IELTS General Training Letter Writing Task

Structure and Format of IELTS Training Letter

Formal Writing

When composing a formal letter in the IELTS General Training Test, adhere to established norms of etiquette and professionalism. Employ polite and courteous language, using complete sentences and appropriate vocabulary. Maintain a respectful tone throughout the letter.

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Informal Writing

For informal letter writing in the IELTS General Training Test, adopt a more relaxed and conversational approach. Utilize less formal language, incorporating contractions and idiomatic expressions. Feel free to express your thoughts and emotions casually.

Key Differences


Formal: Maintain a respectful and polite tone.

Informal: Embrace a conversational and friendly tone.


Formal: Employ standard and precise vocabulary.

Informal: Incorporate more casual and colloquial vocabulary.

Sentence Structure:

Formal: Use complete sentences and avoid contractions.

Informal: Embrace sentence fragments, contractions, and a more relaxed structure.

Salutations and Closings:

Formal: Begin with “Dear [Name]” and end with “Yours faithfully/sincerely.”

Informal: Start with “Hi [Name]” or a casual greeting and end with a more relaxed closing like “Best wishes” or “Take care.”


Formal: Letters are generally longer and more detailed.

Informal: Letters tend to be shorter and more concise.

Remember, understanding the distinction between formal and informal English is crucial for achieving the desired score in the IELTS General Training Test. Practice and familiarize yourself with the appropriate language style for different letter writing situations to excel in your exam.

Use of Abbreviations and Acronyms

Formal: Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms unless they are widely recognized.

Informal: Feel free to use commonly understood abbreviations or acronyms to enhance informality and brevity.

Use of Conjunctions and Connectors:

Formal: Utilize formal conjunctions and connectors, such as “Furthermore,” “Moreover,” or “In addition.”

Informal: Employ more casual and conversational connectors like “Also,” “Plus,” or “By the way.”

Sentence Length:

Formal: Craft longer and more complex sentences to demonstrate clarity and precision.

Informal: Use shorter sentences for ease of comprehension and a conversational flow.

Expressions of Opinions:

Formal: Back opinions with supporting evidence or facts using formal language.

Informal: Feel free to express personal opinions more openly, using relaxed language and personal experiences.

Use of Emoticons and Informal Language:

Formal: Avoid using emoticons, slang, or informal language.

Informal: Emoticons and informal language can be used to convey emotions or add a playful touch in an informal letter.

Addressing the Recipient:

Formal: Use the appropriate title and last name (e.g., Mr. Smith, Dr. Johnson) unless instructed otherwise.

Informal: Address the recipient by their first name or a familiar term (e.g., Hi John, Dear Sarah).

Opening Paragraph:

Formal: Provide a concise and professional introduction, clearly stating the letter’s purpose.

Informal: Begin with a more relaxed and friendly tone, perhaps mentioning a personal connection or shared experiences.

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