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IELTS General Writing Task 1: Letter samples, phrases and tips.
Home » IELTS General Task 1 » IELTS General Writing Task 1: Letter samples, phrases and tips.
The general writing task 1 exam evaluates the test taker’s writing skills in responding to a complaint, requesting information or explaining a certain situation in a letter.
You should spend no more than 20 minutes on this section and you should write at least 150 words. IELTS Task 1 forms 33% of your total writing mark.
IELTS training writing task 1
IELTS general writing task 1 sample letters to make a complaint
General writing task 1 sample letters to make an application
IELTS general writing task 1 sample letters to invite
Sample letters to advise
IELTS sample letters to apologise
Sample letters to make a request
General task 1 informal letter samples
Task 1 sample letter to inform
Latest 2018- March 2020 general task 1 questions
VIDEO: IELTS Band 9 Sample General Task 1 and Vocabulary
IELTS writing sample task 1 letters ebook
More IELTS Writing Task 1 Tutorials
Frequently Asked Questions
Audio tutorial: general task 1 samples and answers
IELTS Letter Writing General Task 1 – training and overview
Letter writing in English consists of standard phrases and structures, most of which are outlined below in this tutorial.
Also, you can use the question as a ready-made plan to follow for your writing, you can write a few sentences for each bullet point in the question, and you have a well-structured answer covering the task response requirement.
Below we have a large list of questions, IELTS letter samples and phrases to help you with your online IELTS preparation . For more help with IELTS writing, take a look at our range of writing tasks .
IELTS Writing General Task 1: Sample letters to make a complaint
- Example Letter: A formal complaint You have eaten at a restaurant and it was such a terrible experience that you have decided to inform the manager by letter of what happened and that you want your money back. Things to include: – Facts. You need to be concise but explain what happened. – Polite. No one responds to insults. – Outline what you wish from this. What do you want to happen? – Firmness. You want to be taken seriously.
- Example Letter: Your next-door neighbour owns a small dog that barks throughout the day and the night. Write a letter to your neighbour requesting that something be done about the dog. Include in your letter: – Your reason for writing – What you would like to happen – A nice, respectful style
- Example Letter: You ordered an item from an online store and it has arrived damaged. Write a letter to the retailer to complain. In the letter: – Explain why you are unhappy – Request a refund – Make arrangements to return the damaged item
- Example Letter: Your internet connection has been slow and intermittent. Write a letter to your internet service provider to complain. In the letter: – Describe the problem and why you are unhappy – Arrange for an engineer to visit your home – Request a reduction in your bill
- A reporter complained about a new TV program that you like. Write a letter to the newspaper editor. – Describe your point of view. – Say what you like about the show and why. – Ask the newspaper to take some action.
Useful general Task 1 Phrases to make a complaint
Ielts letter samples for task 1: to make an application.
- IELTS writing sample: A job application Cover letter You are applying for a job. As well as attaching a CV, you need to write a cover letter explaining your reasons for choosing this particular job at this particular company, and why you would be a good hire. Things to include are: – Possible qualifications or reasons for you to be hired – Your energy and enthusiasm for the job – Your past experience in a similar position.
- IELTS writing sample: The school library is seeking applicants for a job over summer break. Write a letter to the library’s manager, in your letter include: – A brief introduction of yourself – Your experience and relevant skills – Why you want the job
- You would like to join the local orchestra Write a letter of application to the orchestra. In the letter: – Introduce yourself and your instrument of choice – Explain how your credentials make you a good candidate – Express your enthusiasm for music
- IELTS writing sample: Your children go to a local school that requires volunteers to accompany school science trips. Write a letter to the school to apply to be a volunteer. In the letter: – Introduce yourself and give details of your children who attend the school – Explain why you are interested in the position – Talk about any relevant experience that you have with children
IELTS Task 1 formal vocabulary to make an application
Ielts general letter writing samples: how to write an invitation.
General writing task 1 sample: Your friends recently moved to a new city. You will also be moving to the same city. Write a letter to your friends and include: – Ask where to find a place to live – Tell them what type of place you’re looking for – Share some fun things you would like to do when you get there
IELTS general writing task 1 sample: You will be graduating from university and would like to invite your family to the ceremony. Write a letter of invitation to your parents. In the letter: – Explain that you have completed your studies – Give details of the event, including time, date and dress code – Let them know how many tickets they have and who they are for
IELTS general writing task 1 sample: You have won a holiday to Hawaii with one extra ticket. Write a letter to someone to invite them along with you. In the letter: – Explain what has happened and that you would like them to come – Give details of when the trip will take place – Inform the person of the things they will need for the trip
IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary to invite or reply to an invite
Ielts general letter writing samples: answers to advise.
