Learn to Write a Formal Letter: Letter of Enquiry

Useful expressions

Opening phrase

  • Dear Sir or Madam,


  • I’m writing in connection with …
  • I’m writing to ask / enquire about …
  • I have read / found your advertisement in … and would like to …

Expressing Interest

  • I am interested in …
  • I have been looking for …
  • I am planning to … and that’s why I found this advertisement / offer / text interesting / important.

Expressing Doubts

  • I have read the advert and I am not sure if …
  • I have read about your services but I am not sure if …
  • I cannot understand if …
  • It is not clear to me if …

Enquiring about the Details

  • I would like to know more details about …
  • I would like to ask for further information about / concerning …
  • I am still not sure about one thing / problem, namely …

Asking for Information

  • I would be (very) grateful if you could …
  • I wonder if you could …
  • I would like to ask if /when / where / why …

Making final remarks

  • I look forward to your answer / to hearing from you …

Closing Phrases

  • if the letter begins Dear Sir or Madam: Yours faithfully,
  • if the letter begins Dear Ms / Mr Robinson: Yours sincerely,

Sample Exam Task

You saw this advertisement in a newspaper:

Are you looking for a good English course at the Proficiency level?

The Cambridge School of English has the best English courses in town!

Affordable prices, best teachers, free Internet, delicious meals at the school’s cafeteria!

Write to info@cseed.edu.uk 

and we’ll answer all your queries!

Write a letter to the school in which you ask about the details of the course. Include the following points:

  • explain why you are writing
  • ask about payment forms and enroll ment requirements.

► Address the recipient in a formal manner.

► Do not use abbreviations, keep the language suitably formal.

► In the first paragraph we usually state the aim of the letter.

► Devote one paragraph to one topic or one piece of information.

► Finish the letter with an appropriate closing phrase.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in connection with the advertisement for your Proficiency course in English. I am an eighteen-year-old student from Slovakia. For some time I have been looking for a course in English at a higher level, and that is why I found your course very interesting.

However, I am not sure if the course is for Slovakian students only, or for other Europeans, too. I would like to ask for more details on this matter. I would also be very grateful if you could inform me if there is a choice of meals at the cafeteria: I am allergic to some foods. Finally, I would like to ask if I can pay for the course with a credit card and what kind of documents I need to be enrolled.

I look forward to your answer.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Koval

Exercise 1. Read the exam task below and do exercises a – b.

You would like to go on a summer English course in Cambridge. You have found an advertisement for a language school that looks interesting. Write an email to the manager of the school in which you will ask about:

● the price of a one-month General English course

● the facilities at the school

● afternoon activities

Read a student’s response to the exam task and answer the questions:

  • Has she included all the questions required by the rubric?
  • Is there anything wrong with the email?

Dear Sir or Madam,

Could you please tell me something about the school’s facilities?

I also wonder about the social activities.

May I ask you to let me know the price of a course?

Develop the candidate’s email by adding the following lines in appropriate places:

  1. Yours faithfully,
  2. that you mentioned in the advertisement. What are they exactly?
  3. one-month General English
  4. I have read your advertisement and I am interested in taking a course. However, I would like to know some more details.
  5. Finally,
  6. For example, is there a computer room and a library?

 Exercise 2. Read the exam task below and write a letter of enquiry.

You would like to take part in a windsurfing course in Australia. You have found the website of a company that organizes such courses. Write an email to the manager of the company in which you will ask about:

● enrollment requirements

● the price of a two-week course

● accommodation