Giving instructions by email

Learn how to write an email to give instructions.

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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Submitted by mehdi-sepahi on Sun, 21/08/2022 - 15:00

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Don’t forget to feed the bird.
Never open the cage because it may fly away.
Please check the air conditioner drain daily.
If you have any problems/questions please send me a msg on WhatsApp.
Don’t let other people enter the house.
Feel free to use our account for using restaurant.

Submitted by Rita25 on Mon, 11/07/2022 - 13:17

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If I would be away for a while, I would ask a house sitter to look after my flat to ensure no one breaks into and steal valuable items, water the plants and feed the fishes once a day, I would tell her to help herself and feel at home, I would make sure to leave contact number and email,.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Sat, 19/02/2022 - 23:53

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I would tell a house sitter to look after my cat and not open the main door. Feed the cat twice a day. Clean the rooms, kitchen and bath room. Feel free to take food from the fridge. Any problem contact me any time.

Submitted by prog10999 on Mon, 24/01/2022 - 03:22

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Hi, Anh
Thank you for renting the house while we're away next week. It makes us comfortable when enjoying the trip. Anyway, here's everything I won't have time to tell you on Saturday morning.
1. The address of the house is 633 HB. When you get there, press the second knot to open the door.
2. There's no parking car near there, so you can take a taxi to get to the house.
3. Don't forget to feed the dog. The dog's food is next to the television table.
4. Please water the plants twice a week.
That's about it. You'll find everything you need in the house, and help yourself to relax after rush hours. Feel free to call or text if you have any questions.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Tue, 09/11/2021 - 17:43

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If I go to out Then I will told House sitter to do certain things.
Don't forget to feed my cows twice a day.
Use kitchen if you feel hungry. In my table box you will see some money spend it if you need anything.
Use my clothes and wear it then don't forget to wash it
Please don't anyone come to my room it's private.

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

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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.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

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

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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

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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

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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.