- Writing task 1 sample letter: Write a letter to your favourite restaurant. Include the following: · Your reason for writing · What you like about the restaurant · Suggestions for improvement
- Writing task 1 sample letter : Write a letter to the newspaper editor about an experience you had at a restaurant. The experience can be good or bad. Describe your experience in detail and state whether or not you recommend others to visit the restaurant.
- Writing task 1 sample letter : A friend is considering buying a house nearby, but you have decided to leave the area due to a rise in crime. Write a letter to your friend advising them not to move into the neighbourhood. In your letter: – Recommend that your friend not go ahead with the purchase – Give the reasons behind your decision to leave – Suggest possible alternative areas that you know
IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary to advise
Ielts sample letters / answers to apologise.
- Writing task 1 sample letter to apologise: IELTS sample: A formal apology and explanation You have received a letter from your university of Albion demanding a reason for your absence from an exam. You were ill that day but failed to submit the evidence. Write a letter to the Examinations Committee explaining your situation. You should include: – Apologies for the situation – Identification for yourself (Name, student number, case number) – An explanation of what had happened and any possible evidence you may have – Possible resolutions to consider.
- Writing task 1 sample Letter to apologise: You agreed to take a particular job over the summer, but due to unforeseen circumstances, you can no longer take the position. Write a letter including: – Explaining your situation – An apology – Express that you would be interested in the position next summer
- Writing task 1 sample letter to apologise: You recently applied for two separate jobs. Both have chosen to hire you, but you must write a letter to one of them explaining why you are unable to take the position. Include in your letter: – An apology – An explanation of your situation
- Writing task 1 sample letter to apologise: You have not seen a close friend for a very long time. You also still have a few of your friend’s belongings that were left at your house the last time she visited. In your letter include: – Why you are writing – What you’ve been doing since you last spoke together – Apologize for still having the items and ask how you can return them
General letter writing task 1 GT vocabulary to apologise
Writing task 1 sample letters: answers to make a request.
- IELTS writing task 1 sample: A new neighbour has moved in next door and has taken your main rubbish bin. Write a letter to your new neighbour requesting that they return the item. In the letter: – Explain that new bins must be sourced from the local council – Request that the person returns your bin immediately – Inform the person of what further actions you will take should they not return your bin
- IELTS writing task 1 sample: You would like to work in a different city to be closer to your family. Write a letter to your employer to request a transfer to another office. In the letter: – Explain why you would like to move – Request that your employer place you in a specific city – Request that it be completed by a certain date
- IELTS writing task 1 sample:: You live near a record shop that sells music, movies, and books. Write a letter to the shop asking if they have a few different items =you are looking for. – Ask what the prices are and if they can be orders – Ask when they would arrive and if you can have them held in advance.
- IELTS writing task 1 sample: You recently used a taxi and left some important documents there. Write a letter to the taxi manager and say: – Describe what you left and where it happened. – Why are these papers important? – What would you like the manager to do about it?
IELTS General Writing Task 1 Vocabulary to make a request
General task 1 informal letter samples and answers.
- IELTS informal letter sample : Your sibling has sent you a letter asking for an update on your life. Write a letter to your sibling. In your letter: – Describe what you did for your last birthday – Ask for photos of your sibling’s last holiday – Talk about something you are looking forward to
- IELTS informal letter sample: Your best friend is moving back to your city after being o verseas for five years. Write a letter to convince your friend to move in with you. In the letter: – Explain how much you have missed your friend – Describe how you feel about your friend’s return – Give reasons that you and your friend should share a home
- IELTS informal letter sample: Write a letter to a pen pal. This can be your first letter or a letter you’re writing after knowing your pen pal for a long time. Include details you would normally include when writing to a pen pal in this situation.
IELTS General Writing Task 1 Vocabulary for informal letters
General writing task 1 sample answer to inform.
A letter to inform is used whenever the sender (you) would like to inform the receiver of some information. The information you wish to convey could be related to just about anything. Below is a list of topics or concepts your letter may cover:
- Inform about a death/ engagement/ wedding/ special life event
- Inform about an acceptance or rejection of application
- Inform about the receipt of a document or package
- Inform about a current event
The purpose of an “inform” letter is to make sure that whatever important news the receiver has to get is clear and articulate. You want to ensure that your letter has a structure. This would include your introduction, your body and ultimately your conclusion.
