07/2017 - 06:31

In reply to by Ashwini

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Hello Ashwini,

I'm afraid we can't write the letter for you, but I can give you some advice.

The key things to remember are to be as clear as possible and to be polite in your request.

Start with a formal salutation.

Then explain why you are writing, using polite expressions. 

 

Some useful phrases:

  • I'm writing in connection with...
  • I'm afraid there is a problem with...
  • The information we need is...
  • We would be very grateful if you could supply this information at your earliest convenience

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by astriana on Tue, 31/01/2017 - 08:41

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Hi .. When I write email and send wrong attachment, how to appoligize on email ? Please check this sentence : Depply sorry for send you wrong attachment. Please find attached the correct attachment. Thank you and sorry for this inconvenience. Regards, Astriana

Submitted by Kirk on Tue, 31/01/2017 - 13:44

In reply to by astriana

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Hello Astriana,

I would make a few slight changes (see below) but overall that's good!

'I'm very sorry for sending you the wrong attachment. Please find attached the correct one. Thank you and I'm sorry for the inconvenience.'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by seakheangchum on Fri, 20/01/2017 - 06:30

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this lesson is very useful for me . Thanks for team of BC
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