The Power of Modal Verbs: Ability

You use them all the time.  They pair with other verbs, ask questions, modify statements.  They’re “extra” words, “helping” words.  They have a name: MODAL VERBS!

Modal verbs are those auxiliary words that we use to modify the verbs we use for standard actions.  Verbs like “can”, “should”, “will”, and “might” are very important to communicating accurately.  For example, these two sentences are very different.

I swim. -> Maybe they swim every day? Maybe they swim for exercise?  Either way, they probably swim often.

I can swim. -> If this person falls out of a boat, they’ll probably be ok.  They didn’t go swimming today, though.

“Can” is a modal that belongs to the family of modal verbs that express ABILITY, or things that you can or can’t do.  The modals of ability are:

  • Can / Can’t, Cannot
  • Could / Couldn’t, Could not

“Can” means that you have the ability to do something now.  For example, maybe you “can drive” a car, or you “can cook” a delicious dinner.  “Could” is for things that you had the ability to do before, but not now.  For example, maybe you “could visit” your grandma every day when you were younger, but then you moved away, so you can’t anymore; or maybe you “could ride” your bike to school when you were a kid, but now the traffic is really horrible and anyway, you have a car.

The wonderful thing about modals is THEY DON’T CHANGE.  That’s right!  So many verbs in English change when they’re in the “she/he/it” form, and when they’re in a different tense, and when they’re continuous or simple, but modals NEVER change.

You sentence will always be:

“I can run very far, since I run every day for exercise.”

You will never write:

“He cans run very far…”
“He can runs very far…”
“He can run verys far…” (ok, ok, this one is a bit much, I know)

Place your modal before your main verb, delete any changes you would make to that verb, and you’re done!  Let’s try a few examples to practice:

She ___________ very well, she has been studying for years.
a) can writes
b) cans write
c) can write

 

 

 

They love to sing, and they learned music in school, so they _________ beautifully.
a) can sing
b) can sings
c) cans sing

 

 

 

He never learned, so he _________ at home.
a) can cooks
b) can’t cook
c) can cook not

 

 

 

Your answers should be C, A, B.  Isn’t it wonderful?  No more changing verbs!  Now, let’s look at “could” and “couldn’t”, the modal for past ability.

She used to love basketball, but after she broke her knee she ________ anymore.
a) could play
b) couldn’t play
c) couldn’t plays

 

 

 

When I lived in my country, I _________ home to my family’s house every weekend.
a) could go
b) could goes
c) coulds go

 

 

 

Your answers here should be B and A.  Nice work!

Want to become a master of modals?  You CAN always contact LingoLoop to talk to an experienced tutor who CAN help you practice!

 

 

Contractions: When You Can and When You Can’t

Contractions are the same as their longer forms, just shorter!

Contractions are wonderful, and we use them in speaking all the time.

We don’t often hear: “I am going to the store later, but I cannot take you with be because you will need time to do your homework.”

Even when we read it, it sounds like a robot!  You’re more likely to hear: “I’m going to the store latter, but I can’t take you because you’ll need time to do your homework.”

How do contractions work?  In one of three ways:

Don’t do it!
  1. Negative contractions

Negative contractions are for when we need to use the “no” version of something.  The “not” part of the sentence gets pushed together, usually with a helping verb, and we exchange the “o” for an apostrophe [‘].  Negative contractions are words like:

  • Can not = Can’t
  • Do/Did not = Don’t/Didn’t
  • Would not = Wouldn’t
  • Could not = Couldn’t
  • Will not = Won’t
  • Should not = Shouldn’t
  • Might not = Mightn’t

Even though you see a lot of modal verbs in this list, there is no “may not” contraction: just say “That may not work” and use both words.

We’re going shopping, and she’s getting a new dress!