The introduction- here you want to set up the conversation of the letter. This can include a greeting, an enquiry about how the receiver is doing and then depending on how well you know the receiver a brief introduction of who you are.
Example: Letter to inform about an upcoming wedding
This is Jill, we met at the art exhibition last year. I hope this email finds you well.
The body – Once the introduction is complete you need to write the reason for your “inform letter”.
Jack and I engaged! I would love it so very much if you could make it to our wedding. You played a huge role in us getting together and it only makes sense that you are part of the big day.
The conclusion – this section is where you close your letter. You can make any final requests or list any final requirements
By the way , I lost all my contacts as my phone was stolen. This is my new number 123 456 789. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Your friend, Jill
For more help with your IELTS preparation , take a look at our tutorials:
- How to Plan and Write IELTS Task 1 Informal Letters In 20 Minutes
- IELTS Sample Letters – Band 9
- IELTS task 2
- IELTS academic task 1
- IELTS general task 1 recent questions
- IELTS sample general task 1 letter
- Take a look a the most recent IELTS general task 1 questions
- All you need to know about the IELTS writing exam
Another component for your IELTS writing success is lexical resource, here is an in-depth tutorial to help you boost your essays.
To contact Ben and the team you can send an email after signing up .
Take a look at our free IELTS sample task 1 GT letters ebook(PDF)
Frequently asked questions (faqs), how can i practice ielts letter writing.
First, look at examples. Then make a list of different types of letters (informal and formal) with appropriate vocabulary for each one. Try to memorize fixed expressions such as, I would really appreciate your help with this.
Is there letter writing in IELTS academic?
No, letter writing (often an email) is only in the IELTS General exam so no need to practice that if you are doing IELTS Academic. In IELTS General, it takes the place of the diagram, map or process in task 1.
What is a formal letter in IELTS?
This is a letter in which you might make a complaint or write an application (for a job or college place). You could also be giving advice, making a request or apologizing for something.
How can I get an 8 in IELTS writing general?
You’ll need to make sure your letter and essay answers are formal, fully address the task and contain hardly any grammar or word choice errors. There’s more information about getting band 8 here.
How do you write a general writing Task 1?
Make sure you practice different letter types – informal and formal and be clear about the purpose of your letter (an apology, responding to an invitation, asking for information). Use the correct phrases and set your letter out following a model.
How do I get my IELTS writing checked online?
If you are serious about improving, IELTS writing essay correction can give you feedback on your essays in 24h, getting your work corrected will help you identify errors (grammatical range and accuracy) and improve much faster. Raza jumped from 6.5 to 7.5 using this exact course
How long will this online course take?
If you have your IELTS test coming up soon, you can get complete everything, including the 9 essay corrections (both Task 1 & Task 2) included, within 10 days. However, we advise most students to allow a month so that they can properly review their IELTS essay corrections so as to get the most from them.
What is the success rate of the IELTS online course?
We have helped lots of students from around the world achieve their desired IELTS scores. Read our success stories here .
Your IELTS success story starts with the right tools, online converter helps to convert documents into various form. Try now!
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IELTS practice General Training Writing test - Task 1
How to approach general training writing task 1.
In the real IELTS General Training Writing test, you will have one hour to complete both of the two set writing tasks.
Task 1 should take you 20 minutes, leaving 40 minutes for Task 2. Before starting the first practice task, you might like to set an alert to make sure you don’t go too far over.
When you take your IELTS General Training Writing test, you will move from the first to the second task without a break. In order to give you a good idea of the test experience, you should do the same here, moving straight from practice Task 1 to practice Task 2.
An easy reminder…
Q: How long should I spend on IELTS Writing Task 1?
A: You should spend 20 minutes on this task – saving 40 minutes for Task 2.
Q: How many words should I write for IELTS Writing Task 1?
A: You should write at least 150 words.
Q: How should I prepare for the practice IELTS Writing Task 1?
A: For your practice tests, you should find a quiet place to work where you will be undisturbed for the whole hour.
Task 1 – Write about the following topic:
A friend has agreed to look after your house and pet while you are on holiday. Write a letter to your friend.
