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.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3


Worksheet90.12 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (22 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 ubaid332 on Wed, 29/05/2024 - 05:52


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

I was ill and could not attend my office for some days so I gave a doctor's letter in the office to leave me for 5 days. That was a tough time because I was fragile in those days due to that disease. Fortunately, the office accepted my request and my other colleague continued my work until I recovered.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 07/05/2024 - 13:36


In my line of work fortunatelly I’m able to do home office work or remote work, so if some day
I need to stay at home and can’t get to my office to do my regular work, normally I notify that to my
manager and we agree that I’ll be doing some remote work until I can get back to the office.


Thanks for the lesson.

Great site!

Submitted by anhteeny96 on Thu, 22/02/2024 - 03:01


I have missed several days of work because of COVID-19. Until I get a negative test, I can come back to work. I used to ask my colleague about the situation at the workplace, then I tried to catch up.

its really good that you did not give up  as we all know ,how hard it is to deal with covid-19 .take good care of your self and get well soon.i hope to see you soon on work.

Submitted by DzhusAngela on Fri, 12/01/2024 - 11:47


Yes,I missed several days in my school time.For example,I had trip with my family in Egypt,so my frinds studied and I rested.I didn't do my homework during our trip.

Submitted by arizonova on Thu, 16/11/2023 - 07:16


If I have some troubles and can't come to work, I send a text message to my boss and explain the reason why I am absent. It is usually enough because all my jobs have been small private businesses, and we have had good relations between bosses and employees.

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.