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.
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Worksheet90.12 KB

Language level

A2 English level (pre-intermediate)

Submitted by GraceZ on Wed, 31/08/2022 - 02:01


Yes I had, Back in college when I had a pneumonia I took 2 weeks leave from school, I was on a prolonged medication and was advised to stay in bed by the doctor. I informed my professor and request to have an extension for my projects. I had a friend whom I counted on, I was indebted to her for taking trouble of keeping me posted with schoolwork. If I hadn't for her, I would have flunked school miserably.

Submitted by Nandar Su Hlaing on Tue, 09/08/2022 - 14:41


Yes, I missed class to attend for two week cause I have other exam for my career. My tutor helped me out to caught up my lesson when I return to class.

Submitted by hala-mohamed on Sun, 24/07/2022 - 15:08


Yes, I missed 2 weeks of work cause I've got corona virus. When I returned back I wasn't in the formula, but by time everything becomes ok.

Submitted by Fzt_abidin on Sun, 12/06/2022 - 12:15


yes, ı missed one month of work when ı under the surgery for rhinoplasty. I couldn't go to work because ı had to rest that's why ı send an email and ı attached a doctor's certificate.

Submitted by Kamelbenslimane on Mon, 09/05/2022 - 09:53


Yes, I've missed one week in my work because I was sick on the period of quarantine.

Submitted by nadyanightingale on Sun, 10/04/2022 - 18:23


I think I definitely missed some classes at school or university, but I hated it, because you have to keep up with all the stuff on you own. As to work you have to give all the instructions and homework for a substitutional teacher on time. So I try to keep myself fit and have a work-life-balance that helps me to stay healthy.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Thu, 02/12/2021 - 14:23


Yes I did and I bring a certificate from a doctor to my boss

Have you ever missed several days of work, university or school? How did you keep up with your work?
Yes I sometimes missed of university due to my healty promblem. I very easy can catch the virus and to be ill. I keep my subject like my teacher give me a online lessons. I am a pleasand that I have them.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 14:56


When I was in school, I had many left many classes due to headache and stomach pain or fever. I was doing home coaching in that time so I had not face any problem in studies.

Submitted by Fernanda Morei… on Fri, 29/10/2021 - 17:19


Well, when I can't attend classes, it's usually only for a day or two, it never happens longer than that. So I usually ask my friends for help to give me the subjects of the last class, and I explain to the teacher what the problem was.

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Sat, 16/10/2021 - 13:12


i have but at that time i was a child, I had stomach ache and diarrhea i can not go to school so I have to suspend my studies for a week. when i return to the school my teacher helped me revise the lesson so I can keep up with my classmates

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Submitted by PuenteD on Tue, 07/09/2021 - 20:15

I don't remember a situation like that, but I imagined it while reading and I think that it's really difficult to live that moment.

Submitted by Giuliana on Thu, 26/08/2021 - 21:36

Unfortunality yes, I¨ve missed days or weeks of school when i went to the primary school because i had an operation on of my left kidney and i missed around one month. This was very difficult to me, i missed a lot of classes and i dont understood anything. My friends gave me gifts and my companions of class gave me their books and homework. Thanks of god i recovered very well

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Thu, 24/06/2021 - 12:29

I have never missed several days with my college.But,I missed about a month with my work as I studied distance Education to the university.While I was there, other my colleagues helped and replaced in my period of teaching.

Submitted by Veronikka on Tue, 22/06/2021 - 01:17

When I was in college, I had an accident where I broke my legs. The doctor told me: "You must rest at home for 6 months." I was so worried about my studies at the university. And I spoke to the dean on the phone and explained my situation. He understood me and I studied online and received all the materials by email.

Submitted by Ehsan on Wed, 28/04/2021 - 06:03

yes. If I am absent from a class, I get voice records and handouts from my classmates. Also if I am absent from my work, I ask my colleagues to do my tasks and then when coming back to my work I try to work more to compensate for that.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Sat, 17/04/2021 - 17:31

Yes, I ever missed several days of work and college, I kept up with them because I had to do extra work afterwards.

Submitted by Camila Abreu on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 14:49

I never had to miss many days in the school, university or work. But if it was necessary, I would follow the medical guidelines, to solve my problem as soon as possible, to return to routine activities.

Submitted by MikhailZatopliaev on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 00:04

Dear Oleg Zaymulin, I'm writing to let you know that I can't attend class for 1 month. I have problem with my knees, and I need operation. I attached conclusion from hospital. I very want to keep up, could help me with it, please? Do you have a handwrite of your lectures? or maybe video, It will be so helpful for me. Also I will missed a annual test, so could I postpone me test? Thank you for your understanding Regards, Mikhail

Submitted by TIa vinaka on Sun, 28/03/2021 - 06:17

I have missed several days of work and school in my life. when I came back to work I read some reports what had happen during my absence and asked to my colleagues about further information.

Submitted by In on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 23:14

Yes, I did at school I was 17 years old. I fissure the cartilage in my left knee. It was not nice, I didn't go to school and I lose a very important chemistry exam. That changes everything.

Submitted by Leila77 on Tue, 16/02/2021 - 08:40

I have missed several weeks of school when I was at middle school. I was hospitalised for more than month. I kept up with my studies by studying alone at hospital. It wasn't easy but I could be at the same level as my classemates after coming back.

