Vocabulary for Writing Business Letters

Key Phrases for English Language Learners

Businesswoman working in an office
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Business writing, whether it be letters or emails, has for most people become an almost daily practice. This sheet provides a detailed list of core vocabulary and phrases that are frequently used when writing business letters or business e-mails in English. It can be a valuable starting point for students who need to use English on an everyday basis for written business communications. If you are a teacher, you might find this specific English terminology and letter lingo useful as well.

Oftentimes, these expressions are employed in very specific trade sectors, and thus the core vocabulary sheets go a long way in helping both the instructors and the students inform their formal written expressions.

Opening / Greeting / Reply

  • Messrs
  • to the kind attention of
  • the aim of this letter
  • we wish to inform you that
  • in reply to your letter
  • following your instructions

Ending / Complimentary Close

  • always at your service
  • awaiting your reply
  • best regards
  • our kindest regards
  • to look forward to / looking forward to an early reply
  • we look forward to your kind reply
  • looking forward to hearing from you
  • we remain
  • we thank you in advance
  • we would appreciate it if you could answer
  • we would appreciate your reply
  • Yours faithfully / sincerely (GB)

Requests

  • as per your request
  • as requested
  • please allow us
  • please send us
  • please send us your instructions
  • would you please let us have
  • would you please let us know
  • you ordered
  • you requested
  • you sent us

Time

  • as soon as possible
  • at your convenience
  • at your earliest convenience
  • before the date we agreed upon
  • in due time - in due course
  • on arrival of the goods
  • on delivery
  • on receipt of the order
  • on short notice
  • on written request
  • short-term
  • to be late
  • to inform in due time
  • with two weeks' notice
  • without delay
  • within the end of the month

Send / Receive / Address / Notify

  • inside address
  • outside address
  • sender address
  • to notify in advance about
  • to let someone know in advance
  • to reach the destination
  • to send under separate cover
  • we acknowledge receipt of
  • we have received
  • we sent you
  • without notice

Letter

  • letter opening - beginning of the letter
  • letter heading - heading
  • body of the letter
  • enclosure - attachment
  • circular letter
  • claim - letter of complaint
  • covering letter
  • from order receipt
  • further to our letter - following our letter
  • to return a letter to the sender
  • the letter remained unanswered

Price / Payment

  • as far as the payment is concerned
  • as per invoice
  • at your expense
  • half-price
  • in partial payment
  • on advanced payment
  • payable in advance
  • prices are increasing
  • to be in arrears with payments
  • up to an amount of

Goods / Items

  • goods listed below
  • the following items
  • the goods are available in our warehouse
  • the goods are not similar to the sample
  • the goods are sold out
  • the goods arrived in good conditions
  • to make the goods available
  • we hope we'll receive the goods soon

Apology

  • we apologize again for
  • we apologize for
  • we apologize for the delay
  • we apologize for the mistake
  • we are sorry to have to
  • we are sorry to inform you
  • we must apologize for

Regarding Something or Someone

  • (to act) on behalf of
  • as far as I'm concerned
  • as per to the conditions
  • as follows
  • due to oversight
  • hereby
  • in compliance with - accordingly
  • in the absence of
  • on condition that - provided that
  • to refer to
  • to correspond with
  • to suit the quality - to meet the quality
  • to take into consideration
  • the matter in reference
  • with/in reference to
  • with the compliments of
  • within which

Meetings / Negotiations

  • the meeting was canceled
  • to fix an appointment
  • to stop negotiations

Meet the Needs

  • in case of need
  • to meet a demand
  • to meet customer's requirements

Attention

  • our best attention
  • to pay the maximum attention to the matter

Agreement

  • as agreed
  • to agree with

Pleasure

  • to have the pleasure to
  • to be delighted to

Sell / Order

  • to sell at the best
  • to be overrun with orders
  • order to be confirmed

Decisions

  • to come to a decision
  • to come to an agreement - to reach an agreement

Samples

  • similar to sample - up to sample
  • correspond to the sample
  • to submit a sample

Other Useful Expressions

  • to be able to
  • to be authorized to
  • to be characterized by
  • to be confident in
  • to be interested in
  • to be prepared to - to be willing to 
  • to be held responsible for
  • to be in difficulty
  • to cope with the competition
  • to have the power to 
  • in good condition
  • in our favor
  • to our mutual benefit
  • our offer is still open
  • (with the) utmost care
  • with no obligation - without commitment