Introduction to Business Letters

Introduction to Business Letters :

No person can hope to succeed in business without being able to write GOOD business letters. A ‘good’ business letter is one which is written in GOOD English (or whatever other language is used) in clearly understandable words, is brief and to the point and, above all, is persuasive.

By “persuasive” we mean that the letter should be so planned and designed that it achieves its ‘objective’ or ‘goal’: whether that be the securing of a job or promotion or a sale of products or money owed or an apology or improved work or output or something else sought by its writer.

Until fairly recently, the English which was used in business letters was of a special kind, full of unusual “commercial expressions” and abbreviations - such as “inst” and “ult” - which was difficult for the ordinary person to understand. Today, all that has changed, and business people should try, as far as is possible or feasible, to use good and clear, everyday English in their communications.

Nevertheless, it is not always possible to avoid using words, phrases, idioms and technical terms which arise because of the very nature of business affairs. For example, it is necessary in various businesses to use some of the following expressions.

assets, liabilities, debit, credit, debtor, creditor, insolvency, invoice, dividend, agenda, notice, minutes, principal, interest, order, shares, stock, turnover, overheads, credit note, quotation, estimate, on approval, consignment, power of attorney, without prejudice, remittance with order, account, bank account, trade discount, quantity discount, overdue amount, account rendered, on account, receipt, under the circumstances, for and on behalf of, copy to or cc, enclosure or enc, fax, creditworthiness, reference, cheque, statement, and many others.

In this website you will learn the meanings of many of the above expressions and others and you will see how they are used in business letters and other types of business communications when no other words can replace them.

  • Introduction to Business Letters
  • Good English
  • What Business Letters Are
  • The Features of Business Letters
  • Terms Used in Letter Writing
  • A Specimen Business Letter
  • The Contents of Specimen Letter
  • Specimen of An Enquiry Letter
  • Specimen Copy of An Enquiry Letter
  • The Layout of Business Letters
  • The Appearance of Business Letters
  • The English Used in Business Letters
  • Using An English-English Dictionary
  • The Order of The Letters in The English Alphabet
  • See how the words being explained are shown.
  • See the alphabetical order of the words explained.
  • Make use of the help provided by the dictionary.
  • Practise finding words
  • Finding new words
  • Choosing the relevant meaning of a word
  • Build up your own vocabulary list.
  • Syllables
  • Using Suffixes and Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • Common Suffixes
  • Prefixes
  • Common Prefixes

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