Hello my dear friends, I know that most of you have to write letters for business and sometimes in your native language these are full of words and you have also to write many pages.  But in English for business and for personal letters, there's a rule that I am going to explain to you in this post.

It's a rule based on three words that begins by the letter C: Clearness, Concision, Courtesy.

Now a little example could explain that.

I see on a newsletter received by email an offer of cosmetics that I use for myself and it says that if I need information about it, I have to reply forwarding another email to the sender's adress. So I start to write my reply but if I don't follow this rule, my message will be removed by the receiver. 

The first C we need is Courtesy. It means to be polite in opening and finishing to write something, but also when we speak to someone we have to use it.

Some examples:

Please Mr Brown, could you speak more slowly? I don't understand nothing of your words.   Please ladies and gentlemens, could you be quiet for ten minutes? We have to introduce the subject of the conference, thank you.

The second and the third C  we need are Concision and Clearness. It means that a letter of 10 pages could also be written in 10 lines and with a very high grade of clearness, because without them our letters or messages could be removed by the receiver.

Some examples:

Please could you send me your latest catalogue along with your latest price list of your products? If your offer could interest me I will send you an order.   I need some samples of your latest products along with your latest catalogue and price list. Could you send me them, please?

A final example of letter:

Dear Sirs, I found in today's edition of the New York Times your advertisement in which you offer a 50% discount on each order that is above of 500 $ but you forgot to indicate than in case the total amount of the order is less than 500 $ no discount will be applied and that if customers need some information, they have to write to you making clear what is the object of the information they need.

Could you please send me your latest catalogue and price list along with some samples of your products? If your products are competitive or of a good quality and your prices are good, I could also send you an order.

I hope to hear from you soon and I'm waiting for your reply. Thank you very much.

What do you think about the subject line? Are you interested in it or not? I'm waiting for your replies, thank you all. Have a nice weekend.....


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  • It seems you're experienced writing such letters :)

    • Hello Estanis, as you tell in your post, I beginned to write such letters when I was in the first year of secondary school of second grade and also after its end, I tried to remember how to write them.  For my work these memories of how to write correctly a polite letter in English are very useful and that made me post that blog.

      Happy Saturday amd Sunday to you, my dear friend Estanis and see you soon here in EnglishClub.

  • i always start with courtesy first. 

    good topic =)

    • Oh Fizzy, I'm so pleased to read your comment on the post from which the whole discussion starts and if you want to add something more you can do it when you want.

      Happy Saturday and Sunday to you, my dear friend and see you soon......


      • Happy weekend to you too =)

  • Oi there, folks

       Indeed, the topic moves an important issue: How to communicate officially in business, putting a long story short, in such cases specific, business language should be used which is quite different from the one we use for everyday communication. 

      I really do not expect that a business letter from any commercial companies or private people communicating with them would dare tell the other party that it has "forgotten" something and instruct what should be done to amend the shortcomings, requests also should be made in appropriate manner and style.

      Another remark I would like to make is that giving any sum of money, the currency unit is placed before the numerical value, example: $500. 

      It is also worth noticing that business language has its typical phraseology and construction which has rather stiff rules. 

    • Ok, rysperski, sometimes also I am able to make a mistake, but this is a mistake of secondary importance: in fact it isn't so important as the remaining construction of the phrase.

      By the way, you said that business language has its typical construction and phraseology, but I studied it when I was to the secondary school of second grade and I know how to write a business letter. Also personal letter have their phraseology and certainly you aren't able to tell to someone for example: Hey sir, you have to do something, because here there's a lot of water that's flooding the whole square to your Mayor.... It's something unusual and as you know, if you want to be respected by other people you should also respect them. So if you see in a central square your Mayor and are speaking with him, you could say: Excuse me Sir, there's a lot of water that's flooding the whole square: could you please do something to avoid the danger? That's the meaning of the post from which startes the whole discussion and with a very high good sense, we could also avoid a lot of dangerous situations.....

      Happy Saturday and Sunday to you, my dear friend.

      • Oi, Falova

          Indeed, poor Mayor - all that water from the square flooding him. He fell victim of a typical miscarried sentence construction. :-)


  • Hi, Favola20.

    Good topic!

    You have already said everything, there is almost nothing I could add.

    Just so much:  

    Expressing an opinion not only with clearness but also with courtesy gives us a clear conscience.

    Clearness expresses our will, our opinion, and expectations and leaves no room for misunderstandings.

    Courtesy shows respect for others.

    Conscience is our inner feeling or voice to do the right things, and after we did it, is a good conscience is our reward.


    • Oh what a beautiful surprise, Rose Iris. I didn't consider that our Conscience could also have a very important position in what we could be right or bad, but you found it very important and your post is one of the best replies I could imagine. Well done, now I will consider much more important for other topics also it and I'm sure that all of you could read and discuss with me. 

      Have a very nice weekend, Rose Iris and thank you again for your reply.

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