Avoid Fusty Sentences



In letters, avoid fusty sentences ( especially first sentences ) and formula finishes.. Your first sentence should be clear, complete, concise, and written in modern English. Steer clear of these 3 traps.

(1) Avoid writing half a sentence instead of a full one – Your first sentence should be complete.

Compare:

  1. Further to your letter of 3 February concerning the trustees of the P F Smith 1982 Settlement.


  2. Further to your letter of 3 February concerning the trustees of the P F Smith 1982 Settlement, I am pleased to enclose the form you requested.

(2) Avoid repeating the heading – If your letter has a heading don’t keep referring to it.

Compare:

  1. Dear Ms Widdicombe

    ‘The Tree House’, 67 Larch Avenue, Poplar

    I refer to your enquiry yesterday in relation to the above-mentioned property, and enclose details as requested.

  2. Dear Ms Widdicombe

    ‘The Tree House’, 67 Larch Avenue, Poplar

    Thank you for your enquiry yesterday about this property; details are enclosed.

(3) Avoid such fusty phrases as:

  • Our recent telephone discussion refers.
  • Re your letter of the 10th, the contents of which have been noted.

Keep the finish simple, warm, and sincere:

Example:

  • I look forward to receiving your application soon.
  • I hope you will understand our position and I regret that we cannot help any further.



Complementary Links:




The Successful Sample CV
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A few Useful tips for getting your letter right.
A few Useful Phrases for Business Letters.
A few Useful Phrases for Employment.
A few Useful Phrases for Social Purposes.




Plain English Index




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