3 Challenges Non-Native Speakers Face Writing English Emails
There are 3 common challenges non-native speakers face when writing English emails:
1. The introduction – taking too long to start the email and express the reason why you are writing.
2. Sentence structure – choosing the right expression for certain functions, (opening phrases, clarification, updates, closing phrase, etc), and structuring these phrases correctly.
3. Writing with the correct degree of formality – formal, semi-formal, or informal.
While there is no magic formula for writing quick and correct English emails, having a collection of stock expressions or templates speeds up the process and reduces mistakes.
I recommend saving a list of email expressions divided into topics and functions on your computer or in the Cloud, such as Google Drive.
When you have to write an English email, simply copy and paste the expressions aligned with what you want to say. Then adapt them to personalize your message.
Here’s an example:
Email with stock expressions:
Dear… (opening phrase)
I am writing in reference to…. (Expressing “reason for writing”)
As agreed, we will schedule the XYZ delivery between… (expression for “confirming”)
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know. (Expression for “closing”)
Best regards, (Expression for “ending”)
I am writing in reference to the delivery in Shanghai next month.
As agreed, we will schedule the iron ore delivery between 8 and 12 pm, on 5th June.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know.
67 Expressions for Quicker and Better English Emails
For better organization, you will find the 67 expressions categorized by topics. Topics are divided by the beginning, middle, and end sections of an email. Within each topic, the expressions are in order of formality (1st – more formal. Last – more informal).
All expressions are suitable to use in a work/business context.
Opening the email
1. To whom it may concern: (Use a colon after this phrase. Not a comma.)
2. Dear Sir/Madam,
3. Dear John,
4. Hi John,
Thanking the recipient
5. Thank you for your prompt reply.
6. Thanks for your email.
7. Thanks for the update.
8. Thanks for getting back to me.
Reasons for writing
9. I am writing with regard… to my purchase of… / to the complaint you made yesterday.
10. I am writing to… apply for the position of… / to ask for further information about…
11. I am writing to inquire about… (note: “inquire” is more common in American English)
12. I am writing in reference to…
13. Just a quick note to tell you that…
14. I wanted to… let you know that… / tell you about… / ask you if…
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15. I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me with ABC as it will help me in the report I am writing for XYZ.
16. Could you kindly let me know whether you can send…?
17. This is just a friendly reminder to ask you to send…
18. Could you please send me…?
19. Could you send me…?
20. Is there any chance you could send me…?
21. The purpose of this email is to update you on the status of the packaging for your product…
22. I am pleased to inform you that your order is ready.
23. I’m contacting you regarding the analyst position…
24. I’m writing to let you know about sales results for this quarter…
25. I wanted to update you on…
26. I have some information for you about…
27. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.
28. Please accept our apologies for…
29. We are extremely sorry for…
30. I’m afraid I will not be able to attend the opening day due to…
31. Apologies for taking a long time to get back to you.
32. I’m sorry for the delay.
33. I’m sorry, but I can’t make it to the meeting.
Asking for clarification
34. I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by XYZ. Could you please provide more details?
35. Regarding the new proposal, are you saying that we should omit the free add-ons?
36. Thanks for the email, David. I understand ABC, but could you please clarify what you mean concerning XYZ?
37. Everything’s clear on ABC, but you’ve lost me on XYZ. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.
38. As agreed, we will schedule the XYZ delivery between 9 and 11 am.
39. I’m just writing to confirm the time of our meeting…
40. Thank you very much for taking the initiative to find a solution to the problem.
41. You can take pride in the work you have put into this project.
42. You have made a great contribution to the project.
43. The design work you did for the site was outstanding.
Congratulating somebody on a new job or position
44. I hear congratulations are in order.
45. I just heard you got the Manager’s job. Congratulations on the new position.
46. Congratulations on getting the new Manager position.
47. Well done for getting promoted.
Good luck wishes
48. I’d like to wish you all the best for…
49. I hope everything goes well with…
50. Good luck with…
51. I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
52. If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.
53. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know.
54. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
55. I look forward to meeting you again next week.
56. Please let me know if you have any questions.
57. Let me know if you need anything else.
Ending the email
60. Best regards,
61. Kind regards,
62. Warm regards,
63. Best wishes,
64. All the best,
66. Thank you,
67. Cheers, (Very informal)
Business Vocabulary Resources
Signposts for Presentations
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Expressions for Phone Calls
Expressions for Starting, Continuing, and Ending a Conversation
Business Email Openings
Business Email Closings
Business Nouns and their Collocations
Business Verbs and their Collocations
Expressions for Describing your Job/Company
Expressions for Agreeing, Disagreeing, Suggesting Alternatives, and Interrupting
Expressions for Conference Calls (from ecsplicite.com)
Powerful Verbs for Resume Writing (from themuse.com)
Do and Make Collocations for Business
Negotiations (from English Club)
Descriptive Words for People (from savvyfolio.net)
Idioms by Topic:
All of the following business vocabulary resources also include practice exercises. The list of idioms is at the bottom of each page.
Idioms for Describing People
Idioms about Success
Idioms about Time
Idioms about Feelings and Moods
Idioms about Money
Idioms about Adversity, Challenges, and Failure
Idioms Related to Negotiations and Disagreements
Idioms about Conversation and Communication