In this information age, emails are very common and everyone is expected to know how to write them.

These are the different types of emails:
1. Announcement email
2. Apology email
3. Application email
4. Complaint email
5. Business email
6. Condolence email
7. Friendship email
8. Goodbye email
9. Interview email
10. Job application email

Like letters, we have formal and informal writing. Both follow the same format:
1. Salutation
2. Three body paragraphs
3. Closure

For both formal emails and letters, if you know the surname of the recipient, you will address Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms. (e.g. Mr Boris) If you do not know the name of the recipient, we could write ‘To whom it may concern’ or Dear Sir/Madam. For informal emails and letters, we can start your email with a causal greeting, followed by the person’s name and a comma. ( e.g. ‘hi’, ‘hey’ or ‘hello’)

Body: Each paragraph should revolve round one idea.

Closure: Call for action or wrap up discussion with a friendly note to show you look forward to keeping in touch with them.

Language used is different for formal and informal letters and emails.
Contractions such as ‘I’m’ and ‘can’t’ can be used in informal writing but not in formal letters and emails. Appropriate usage of passive voice and active voice is vital for formal writing as active voice may sound a little too direct and rude sometimes. On the other hand, passive voice can give us a less confrontational feel as it softens the tones which is preferable.

For example:
In active voice: We will not release the results today.
In passive voice: Results will not be released today.

For example:
In active voice: I did my work.
In passive voice: My work was done.

For the closure of formal letter/email, ‘Yours faithfully’ can be used when the recipient is not addressed by name. In cases when the name is known, ‘Yours sincerely’ could be an option.

‘Best regards’ is acceptable for both formal and informal writing.

Very causal and warm examples of signing off informal letters or emails are ‘Hugs’, ‘Love’ or ‘Gratefully’ when a friend has done you a favour.

Watch this space for samples of emails.