In your letter
- Give contact details for when you are away
- Give instructions about how to care for your pet
- Describe other household duties you would like your friend to undertake
When giving contact details, you do NOT need to write any addresses; something like the name of a friend you are staying with or a holiday destination is fine.
The format for this IELTS Writing task is simple. Just begin your letter as follows:
Once you have completed this task you should move straight on to Task 2.
- IELTS General Training: Writing practice test - Task 2
At the end of Task 2, you will be given model answers for both parts of the test. You can use these to compare your answers, evaluate your performance, and consider what, if anything, you might change were you to complete these tasks again.
Remember, there are no right and wrong answers; you just need to write clearly and competently about the topic provided.
- IELTS practice General Training Writing test - Task 2
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Ielts sample letters (ielts writing task 1).
The purpose of this section is to help you with the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS General test. In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given problem with a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Depending on the task suggested, candidates are assessed on their ability to:
- engage in personal correspondence - elicit and provide general factual information - express needs, wants, likes and dislikes - express opinions (views, complaints etc.)
Ielts preparation, ielts sample charts (ielts writing task 1).
The Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic test requires you to write a summary of at least 150 words in response to a particular graph (bar, line or pie graph), table, chart, or process (how something works, how something is done). This task tests your ability to select and report the main features, to describe and compare data, identify significance and trends in factual information, or describe a process.
IELTS Writing Task 2 (IELTS Sample essays)
IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write at least 250 words. You will be presented with a topic and will be tested on your ability to respond by giving and justifying an opinion, discussing the topic, summarizing details, outlining problems, identifying possible solutions and supporting what you write with reasons, arguments and relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1. Writing scripts are marked by trained and certificated IELTS examiners, who all hold relevant teaching qualifications and are recruited as examiners by the test centres and approved by British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia.
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IELTS General Training, Writing Task 1: How to write a letter
Learn about the positive features IELTS examiners look for in your General Training Writing Task 1 response. Take a closer look at task achievement in the IELTS assessment criteria and learn how to score a higher band score.
On this page
State the purpose, use the right tone, include bullet points presented in the question, structure your letter.
While preparing for IELTS General Training - Writing Task 1, know what features the examiners look for in a letter.
When you put in the work, getting the IELTS score you need is easy. We’ve put together some handy tips to get you one step ahead. With the help of our IELTS Experts, we have put together some important points you need to focus on when writing a letter as part of IELTS General Training Writing Task 1.
If we take a closer look at task achievement in the IELTS assessment criteria, you can see the examiner checks to see if your letter contains the following features:
Purpose of the letter is presented
Tone of the letter is appropriate
Bullet points are presented, highlighted and extended
Format is appropriate – letter format
That’s a quick overview, but let's take a closer look at what each of these dot points mean, and how you need to write your letter in IELTS Writing Task 1.
Start your letter by clearly stating why you are writing, the purpose. The reason for writing your letter needs to be clearly presented in the opening paragraph. Make sure the purpose of the letter is in direct response to the situation outlined in the question.
Example opening paragraphs with a clear purpose presented:
Common IELTS General Training, Writing Task 1 situations may include:
Let’s move on to the next feature in your letter that the examiner is looking for, the tone of your letter. The tone refers to the way in which you write the letter, formal or informal style. The instructions in the question will give you a clue.
Begin your letter as follows:
A formal letter contains:
Longer sentences that use passive language (be + past participle)
Modals (e.g. The broken light needs to be fixed to ensure that the customers who use this facility have adequate visibility of their surroundings.)
An informal letter is:
Can include contractions (e.g. can’t) and more direct speech (e.g. Can you fix the light in the kitchen, so I don’t have an accident?)
The table shows some examples of formal and informal vocabulary and structures that you can use in your IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 response:
And finally, remember that the greeting and the closing salutation of an IELTS General Training, Writing Task 1 letter needs to match the style. For example:
Dear Sir/Madam -----------------------> Yours faithfully
Dear John -----------------------> Best wishes
When writing a letter as part of the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1, it is important to include the bullet points presented to you in the question.
The question in IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 will present you with:
Who to write the letter to
What you must include in the letter (the bullet points).
All three bullet points need to be presented. And remember that some bullet points contain more than one element. So, make sure to watch for ‘and’ and plurals.
Let’s break down the following question.
An overseas friend wants to visit your country on holiday.
Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
Recommend the best time of year to visit and why
Describe the types of accommodation your friend could choose
Say what you would like to show your friend in your country
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write any addresses.