2. Be-verb Contractions

You probably heard a be-verb contraction before you even knew what a contraction was!  These are very common, and we use them all the time.  They give us words like:

  • I am = I’m
  • You are = You’re
  • She/he is = She’s/He’s
  • We are = We’re
  • They are = They’re

Be-verb contractions are only used for present tense verbs.  There is no “I was = I’s” contraction.

I’d love to go on an adventure! I’ve never been on an adventure before!

3. Helping verb contractions

Helping verbs like “have” and “will” and modal verbs like “would”, “could”, or “should” can be contracted with their subjects.  Be careful though!  Sometimes they can look the same, so be sure to read the whole sentence before you decide which verb has been contracted!

  • I would = I’d
  • Also: I had = I’d
  • You have = You’ve
  • She will = She’ll

Remember that usually* you can only use one contraction per subject.  “I have not” does NOT become “I’ven’t“.

* The only exception to this is “would + have”, which can sometimes be contracted in speaking to “She’d’ve”, for example:

She would have gone home, but she was having too much fun! 
She’d’ve gone home, but she was having too much fun!

Remember, only use this double-contraction in speaking, and try to avoid it in writing!

***

Want to learn more about how contractions can help you feel more confident speaking English?  Contact LingoLoop today to speak with a tutor!

 

“She said what…?” A Guide to Reported Speech

Have you ever been retelling a story and gotten a little tongue-tied? When we are retelling information this is called indirect speech or reported speech. The tricky thing with this is that often in reported speech, the tenses change. To make your speech flawless, you need to know which tenses you need to change when you are retelling information. Here we will go through the rules for perfect reported speech.

So many tenses!

Rules for reported speech:

  1. Introduce the initial speaker: “She/He/They said/told me…”
  2. Insert ‘that’. This part is optional. When it is used, it is put in right before the information you are retelling. In the examples below, we have put the ‘that’ in brackets- it is correct to both use it and to leave it out.
  3. Change of tense. The tense which the initial speaker used may change when you are repeating what they said.
  4. Change of pronouns.
Reported speech: a guide to gossiping

Past Tenses

Past simple: No change or change to past perfect

“I liked the dishes you brought – even if I seemed unable to handle the spiciness”.

>He told me (that) he liked the dishes I brought- even if he seemed unable to handle the spiciness”.

> “He said (that) he had liked the dishes I brought, even if he had seemed unable to handle the spiciness”.

He said that his eyes always watered at dinner

Past continuous: Change to past perfect + continuous

“I had been wearing a costume all day, there was no way I was going to another party dressed like that.”

>She said (that) she had been wearing a costume all day, and there was no way she was going to another party dressed like that.

 

Past perfect: No change

“I hadn’t used my mom’s discount card before, so I needed the assistant’s help”.

>Mark said (that) he hadn’t used his mom’s discount card before, so he needed the assistant’s help.

 

Present Tenses

Present simple: No change or change to past simple

“I love your sweater, I love how you even wear it in summer”.

>She told me (that) she loves my sweater, she loves how I even wear it in summer. I think she was being sarcastic.

>She told me (that) she loved my sweater, she loved how I even wear it in summer. I think she was being sarcastic.

 

Present continuous: Change to past simple

“I am freezing! Who throws a barbeque in February!”

>She said (that) she was freezing. She wondered who throws a barbecue in February.

He said frostbite was the best sauce

Present perfect: Change to past perfect

“I have parked by your apartment, so I hope I don’t get a ticket!”

>He said (that) he had parked by my apartment. I should have told him he would get a ticket.

 

Future Tense

Future with ‘will’: Change to ‘would’

“I’m so excited for Saturday- I will bring my best hummus.”

>She said (that) she was so excited for Saturday, and (that) she would bring her best hummus.

 

Future with ‘going to’: Change to ‘was going’ or ‘would’

“I am going to kill him. That bird of his was squawking all night”

Mom said (that) she was going to kill him because his bird had been squawking all night.

Mom said (that) she would kill him because his bird had been squawking all night.