Submitted by Swann Htet on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 04:12

Yes, of course. I missed several days for my university bcoz I was preparing to create a online-event. But, now I'm back to study.

Submitted by Rabia Syed on Sat, 02/01/2021 - 14:51

I have missed A lot of University class due to Headache. At that Time I asked my friend to mark my attendance in Class. And also Told to teacher about my situation. I recoverd my lecture through my friend copy. She is Extra ordinary in class that why I can't bear any problem to recover my missed lectures.
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Submitted by Khin Yee Mon Khaing on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 03:43

Yes, I have missed several days of University. When I don't go, I ask my friend what to do and how to do it and my friend explain to me a lot and teach me a lot. And sometimes, I ask the teacher.

Submitted by Soulma on Wed, 23/12/2020 - 20:01

Yes, I've missed a several days in university because i have an operation so I can't pass exams and of course i send a certificate to my professor to allow me to catch un on exams and fortunately I succeeded

Submitted by Anhvu on Wed, 02/12/2020 - 15:34

I have missed several days of school. When i was a studen high school. I was ill for a week and i had to cancel seven days of school. Unfortunately, that day was a my camping day. The next week, i went to go school and had stack of homework to finish, that was the boring days.

Submitted by khalidait on Sun, 15/11/2020 - 14:55

yeah . actually i have missed several days from school because i had an ear pain so for that i could not attended to class but i attached a copy of the doctor and maybe i will extension more few days . but however i used that period to learn by myself on internet

Submitted by Khant Khant on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 14:16

I've ever missed morning class as I used to get up late. My friend recorded lecture videos and helped me to catch up with this class.

Submitted by thaika354 on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 08:54

funny that I've just have several days off from my work due to my wedding and come back recently, well for the keep up part I'm still working on it

Submitted by Moon Wathan on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 08:17

Yes, I have ever missed the class when I was attend the university. At that time, I copied the lectures from my friends on the next day. Now I am also in work, I have missed the duty because I have graduation ceremony for Master Degree. At that time, I wrote the leave form to my Division Head. That's why she gave me leave day for graduation. So, It was ok for me that day.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 08:58

yes , i have missed a lot of classes because i had another exam for the university, when i was in my final year at school all the student had to pass an exam called qudorat to go to the university so i missed a lot of classes to study hard to pass the exam

Submitted by Ugulhan on Mon, 28/09/2020 - 09:13

Yes, I have missed several days of my lectures at University. I have written also like this an email for explaining a problem. Why I can not come to the lecture and I tried to show to them the result as possible.

Submitted by Matt18 on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 11:37

Dear Sir?madam, I am writing to let you know I cannot attend to science class for three weeks, as I have caught a cold and I should isolate myself home. I have got medicine, but I have not allowed to go out till three weeks. I am struggling to read and study nowadays, I attached a copy of doctor's certificate.I asked my friend to record the lectures. She is going to record it for me and it will makes possible to listen it and i try to catch up with the class and hopefully, come back to the class as soon as possible. Would you please keep a copy of all handouts for me? Many Thanks, Mehdi

Submitted by shironeiko on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 01:05

In my teenage years, I often cut off the class with the health reason, several times per years. Fortunatelly, I just have 2-3 days off so that not influence to my study. I often borrow my friend-notebook to rewrite anything, practising folow the text book. I'll try to go to school if we have an examination.
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Submitted by shelly on Sun, 23/08/2020 - 09:07

Yes, I had. At the beginning of this years, there was an outbreak of covid-19 virus. It was time to go back to my work place after the annual vacation of Chian the spring festival, but I have to quarantine for at 14 days based on the rugulation of my company as two people were infected near community. I wrote a letter to my manager as following: Dear John, I am wrting to tell you I have to quatantine for 14 days before I go back to factory. As you must learn from the news that two people were infected near my community, for the safety of my collegue or people around me, I would not leave my home until everything is fine for me. Regarding the assignment you allocate I think I can finish it perfectly in my home, please donot worry about this. Best wished, shelly

Submitted by Venus on Sat, 22/08/2020 - 03:59

It was in 2008 fall when I was playing with my little brother, I fell from the stairs and broke my leg. As far as I remembered, I had to cancel 5 days of school. The next week, I had piles of homework and tasks to finish, and obviously I coudn't ace the upcoming exam that month.

Submitted by Rinaa on Tue, 18/08/2020 - 21:58

Dear teacher Hope this email finds you well. I'm writing to let you know that I cant attend classes for the next three weeks. I have had an accident with car as a result I injured my leg. I'm taking medicine and special treatment in hospital for the last 10 days, but my doctor recommended me to rest and stay in bed for at least one month. That makes me difficult to attend classes and to have the English exam next week. I hope to be back in class from 1st March until that date I will try to revise lessons at home. Is it possible to have the exams after I recover? that will help me a lot, I don’t want to miss any level. I have attached with email the certificate from the doctor as evidence for injuring. Thank you for understanding I'm looking forward to hear from you soon.

Submitted by Hussein Alattas on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 13:42

I remember when i was 12 years old i had an accident i went to the closer hospital, doctors told me because the accident i broke down my right leg and right hand, also told me to rest for 3 weeks. after that i send my medicine for the pain with my brother and they allowed me to not come to school.

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.