Look at the first bullet point and you will see it contains two elements. So, make sure you present both:
The best time of the year to visit
Why it is the best time to visit
Look at the second bullet point and you will see you will that you have to describe ‘types’ of accommodation. So, remember to watch for plurals.
3. First type of accommodation
4. Second type of accommodation
Example for the first bullet point, covering both elements (when and why):
Most people visit Brisbane in the summer months, but I think it’s far too hot then. The best time to visit is between April and June, our autumn season. It’s still sunny, but much cooler and not as humid as the summer.
The final feature to look at in IELTS General Training, Writing Task 1 is the format of your letter. A letter needs to be written using a proper format, including the following:
A greeting (Dear sir/madam, Dear John, Dear Mr. Smith)
The main body (consisting of paragraphs for each part of the letter)
A closing (Yours sincerely, Yours faithfully, Best wishes, Kind regards, Love)
In the instructions you are told - You do NOT need to write any addresses – so do not include them.
This is an example of an informal letter:
Remember, to reach a higher band score for IELTS General Training Writing Task 1, - task achievement, you need to include each of these features in your letter.
A clear purpose
Present and highlight all the bullet points
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General IELTS Task 1 Letter Samples
If you’re unsure what your General Training Task 1 answer should look like, it’s helpful to see some sample answers first.
Below, you will find several Band 9 Task 1 Letter Samples to help you understand what is required from you to get a high IELTS score.
The sample answers below will help you understand how you should organise your own Task 1 answers.
However, you will improve even faster if you answer the questions first and then compare what you’ve written with the sample. You can also watch the videos to see what typical mistakes other students made and check if you made the same ones.
However, if you haven’t already studied what to do in Task 1, I would recommend that you first check out my General Training IELTS Writing Task 1 Lessons .
#1 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #1
Sample Answer #1
Dear Sir or Madam, While at your supermarket last Tuesday, I was unable to reach a box of cereal from the top shelf, and there weren’t any staff members or other customers in the aisle who I could ask for help. For this reason, I asked for assistance from a female employee in the nearby bakery section of your supermarket. This person’s response was incredibly inappropriate and is the reason I am writing this letter. At first, she stared into my eyes without saying anything, after which she laughed under her breath and walked away. At this point, she began pointing in my direction while whispering to another member of staff in the bakery. I’m highly insulted by this conduct for obvious reasons, and I wish to be sent a letter of apology directly from that staff member. On that day, it seemed as though this was the only female employee in the bakery, which is why I’m confident that you will easily identify the person in question, and furthermore, I expect to hear from her within the next week. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#2 Informal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #2
Sample Answer #2
Dear Bob, I just got back from my trip to Paris, and it was as impressive as you described. I spent a lot of time visiting all the typical tourist attractions, which never failed to amaze me, and I also rambled around the back streets to see what other exciting things I might find. I must say, it’s definitely the most unique and fascinating place I’ve ever been. Your guidebook was an absolute godsend as well because of all the useful phrases, and I was able to interact with the locals a lot more than I expected. One time, as well, I got completely lost, and it wasn’t until I remembered the map in the guidebook that I could find my way back to the hotel. Anyway, I’ll be working in your area towards the end of next week, so I thought that I’d drop over when I’m done to give you back the book. It should be at around dinner time on Thursday. Would that be okay with you? If it’s not suitable, I can come over another time so just let me know either way. Best wishes, Lar
#3 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #3
Sample Answer #3
Dear Sir or Madam, I completed your outstanding CAD training course last week but, unfortunately, I have lost the certificate that was awarded to me. While driving to the airport this morning, I took it out of my bag to look at it again but subsequently forgot to put it back and left it in the taxi as a result. As I have passed the course, I am now entitled to a substantial pay increase from my employer, but firstly, I must submit proof to my finance department. The CEO of our company is very strict about this and will only accept official documentation, which is why this certificate is so important. I would be forever grateful if you could make another copy of the certificate and send it to my company’s address. My tutor on the course was Mrs Smith, and she will be able to verify my completion of the course and any other details that you might need. As soon as I have the certificate, I will receive my pay raise, and therefore, I would greatly appreciate it if you could do this for me as soon as possible. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#4 Informal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #4
Sample Answer #4
