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: 3.8 (9 votes)
Do you need to improve your English writing skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English writing skills with our live online classes and personal tutoring courses.

Submitted by on Sat, 23/09/2023 - 10:30


I had a problem when I was starting my new job. I've got sick and didn't go to job. After a while, my manager reached out to see how I was. I had to send him a certification letter from my doctor in order to approve a sick leave. After I while I got back to work and continued to work. It was hard, but I survived.

Submitted by Poppy2022 on Thu, 17/08/2023 - 16:18


Dear Professor Milhouse,

I regret to tell you that I can't attend class for some days due to my fever and headache. If you want, I can attach my medical certificate, which recommends to stay safe at home.

Thank you for your understanding.


Submitted by Ensiye on Wed, 09/08/2023 - 14:44


Have you ever missed several days of work, university or school? How did you keep up with your work?

when I was going to have an operation in my nose , I got 7 days off sick and one of my colleagues worked instead of me.
one of my blessing in my life is that I have always worked with flexible and easy going people. Of course, also I am the person who put my heart into my job and I'm trying to do my best all the time. my unique world is a reflection of my believes.

Submitted by Ro Htan on Tue, 18/07/2023 - 18:16


I seldom miss class or work. Honestly, I am kind of a person on time but unfortunately, if I got sick, I wrote a letter to my teacher to allow me absent.

Submitted by Safe_Mode on Sun, 25/06/2023 - 08:19


I've broke my leg at the last year and got the operation on it. My sick list was for more than half of the year. I didn't keep up with my work for this term because when I was sitting my leg has been swollen a lot

Submitted by kareemq on Fri, 02/06/2023 - 16:46


Yes I lost two days in school because I was sick but I studied at home.

Submitted by Ibrahimyousef on Wed, 14/12/2022 - 13:56


Yes,l have missed at university , I absented from class for two week , I have a broke foot and I have attached copy of the letter from the hospital.
I have medicine of the pain and I can't walk and the doctor said I should rest stay in bed , I hope to be back to class.
Thank you for your understanding.

Submitted by Eman Samir on Sat, 03/12/2022 - 20:50


Have you ever missed several days of work, university or school? How did you keep up with your work?
Yes. It happened when I was in school and felt sick. I used to ask my colleague about the lessons explained, then I was trying to study myself in order to catch up.

Submitted by trang96.neu on Thu, 01/12/2022 - 14:57


Yes, this summer I took a few days off to have a vacation. For some urgent tasks, I asked support from my colleagues to do. And other tasks, I would handle it after returning from my vacation. In fact, after coming back to my office, I'm quite overloaded to cope with the pending jobs. But then I listed up all the tasks and sort out which is important and urgent to prioritize. And finally, I could solve all of them

Submitted by Rita25 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.