Giving instructions by email

Giving instructions by email

Learn how to write an email to give instructions.

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

Reading text

To: Meena
From: Suki
Subject: What to do while we're away

Hi Meena,

Thank you so much for offering to house sit for us next week. I'm only sorry we won't get to catch up properly until we get back from our trip. Anyway, here's everything I won't have time to tell you on Saturday morning.

  1. The alarm code is 7957. Don't forget to set it when you go out and remember to turn it off when you get back home as it is LOUD!
  2. The rabbits need feeding once a day and under no circumstances should they be allowed out of their cage in the garden as the neighbour's cats have attacked them in the past.
  3. Please can you use the washing machine in the daytime only as it's old and noisy and the neighbours complain otherwise?
  4. Would you mind opening all the upstairs windows for an hour in the morning as the house gets damp at this time of year?

That's about it! You'll find everything you need in the house, and help yourself to anything in the fridge or cupboards. Feel free to call or text if you have any problems/questions.

See you briefly to hand over keys on Saturday morning and looking forward to a proper chat when we get back!

Thanks again!



  1. Start by saying thank you if you know that the person has already agreed to help you. End with a thank you as well.

  2. Use bullet points or a list to present the instructions clearly for the reader.

  3. Phrase the instructions as polite requests, e.g. Don't forget to ... , Please can you ... , Would you mind ... However, you can be more direct for important instructions, e.g. The ... need(s) ... , Under no circumstances ... , Don't forget to ... .

  4. To emphasise the importance of an instruction, explain what the consequence might be if it isn't followed, e.g. under no circumstances should the rabbits be allowed out of their cage as the neighbour's cats have attacked them in the past.

  5. Let the person know how to contact you with further questions if they need to.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3


Worksheet95.26 KB

Language level

Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 22:14


Hello .....,
We will travelling with my husband and our child for two weeks.
Could you care for my home in that time?
1. I will be happy if every day open the windows or door to coming inside fresh air;
2. Please, could you watering my flowers, just when you see the soil is dry;
3. Would you keep the fridge with good food,to be not expire date;
Feel free to do what you want at home, if you have any question... keep in touch!
Thank you
Is it wrote good, what could tell me some of the teachers?

Hello Stela Stoycheva,

Thanks for your examples. The tone is very good - polite but friendly.

We don't correct posts in the comments sections on LearnEnglish. I know it would be very useful, but we're a small team here and we have many thousands of users so it's just not possible for us to do this.

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 03/08/2021 - 06:58

I just ask him to water my plants. that's about it. I say to him: "help yourself by foods in refrigerator and cupboard. also you can watch TV."

Submitted by YED on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 02:22

Subject: What to do while we're away Hi Vanessa, Thank you so much for offering to house sit for us next week-end. I am sad we won't have time to spend time together before! Anyway, here's everything I won't have time to tell you on Friday evening. The pass for the hall is yellow. It would be better if you use the even lift than the odd one. The key of the flat is the square one. Please leave all the doors inside open otherwise the cats will call you all day long and all night long to go in the room, or in the bathroom, or in the toilets. Of course when you use the toilet or the bathroom you can close the door! The only other thing important is to keep the windows closed because of the cats. You can open them 5 minutes if you are sure they are around. Please would you mind certifying that the cats are inside when you close the upstairs door at night ?
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Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 15/12/2020 - 16:17

Not so much actually. I live in a middle size flat. I only have some house plants which need to be watered, no pets (unfortunately this phrase became truth several weeks ago) and that's all. Of course, it would be not to be noisy in the evenings - some of my neighbours have kids), no smoking in the flat (I can't stand this smell despite I used to smoke later), keep the windows open (venting mode) because I like a smell of fresh air inside my house. That's perhaps all I need from my house-sitter.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 19:00

First: make sure the door and the windows are closed every time you exit; feel free you eat all food in the fridge and in the pantry; don't forget to water the plants and remind to check the letterbox.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 07:32

Hello Melanie, Thank you so much for offering to house sit for me during my holiday. On Sunday morning, I will hurry so I would find it better if I am writing down everything here which needs to be done. 1. Please, don't forget to set the alarm codes if you go out, the alarm code of the door is 2222, and remember to turn it off when you get back home as it is loud. 2. Birds need feeding twice a day and under no circumstances should they be allowed out of their cage and through the opening windows can reason they fly away. 3 Please can you use the coffee machine instead of using the teapot for having breakfast only as it is broken and it's not immaculate, otherwise. 4 Would you mind opening the bathroom windows for a while in the morning as it gets damp while showering? That's about it! I am hoping you will find everything you need in the house, and you are welcome, help yourself to anything in the fridge or cupboards. Feel free to call or text me if you have any questions or problems.

Submitted by SABRINITA on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 14:50

Hi wal, how are you? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR OFFERING TO TAKE CARE OF Milo during my holidays. Sorry i couldn’t say this in person, but my flight departes now and i will lose it. Here ar some things you need to know Don’t forget to feed the dog. Milo loves eating cookies, feel free to give him 1 kg of them. He is always hungry And please! Don’t forget to open the main window, Milo goes outside to make pi On Tuesday , mercado libre will going to send us a bill. Can you stay at home during this day? The machine washer is not working properly. So try not to use it , instead , use the other one located in the hall. The keys are between the kitchen door and the bathroom. Don’t forget to close each door, please! That’s all my friend. Hope you had a great time in my house. Feel free to do whatever you need. But please , take care of Milo. If he dies its your fault, remember that jajjajajajajajaja See you,
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 14:17

I would asks the house sitter to water my plants, feed my pets and check to ensure everything in the house is fine.
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 19:04

If I am leaving my flat for a while , I will ask my flat sitter to take car my mother and feed him on time and give hit the medicine as well.