Dear Jane, I’m throwing a dinner party on Sunday to celebrate 20 years of marriage with John. He doesn’t know that I am planning it, so that will be a big surprise for him. You know that he loves having visitors over to the house, so I’m pretty sure that he’ll be delighted when he sees all of the guests arriving. We will have dishes from your country there because John is actually a massive fan of Nigerian food. We usually don’t eat it much because it’s just so tricky to get the right ingredients around here. Luckily, though, I was able to get everything I need already, and I know that this will make the party all the better for him. I was hoping that you can come to the party too because there will be other people there that I think you will enjoy meeting. Dinner will be at about 5 o’clock but get here before that if you can, and we’ll hang out for a while before everyone else comes. Can you let me know by Saturday if you’ll be coming because I want to make sure that I cook enough food? Best wishes, Jenny
#5 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #5
Sample Answer #5
Dear Mrs Smith, This Sunday, I am having a dinner party to mark my and my husband, John’s, 20th wedding anniversary. He is not aware that I am organising this party which means that it will be quite a big surprise for him. John immensely enjoys when we have guests, and because of this, I am quite confident that he will be very pleased when the guests arrive. There will be cuisine from your country served as my husband is very fond of Nigerian dishes. Under normal circumstances, we don’t eat it very often, though, as it is quite challenging to get the right ingredients in this part of the world. Fortunately, however, I have been able to acquire all the necessary ingredients, and I am confident that John will enjoy the party all the more because of this. I thought that it would be nice if you could come to the party as well since there will be some guests who I believe you would enjoy the company of. Dinner will be served at approximately 5 o’clock; however, it would be nice if you could come earlier and we can chat before the other guests arrive. Please let me know by Saturday if it is possible for you to attend because I would like to ensure that there is enough food for everyone. Yours sincerely, Jennifer O’Connell
#6 Informal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #6
Sample Answer #6
Dear Fiona, It turns out that I can’t visit you next week as we had planned because I have an important client flying into the country and he wants me to show him around some of the tourist attractions over the weekend. It’s a pity that I can’t make it, but it’s really out of my hands. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t give you more notice, but I just found out this minute. The client wasn’t supposed to come for another few weeks but changed his plans for some reason or another. I really hope you hadn’t gone to any bother getting ready for my visit. As soon as the client leaves I’ll be free again so I thought I could visit you the weekend after this one if you’re free then. I’m all excited about seeing you, so don’t want to put it off any longer than I have to. Just let me know if that’s okay for you, and I’ll call the airline to see if I can still delay my flight. Best wishes, Lar
#7 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #7
Sample Answer #7
Dear Mrs Folan, It has just come to my attention that I will not be able to visit head office next week as had initially been arranged. This is because an important client is visiting from abroad, and has requested that I give him a tour of the local tourist attractions during the weekend. It is unfortunate that I must cancel, but I have no other option under the circumstances. My sincerest apologies for not providing you with more notice; however, I have just learned of this myself. I had initially been informed that the client would visit on the 28th, but he pushed the date forward for some reason that I am unaware of. I hope you hadn’t yet made any preparations for my visit. Once the client leaves, I will be available and, therefore, would like to reschedule my visit to head office for the weekend of the 16th, if that is suitable for you. I am eager to resume our plans as soon as possible, so I would like to avoid delaying them any further. Please inform me if this arrangement is acceptable for you, and I will contact the airline to enquire if it is still possible to delay my flight. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#8 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #8
Sample Answer #8
Dear Mr Smith, I regret to inform you that I am unable to continue working as a member of your team as I must return to my country to complete a master’s degree. I have been fortunate enough to be accepted into one of the top universities in my country, and this is an opportunity that I must pursue. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working in this position as it gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn so much about this industry. I hadn’t realised that there are so many factors to consider when organising transportation, and furthermore, I believe that all of the skills I have learned will benefit me in future endeavours. My intention is to continue working here until the end of next week, after which I will be returning home. I would like to have given you a longer period of notice, but the master’s program is starting next month, and I must return to my country before that so as to organise my accommodation for when I am studying. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#9 Informal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #9
Sample Answer #9
Dear Sir or Madam, Yesterday, the brown teddy bear which I ordered from your website was delivered to my house. The bear appears to be made from polyester, and it is wearing a purple dress and matching hat, which are fashioned from a heavy velvet material. As well as that, the bear’s paws are covered with red and white checkered cloth. However, the nose of the bear had not been firmly attached and has fallen off this morning. The bear was placed on a shelf immediately after the delivery and has not been touched since. I’m, therefore, entirely confident that the issue was caused during the manufacturing process, rather than something that happened since it was delivered. As this product was purchased as a gift for my daughter’s birthday this weekend, I need you to send a replacement to me before the end of the week. My wife will be at home during the daytime, which means that your delivery driver can come at any time that is convenient for you. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#10 Informal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #10