Buddy said that he did it and he was going to do it again

 

Conditional Tense

Would: No change

“I would go to your yard sale but I think I am busy that night”.

>Jamie said she would go to our yard sale, but she thinks she is busy that night.

 

When Asking a Question

When repeating a question that someone asked, we follow the same rules for the changes in tenses. The only changes are:

  1. Change ‘He/she said…’ to ‘He/she asked…’
  2. Replace ‘that’ with ‘if’- for repeating a question in reported speech, we must include the ‘if’:

“Did she eat my cheese fries when I went to the bathroom?”

He asked if you ate his fries when he went to the bathroom- it’s a good thing you left when you did, it was about to get ugly.

Joey said he doesn’t share food!

 

Changing tenses in reported speech can be a bit hard to keep track of. If you learn off some of these basic rules off for past, present and future instances of speech, and you will have a flawless grammatical repertoire for the next time you need to retell details! Try a lesson with one of Lingoloop’s expert tutors to practice using these rules to produce perfect reported speech!

Do you speak Franglais?

The French and English languages have an amazing amount in common- some sources even say up to 45 percent of English words come from French! So as a native French speaker you have a big advantage: you already have half of the lexical database in your head!

One thing that French and English definitely do not have in common is pronunciation. As much as English speakers struggle to perfect the French accent, many French speakers cannot lose theirs when speaking English. There are common errors that we see popping up for native French speakers. Here we’ve put together a list of the most common pronunciation difficulties that French speakers have when speaking English. By identifying these errors you can work to minimize them in your speech.

Do you have Franglais ringing in your ears?
  1. Losing the last syllable

French speakers often carry over this element of their native pronunciation to English:

They tend to elongate the last syllable of a word, by adding a slight ‘eh’ sound to the ending. Pinpointing this error can be difficult as it is so subtle, but listen for this sound in your speech to spot where it might be slipping in.

To combat this, by focusing on pronouncing the last letter of a word very quickly- not even half a second. Keep this in mind when speaking and you will become more conscious of when you are dragging out words too much.

 

  1. Omitting the ‘s’ at the end of words

In French the ‘s’ at the end of words is almost always left out – in English it is essential to pronounce this ‘s’ at the end of words, as often it changes the meaning of a noun from singular to plural.

 

  1. Omitting the ‘h’ at the beginning of words

French speakers often leave out the pronunciation of the ‘h’ letter when it comes at the start of words.

In English when ‘h’ comes at the start of a word, it is almost always pronounced (with the exception of a few word such as ‘hour’ and ‘honest’- we kept the French pronunciation for these.)

The elusive ‘h’- the difference between getting your hair cut up to here and up to your ear

Practice perfecting your ‘h’ sound with a simple trick- hold a compact mirror to your mouth, and pronounce the word ‘have’, so that your breath fogs up the glass. Then wind down that exaggeration a little – and you’ve got your ‘h’ in English. Think of this mirror trick when pronouncing words that begin with a ‘h’ to ensure you are making your ‘h’ sound.

Is that my hhhhusband I see back there?

 

  1. The ‘r’

In English, the ‘r’ sound is not as emphasized as it is in French . The pronunciation of ‘r’ in English always comes from the middle of the mouth, instead of the back of the throat.

Try practicing words beginning with ‘r’, and with ‘r’ in the middle with your mouth half closed. This will stop you bringing the ‘r’ sound from the back of your throat, and will give you the nice shallow sound perfect for the letter ‘r’ in English.

Can you say ‘croissants’ like a native English speaker?

 

  1. Zee famous ‘th’

The key for anyone trying to fake a French accent- the conversion of ‘th’ to ‘z’.

In English the ‘th’ sound is very soft, and comes from the tip of the tongue. Try not to engage any part of your tongue except for the very tip when making this sound to make sure you get a soft ‘th’.

 

These are some of the persistent problems that keep popping for French speakers learning English. By targeting these areas, you will dodge your biggest issues! Practice all of these sounds and more with an expert Lingoloop tutor- try one of our classes today to get your personal pronunciation guide!

