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!

Suki

Tips

  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.

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2