An email request

Learn how to write a formal email to make a request.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

Dear Ms Leitman,

I am writing to request your help following a change in my circumstances.

As you know, I am enrolled on the Basic Spanish course at your college, which starts in September. However, due to unforeseen family events, I have had to leave the country for a while to assist my parents in Hong Kong.

At present it is not clear when I will be able to return and unfortunately I will not be able to start the course as planned.

I would like to request a refund for the course fees already paid. I apologise for the short notice and for any inconvenience caused. In the event that a refund is not possible, I would be grateful if you could postpone my enrolment until my return.

Thank you in advance for your help and I hope to be able to update you on the situation soon.

Yours sincerely,

Honor Singh

Tips

  1. Organise the letter clearly into:
    • The reason for writing
    • The nature of the problem
    • The outcome you'd like
    • An apology for the inconvenience
  2. Don't go into too much personal detail when explaining the problem, as this is a formal situation with a person you don't know well.
  3. To make polite requests use the phrase I would be grateful if you could …
  4. Using nouns instead of verbs can make your writing sound more formal. (For example, instead of My circumstances have changed, say There has been a change in my circumstances.)
  5. Sign off Yours sincerely, if you know the person's name and Yours faithfully, if you don't.

Discussion

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Submitted by Johnhwang on Wed, 16/11/2022 - 20:03

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Dear Sarah,

I am writing to request your help following the change in my schedule.

As you know, I am enrolled in your English learning course which starts in November. However, due to unforeseen personal events, I have had to leave for the hospital located in BC province to take care of my father. It is currently not clear when I will be able to attend the class.

I would like to request a refund for the tuition fees already paid. I apologize for the short notice and any inconvenience caused. In the event that a refund is not available, I would be grateful if you could postpone my enrolment until my return.

Thank you in advance for your help and I hope to be able to keep you posted on my situation. I look forward to hearing from you.

With warmest regards,
John

Submitted by Rita25 on Thu, 03/11/2022 - 01:13

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Just recently, My daughter was enrolled for a piano lesson, which started in October. Unfortunately she wasn't able to make it due to personal matter.

Dear Mr.****,

I am writing to inform you about my daughter's enrollment.

As you know, Suzie is enrolled for a piano lesson at your academy. Unfortunately, We have to cancel her enrollment due to personal matter.

I would like to request a refund for the course fee already paid. I apologise for inconvenience caused. In the event if refund is not possible. I would be greatful to accept any compensation offered.

Hoping for your kind consideration.

Yours Faithfully,
Mrs. Lee

Submitted by alexiamontes2004 on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 04:15

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When was the last time you had to cancel something because of an unforeseen situation?

On one occasion I had to cancel a dress that I would wear for my graduation at the last minute because it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Profile picture for user Hennadii

Submitted by Hennadii on Mon, 13/12/2021 - 14:52

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Last month I accidentally made an order in some shop twice. It was some problem with connections so it looked like my first order wasn't completed and I had to do it again. But soon I've got two messages from my bank about two payments. I verified this situation through online banking and after I assured in double payment I wrote the letter to shop's customer service.
I explained my situation and asked if I could get my money back. They verified all the financial movements that took place and gave me feedback.
It was a surprise to me, that when you pay online the seller doesn't get your money instantly, the required amount is blocked on your account and remained in this condition till you get your ordered stuff.
So I wrote an application request, scanned it, and sent it to the seller via Viber.
After several days I've got a confirmation that my request was approved and I can wait for my money back.
And guess what? I've got my money after a week.

Submitted by nelmasl on Mon, 15/11/2021 - 13:04

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Dear Rose,
There has been a change in my circumstances and I wont to be able to enrol in January, due to that I would like to request a refund.
My apologies for the inconvenience caused.
Your sincerely

Nelma S.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 14/09/2021 - 07:39

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It was a few days ago. My wife and me were going to a trip. We wanted to go to the place where my wife's family was. we couldn't find that place and unfortunately mobile phones did not line up. so we couldn't find them and returned.

Submitted by YED on Thu, 22/04/2021 - 04:27

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Dear Ms Bogrius, I am writing to request your help following a change in my circumstances. As you know, I am enrolled on the 2nd year of tourism course at your high school, which starts in October. However, due to unforeseen events, I have had to leave the country for a while to work in London . At present it is not clear when I will be able to return and unfortunately I will not be able to start the course as planned. I would like to request a refund for the course fees already paid. I apologise for the short notice and for any inconvenience caused. In the event that a refund is not possible, I would be grateful if you could postpone my enrolment until my return. Thank you in advance for your help and I hope to be able to update you on the situation soon. Yours sincerely, A.E

Submitted by Marti on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 09:09

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Last Spring, I had to cancel my flight to London due to the coronavirus crisis. In fact, it was cancelled by Ryanair, who offered their clients a vouche to fly whenever they want in a year period or a full refund. Despite their promises, I am still waiting for the cash for the three flight tickets I bought in advance, for me and my family. I guess it has been a common incident for many other people in those times...

Submitted by Rocket on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 10:28

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I would be appreciate Why is it not the same with enrolment and enrollment in the text and test as follow, In the event that a refund is not possible, I would be grateful if you could postpone my enrolment until my return. 4. Can I enrol on the course later? – I would be grateful if you could postpone my enrollment. I am looking forward to hear it from you, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Rocket,

'enrolment' is the most common spelling in British English and 'enrollment' is more common in American English. Since our site is in British English, we've used the British spelling in the text and the exercise. But I've added 'enrollment' as an alternative correct answer for Task 3 question 4.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team