 

You are someone who…. is? are?…. my friend.

                                                   My friend is/are you!

We all know the rule about subjects and verbs: S + V = Sentence.

We also know the rules about changing verbs to fit their subjects, like:

– I like that restaurant.
– She likes that restaurant.
– We liked that restaurant.

When we separate the noun from its verb, things can get a bit trickier.  This usually happens when you use an adjective clause to describe the noun your verb is attached to. For example:

CORRECT

That’s the man who is giving our exam.
or
I am the student that has the highest mark.

The red words show the verb and noun in the adjective clause, but the blue words show the main subjects and verbs for each sentence.  They can be easy to miss, because they’re usually small and right at the beginning, but be careful not to mix them up.  What you don’t want is:

INCORRECT

I am the student that have the highest mark.

It can be really tempting to do this, because we spend so long thinking about “I have” and “he has”, but remember that your verb inside the adjective clause has to be about what the adjective clause is describing, in this case, “student”, not “I”.

Let’s try another example.  See if you can find the error.

You are the teacher who _____ music class.
a) teach
b) teaches

Did you get it right?  Remember, the verb “teach” isn’t about “You”, it’s about “teacher”.  So, “teacher teaches”.

 

Here are a few more to try.  Remember, always look for noun that is the subject of the adjective clause!

I’m usually the worker who _______ the latest, here.
a) stay
b) stays

 

 

 

 

We are the group that _____ to all the different restaurants together!
a) go
b) goes

 

 

 

 

My homework is always the one that _____ the most red marks. 
a) get
b) gets

 

 

 

 

You are the student that _____ the exam!
a) passed*
b) passed*

*Remember, past tense is the same!

 

***

How did you do?  Remember to use the noun that’s the object of the adjective clause, so:

worker… stays
group… goes
one… gets
student… passed (Get it?  Because it’s past?  I think my English jokes are funny!)

Great work!  To learn more about how to better utilize adjective clauses, contact LingoLoop today!

Do you know what I mean?

Do you know what I mean?

“Well….ummm… I guess…”

Navigating English can be tricky – sometimes we use a lot of words that don’t have much meaning in themselves, but add meaning to something else we are saying.

So many words, for one tiny thought!

To complement our speech we use filler words and phrases.

Here we’ll give you the perfect thing to say for those situations when you need a few extra words.

 

1: When you are stalling for time (At the start of a sentence)

We usually use these when we don’t know exactly what we are going to say, or are apprehensive about what we are going to say. You can buy yourself a few seconds using these.

Well… This is a good filler to use when you haven’t fully formed your next thought

  • “Well … I think I could afford it if I cut out lunch for the next two weeks”
Well… I can afford a tap water.

I guess… This can be used when you are a bit apprehensive about what you are about to say

“I guess you could borrow my car… but didn’t you just lose your licence?”

I guess I didn’t see the red light officer…

2: Summing up a situation (In the middle or at the start of a sentence)

Basically…

“He has them for breakfast, for lunch, at work… basically, he’s obsessed with fried tomatoes”

This can also be used at the start of a sentence:

“Why did you cancel your trip?”

“Basically, the whole resort is on lockdown because of the blizzard.”

Basically, you need to park the car in the garage next time!

Okay, so… This can be used at the start of a sentence as an introduction to a long piece of speech, or retelling a story

“Okay, so, your main jobs are to respond to emails in this account, check and return voicemails, call tech support, reorder kitchen stock, and of course, get coffee, okay?”

Okay, so my boss needs me at work, my kids need me at home, and my professors are failing me- basically, I need a vacation!

4: Fillers in the middle of sentences

Like

This is a very common filler, but use it sparingly – many natives even go overboard with this one!

‘Like’ can be used when you want a minute to pause, or think of your next thought in the middle of a sentence.

