An email explaining a problem

An email explaining a problem

Learn how to write an email to explain a problem.

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

Reading text

From: Jameela Lee
To: Professor Kim Hart
Subject: Absence from class for two weeks
Attached: doctor's_certificate.pdf

Dear Professor Hart,

I'm writing to let you know that I can't attend class for two weeks as I've had an accident and hurt my back. I'm afraid I also need to ask for an extension for next week's essay.

I have medicine for the pain but I can't get up or walk around much, and the doctor said I should stay in bed and rest as much as possible. This makes reading and studying very difficult for me at the moment. I've attached a copy of the doctor's certificate and I hope to be back in class from 12 May.

Until then, my friend is going to record the lectures so I can listen to them at home. I will try to catch up with all the reading too. However, I don't think I can submit the essay next week. Is it possible to have an extension?

Thank you for your understanding.



(ENG101 class)


  1. Start with Dear and the person's title and name.
  2. Say what the problem is first. Then, give more details. Finally, offer a solution or say what you hope will happen next.
  3. Make it short and clear. Just include the most important information.
  4. Say Thank you for your understanding at the end. It shows that you hope the reader will understand your problems.


Worksheet90.12 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (15 votes)

Submitted by Takaya on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 00:43

Yes, I had a broken bone before I enrolled and couldn't go to school for several weeks, so I had to delay my classes. I'd like to write an email explaining the problem. Dear teacher I will inform you that I will not be able to attend the class for a few weeks because I broke my left arm in this accident. In addition, I cannot attend the entrance ceremony tomorrow, but my parents are going to pick up the materials to explain the entrance. The treatment of bone fractures will be over soon, but I cannot use my left arm for a while after entering school, so I cannot participate in physical exercise classes such as physical education classes. Depending on the rehabilitation situation, I don't think I can exercise vigorously for about a month. Regarding the lesson, I would appreciate it if you could send me details such as the lesson contents later. I would like to study for a while with the materials I bought by myself using the details. I have attached a copy of the certificate from my doctor. I look forward to taking your lesson after you leave the hospital. Thank you for your understanding.

Submitted by Hibiki Sato on Tue, 23/06/2020 - 18:55

No, I have not. However, when I was a high school student one of my classmate was absent for about two weeks because of ill, I helped him, for example, I took his notes on every class during two weeks. This was not something he asked me to do, but I decided to do something myself, hoping to help him. I also knew that if he was absent for two weeks, it was very difficult to keep up with the content of the lesson when he got sick and came back to school so, I decided to take his notes. After that, when he left the hospital and returned to school, he thanked me so, I felt very good. Later, when I was absent from school because of a cold, the friend took notes for me. At that time I also learned that helping others helps me. It was very nice to find out what I was doing for him was doing it for myself, and I felt very good with each other.

Submitted by Ryuji on Wed, 10/06/2020 - 12:49

Yes, I have. Three years ago, I had some days off from school due to my physical condition. I really wanted to go to school then, but my parents stopped me so I had to rest. In order to know the contents of the lesson for the rest of the days, I had my friends show me a copy of the blackboard on a notebook, and I went to school at a later date to talk to my friends and teachers about things I did not understand. By doing so, I was saved in the class. Also, the homework that came out while I was absent was finished together when my physical fitness was recovering the day before I went to school. On the other hand, when one of my friends had a similar cold and was absent from school, I was proactively teaching the lessons. By doing so, I thank the friend and he was able to learn about the lessons, which was beneficial to each other. If your friends are absent from school for any reason, we encourage you to help.

Submitted by mouna99 on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 15:11

Yes, I had. I tried to study the lessons alone with the help of some youtube channels

Submitted by Lauracastanos on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 00:35

I would catch up with my coworkers
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Submitted by dinhhang on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 08:35

yes, I had missed several days of university because I am a nun and we often have our own schedule for meeting, training or mission. so let my try to write email explaining my problem. Dear professor Joe I am writing to let you know that I can not attend your class on next week because my Institute will has an importance meeting from May 8th 20 to May 15th 20. I am afraid I also ask for an extension for next week's essay. Meeting takes place every four years so that everyone can not absent. I asked my classmate record your sermons for me so I will not miss your lessons. however, the meeting will take me a lot of time to prepare and summarize because I am a secretary so that I can not submit my assignment on next week. Can I ask for an extension? Thank you for your understanding. Regards

Submitted by ademyonet on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 16:26

Yes, there were days when I couldn't go to work. When I couldn't go to work, I stayed at home in bed and I sent my doctor's certificate to workplace. When I went to doctor the latest, he said that I pain my back. I still feel this pain.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Thu, 09/04/2020 - 01:09

Yes, I had. It was my friends that assisted me all through in doing task activities.
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Wed, 26/02/2020 - 15:52

Yes I have missed couple of work days last week because my mother was sick and I had to transfer hire to the hospital. And I could followed up my work through company email account which is installed in my phone.

Submitted by Dariusz on Fri, 07/02/2020 - 15:48

Yes, of course that I've missed. This is obvious to miss several days at work, school or somewhere else. It happens when we have accident, we are sick or we've another problem through we can't get up and go somewhere. The last time when I missed several day of work was related to mine sick. I had to inform my manager and go to the doctor.