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 Phan Bao Dung on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 20:32

I studied at the master while worked as a laboratory technician at the pharmaceutical company. So I also missed several days of my class due to my business trips. At those times, I asked my classmate to record the lectures so I could listen to them at the hotel.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Mon, 20/07/2020 - 11:51

Of course, I missed my work due to the illness several times. It's a s**t but it happens sometimes. The longest absence was when I hurt my leg skiing and get a chest cold at the same time. I missed about a month. It was horrible, my leg bloated, hurt, and became deep blue and I coughed all the time which made the pain stronger. By the way, it was a pre-smartphones era so lying in the bed was really boring. And, of course, I saw a huge mess at my workplace (piles and piles of documents) and my work mailbox was full. No, more accurately will be - fuuuuuull ((

Submitted by M.Saleh on Sun, 12/07/2020 - 22:38

Honestly, I was flaking out of my university many times before and asked my colleagues to record the culture fro me.

Submitted by Dastenova Firuza on Sun, 12/07/2020 - 18:19

I missed school for several days when I was ill. I informed my teacher on phone, then I gave a certificate about my health to the teacher when I went to school. I caught up with my class doing extra tasks at home.
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Submitted by Red Sus on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 11:58

Dear Mr. White, I’m writing to let you know that I can’t attend for one week as I’ve had an accident and broke my spare little toe. I’ve attached a copy of a letter from the hospital. Sorry if this might seem uncommon. But the doctor said although this couldn’t take my life away, however it was extremely dangerous. And in order to fully recover, I had to stay at home and watch a lot of movies (lol). Until then, my friend is going to record the lectures so I can listen to them at home. I will also try to catch up with all the reading as much as I could. Thank you for your understanding. Regards, Genma (MARKETING101 CLASS)

Submitted by Rlira on Sat, 04/07/2020 - 15:19

Yes, I missed a week because one day y felt vertigo, for two week I couldn't walk and all in my around was spining, Iget to the doctor and he recommend me two week in rest in my bed, it was a terrible experience and I couldn't go to work for these two week.

Submitted by Omer_moh on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 18:02

I missed 5 days in my work,because I was sick,so I send an Email to my manager and told him about that. In his tern he stop providing me more tasks until I became well.

Yes, it has happened to me at work and also at university, because of my work with tourists I have had to travel and stop attending classes. At work I was unable to attend a couple of times due to unexpected medical problems

Submitted by Yusei Takechi on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 10:51

Yes. I have taken a few days off from school. It was when I was in the third year of junior high school student. it is quite ambiguous because I remember a few years ago, but I think the cause was diarrhea or gastroenteritis. I had time to make a sweet called Karumeyaki in a science class in junior high school, and I had to take three days off from the day after I took the class. I used to love sweets like sugar confectionery and sugar, In addition, Karumeyaki is a very sweet candy made from sugar. Then, I got a lot of Karumeyaki from some groups during this class. I ate too much. I got sick from the next day because of that. During this period, my friends brought me the prints distributed by my teacher, and they worried about me. I think there was nothing wrong with submitting the assignment. I hate sugar and sweet candy and foods right now. I am not good at eating as well as smelling odors. Right now, I only eat salty sweets like crisps.

Submitted by jhn__26 on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 10:49

When I was in my third year of elementary school, I broke my ankle and took a few days off class. The fracture was so severe that it took two months to heal. But with a wheelchair or crutch, I could go to school, so I actually took a break for about two or three days. My homeroom teacher understood me and worked hard to make it easier for me to live in school. I broke my leg, so I didn't have any trouble with my studies, but I was wondering how to get back the time in my PE class. However, my teacher gave me the role of a recorder and manager, and my problem was solved. A little while after I got injured, there was a school event where all the classmates in the grade went on a trip, but the school told me not to go at first, but I felt very sad about it and consulted with my parents. My mother went directly to school and asked the principal to let me go to the school event. The principal was also kind, and thanks to my mother, I was able to have a pleasant memory with everyone. It's a good memory now.