“The city is way too busy, like… everyone will be Christmas shopping. Besides, last time we went you, like, almost got lost!”

Just / Only

‘Just’ and ‘only’ can be used to downplay or to soften the blow of what you are saying

“Can I borrow some money? Just 20 bucks!”

“I can’t believe I got a ticket! I was only over the time limit by an hour!”

Even

‘Even’ is used to emphasize your next word or statement

“It’s so foggy, I can’t even see the street signs!”

“He was drinking all night at our open bar, but he didn’t even bring a wedding gift!”

He didn’t even stay sober for the speeches?!

You know?

‘You know’ can be used in the middle of a sentence, to check that the listener relates to and is following what you are saying.

“I want to see the Swedish movie, you know, the one based on that famous book?”

4: Adding fillers to the end of a sentence

You know what I mean?

This is used to confirm and check if your listener is still following what you’re saying, or to see if they agree with you

“I was just sick of them showing up every weekend with the same pie, you know what I mean?”

There’s only so much cherry pie one person can eat, you know what I mean?

-You know?

‘You know?’ can also be added to the end of a sentence to see if your listener understands you.

“I feel like an amateur at the gym, everyone else seems to know what they are doing, you know?”

I look and feel like I don’t belong here, you know?!

Or something

This can be used to downplay what you just said…

“Would you ever want to go out with me for dinner or something?”

So..do you want to be my girlfriend or something?!

…or if you are not exactly sure of what you just said

“He works in a bank, managing accounts or something”

 

Having a range of filler words and phrases will take your fluency to the next level. However, it is important to not overuse them – one or two every 3-4 sentences is enough. We suggest practicing these ‘til they roll off your tongue so they slip seamlessly into your speech!

To Shop, or Shopping? Telling the difference between paired Gerunds and Infinitives

 

So do you or do you not like your teacher?

Let’s be honest, you’re probably pretty good at grammar by now.  You know what a verb tense is, you know your singulars from your plurals, you even know what the “passive voice” is.  But the other day, you said something that confused your friend.

You: I stopped talking to my teacher yesterday.
Your friend: Why?
You: What do you mean?  I saw him in the hallway, so I stopped talking to him.
Your friend: Did he do something bad to you?
You: No!  I just saw him, so I stopped talking!
Your friend: But I thought you liked that teacher!
You: I do!  That’s why I stopped talking to him!
Your friend: That doesn’t make any sense!  Why would you stop talking to him if you liked him?  Wouldn’t you want to talk to him more?
You:… that’s why I stopped to talk to him.
Your friend: Oh!

If you had said, “I stopped to talk to my teacher” instead of “I stopped talking to my teacher” you could have avoided this whole mess!

It’s true that GERUNDS – the “ing” forms of verbs that can sometimes signify a noun – and INFINITIVES – the “to” form of a verb, which can also signify a noun – are easy to mix up sometimes.  Did you “avoid studying” or “avoid to study”? Did you “stand to see” or “stand seeing”?

If you’re unsure, ask yourself which verb in your sentence CAME FIRST.

Here’s an example.  In our situation above about “stop to talk” and “stop talking”, what happened first?

First I walked. Then I stopped. Then I talked.

You were walking, THEN you STOPPED, THEN you TALKED. Use the infinitive if your first verb happened first.

“I stopped to talk to my teacher.”

Let’s try another example.

We talked. Then we stopped. She can be so difficult sometimes!

You and your friend get into a fight, and you don’t want to see, hear, or speak to them ever again.  They’re so mean sometimes! First, you were talking, but now – after the fight – you STOPPED.  So, since your second verb happened first, use the gerund.

“I stopped talking to my friend.”

Let’s try a few more.

Last week, I volunteered _______ at the animal shelter.
a) working
b) to work

Which one came first, the “volunteered” or “work”?  You have to volunteer before you can work, so since our first verb came first, use the infinitive.  Your correct answer is (b).

 

 

Let’s try another.

I practiced _________ with my LingoLoop tutor today.
a) speaking
b) to speak

Which one came first, the “practice” or the “speaking”?  You have to speak before you can practice it (otherwise you’re not practicing, you’re learning!) so since our second verb came first, use the gerund.  Your correct answer is (a).

 

Are you ready to speak?  Would you like to practice speaking?  Contact LingoLoop today to find a tutor who can help you navigate those difficult conversations!

5 Things You Didn’t Know about the TOEFL

If you’ve ever applied to a university in the US, you know what they ask for after your transcripts and application fee – TOEFL scores.  This English language exam is recognized as an academic benchmark for understanding, and if you’ve taken the TOEFL before, you know why.  With all four language skills tested, and about four hours of testing time, you’re in for a hard day’s academic work.

You probably already know the basics – the four parts of the TOEFL exam, the difference between an independent and integrated speaking or writing task, how many lectures you’ll hear on the listening section.  But there are a few things that even the most seasoned test-taker might not know about this infamous test.

***

What does “22” even mean, anyway?

1. Your score is not your score!

In the TOEFL speaking section, the scores you receive are from 1-30, but that’s not how your individual responses are scored.  A TOEFL scorer gives each of your responses a grade from 0-4, and from those six responses your grades are averaged, then converted into a 1-30 score.  So, when you’re answering the questions on the speaking section, don’t be thinking “What does a 30 look like? a 27? a 19?”  Instead, think, “How can I get a 4/4 on this answer?”.  That’s a lot easier!

What do you think of this answer? What about this one?

2. LOTS of people are going to look at your test.

After you finish your exam, your answers get sent back to ETS (the company that writes and runs the TOEFL exam) and they break your exam up into its 4 parts.  The reading and listening sections, which are multiple choice, are graded by computer – but the writing and speaking sections require actual humans to assess and score them.  Enter, the TOEFL SCORER!  These are English teachers, university professors, retired instructors, and educational aides working with ETS to help award scores to exam responses.  Usually, to ensure accuracy, more than one person will score each of your responses on the writing and speaking sections.  If you receive several different scores, then even more scorers will grade your answers, to make sure that you get a correct assessment of your abilities.

Don’t worry, your name isn’t attached to any of your exam materials.  When your exam is sent to ETS, that file and each answer in it is assigned a number, so no one knows which answers belong to which exam.  Once the scores are entered, the system converts them back and assigns them to your exam file, which has your name.

Don’t worry, there’s always next time!

3. This is not the end.

You can take the TOEFL many times, and there is no limit on how many.  The only rule is that you won’t be allowed to retake the test within 12 days of your previous exam.  There are usually several different test centers to choose from in one city, and so long as you leave yourself time to recover from the exam, and the required two weeks, you can schedule another exam date whenever you like.

It is even recommended – by both ETS and LingoLoop! – that you take the exam at least twice.  The first time lets you become familiar with the test, and the second time lets you really show what you know.

But I’ve been teaching English for years!

4.  Sometimes, even native speakers don’t get perfect scores!

The TOEFL is meant to gauge how well you’ll do at an English-speaking University.  An English teacher might get a perfect score the first time they take the TOEFL, but a regular English-speaking dentist, for example, might not.  You need to be familiar with the TOEFL layout as well as the language to score highly.

For example, on the speaking sections, you’re sometimes required to give your opinion on something, sometimes you’re only expected to remember details from a lecture that you listen to.  Losing concentration or forgetting to give your opinion can really affect your score.

Check out LingoLoop’s TOEFL Speaking course for help getting familiar with the TOEFL speaking section, to learn how you can avoid these simple mistakes!

Do you think I could borrow your extra hand for my exam?

5.  Speaking English isn’t the only thing you need to know!

Using a QWERTY keyboard, being comfortable wearing a headset and speaking into a microphone, taking good notes – all of these are important parts of a successful TOEFL grade.  From there, being familiar with the format of each section of the test, and how to create great answers to each question, are even more important!

 

***

 

Contact LingoLoop today to learn how you can learn how to conquer the TOEFL Speaking section, and make your next exam a breeze.

 

“Hopes” and “Wishes” for the New Year!

Happy New Year!

Have you made any resolutions yet?  Is there anything that you’d really like to do in 2018?

You could start a new job!
You could get healthy!
You could learn a new language (like English)!

We often use the words “hope” and “wish” to talk about things we would like to do or see happen.  They’re very similar, but the way we use them can change their meaning.

***

“Hope” is a word that we use to describe something we want very much, and we think is possible. Hopes are REAL. The grammar is the same for the time that each hope is in. For example…

A hope in the present is in the present tense.
“I hope that I pass this test. I studied really hard!”

A hope for the future is in either the present or future tense.
“I hope that they will have cake at the party.”
“I hope that there is cake at the party.”

A hope from the past is in the past tense.
“I hope that his plane arrived on time, the weather was really bad.”

So to recap:
hopes in the present are present tense
hopes in the future are future OR present tense,
and hopes about the past are past tense.

***

“Wish” is a little more complicated.  Wishes are usually about things that we want, but we’re either not sure they’ll happen or we’re sure they won’t.  Wishes are UNREAL.  The grammar of “wish” reflects this, so “wish” kind of works like a conditional.

A wish for the present uses the past tense, like an unreal conditional.
“I wish I studied more, I never feel prepared for exams.”
(They didn’t study, and now they’re regretting it!)

A wish for the future uses the word “would”, like a second conditional.
“I wish he would quit smoking, he smells terrible.”
(We know he’s not going to quit smoking, but we want him to anyway.)

A wish about the past uses the past perfect, or a past-tense modal verb.
“I wish the teacher had spent more time on conditionals, I still don’t understand them.”
(The teacher didn’t spend a lot of time on conditionals, but we wanted them to.)

So to recap…
wishes in the present use past tense,
wishes in the future use “would”,
and wishes about the past are past perfect.

***

Let’s try some examples.  It’s almost 2018, and…

“I hope I learn more English this year!”
or
“I wish I learned English this year!”

It’s your choice, real or unreal?  “Hope” or “wish”?  You decide!  Contact LingoLoop today and turn your wishes into hopes!

 

 

How to Write a Basic Email in English

 

Ready to dazzle with your English email skills?

 

Here’s an example of the main components necessary to write an email in English! The most important things to keep in mind when writing an email in English are:

-Keep a clear format

-Keep the tone polite and professional

-Avoid unnecessary information

 

Subject line

This should make it obvious to the receiver what the email is about.

RE: Request for brochure to place new order

 

Introduction

Dear Sir/Ma’am,    (Formal greeting: if you don’t know the receiver’s name)

Dear Ms Baker       (Formal greeting: if you know the receiver’s name)

 

Hi Alex,    (Informal greetings: suitable for someone you already know)

Hello Alex,    

 

First item

Introduce yourself if necessary.

My name is Jenna Stevens, manager at Brown’s Bakery.

 

We bake bilingually

 

Second item

State your reason for emailing.

I’m emailing to request a brochure of your products available this winter.

 

Emailing in English will be easy as pie!

 

Third item

Main message: Explain your reason for emailing, giving necessary details. Do not write too much. Emails should only contain necessary information.

We are hoping to create a new line of breakfast options at Brown’s Bakery and we would like you to be our main supplier for our base ingredients. We will have a order drawn up by Monday 11/27, and we hope to launch our new menu on Friday 12/15.

 

Fourth item

Any additional information such as contact details.

Our hours of operation are Mon-Fri  7am-5pm. You can contact our business at 775 986-7767.

 

And now for the icing on the cake…

 

Signing off

Best regards,   (Formal sign off)

All the best,    (Less formal sign off options)

Thanks!