Sample Answer #10
Dear John, A few weeks ago, I sent a photo I had taken to the art gallery on Hive Street, and they have chosen it to appear in an exhibition they’re putting on next week. I had never submitted anything to an art gallery before, so I wasn’t expecting to hear back from them, which makes it all the more exciting for me. The photo they are showing is one that I took at the pier about 6 months back during that lovely weather that we had. It was about 10 o’clock, and the sun was setting behind the mountain on the far side of the river. Because of the timing, there was no glare from the sun, and it was casting a beautiful warm orange glow across the sky. I wanted to ask if you would like to come to the exhibition with me. The exhibition is on Wednesday and doesn’t start until 7 pm so I can pick you up at your place at around half five and we’ll get dinner somewhere first. So just let me know if you can go or not because I’ll find someone else to come with me if you’re not able. Best wishes, Lar
#11 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #11
Sample Answer #11
Dear Sir or Madam, My brother-in-law has recently disclosed to me that you intend to build an international airport in the Rockwell area. He discovered this as he is a contractor and was requested to submit a quotation for constructing part of the terminal. Although he was instructed not to share this information, he decided it was important that I know. This will have a serious negative effect on my profits and the profits of the other farmers in our community. As I am sure you are aware, we are mostly dairy farmers in this area, and there is a long history of cattle producing less milk when they are exposed to the noise of low flying aircraft. One option that would minimise the adverse effects of your plan is for the runway to run from northwest to southeast. That would mean that the aeroplanes would not be taking off or flying in to land directly over our pastures and, therefore, would reduce the risk of our livestock being affected by your decision. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#12 Informal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #12
Sample Answer #12
Dear Jane, Thanks so much for agreeing to look after my house for the next week. I know you’re already busy, so it’s a huge deal that you’re willing to use the little bit of time you have to help me with this. I definitely won’t forget it, and I owe you a big favour now, so make sure to just ask me whenever you think of anything that I can help you with. While I’m away, please water all of the plants once every two or three days. You’ll find a jug under the sink in the kitchen, and you can just use normal tap water. The ones on the balcony are a bit high, though, so you’ll probably need to get the stool from the dressing table in the bedroom to reach those. If you need me for any reason while I’m gone, you’ll be able to call the reception desk at the hotel where I’m staying and leave a message for me there. You’ll find their business card in the envelope with this letter, and you can use the phone number that I’ve circled in red on the back. Best wishes, Lar
#13 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #13
Sample Answer #13
Dear Mrs Smith, For Gary’s retirement party, I have booked eight tables that each seat ten guests at a local restaurant named The Kitchen, which serves a variety of French and Italian cuisine. In addition, we will be seated upstairs in a large private area that is air-conditioned, spacious and well-lit, with a sound system that we will have control of. This venue is suitable as it is located on the same side of the city as our offices which means that we will not be affected by the rush hour traffic when commuting there after work this Friday. Furthermore, there is ample parking for all attending which means that dinner will be served as early as possible as per your instructions. For the retirement gift, I purchased an elegant watch manufactured using scrap metal from an old fighter jet. As you know, Gary served in the air force, so this gift considers his personal life while also keeping within the tradition of a watch being presented to the retiree. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
#14 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #14
Sample Answer #14
Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing this letter in regard to the Business Management course that I joined at your college because I need to gain more knowledge in this field to apply for a better job. I am hoping to apply for a marketing manager position for which I am required to have a qualification in the management field. I believe that the course is not suitable for me because of my educational background. I completed my education in science, which is why I do not have the core knowledge of business studies that is required for your Business Management course. After attending the classes for a week, I have realised that I need to attend a foundation course first to learn the basic concepts of business. I was hoping that you would allow me to postpone this course until your next enrollment early next year. If I could stop studying this course this week, I would have an opportunity to study the basic knowledge that I need first. Then, next year, when I’m better prepared, I would benefit more from the curriculum. Yours sincerely, Domenico La Fauci
#15 Formal Letter Sample
Feedback Video #15
Sample Answer #15
Dear Sir or Madam, Recently, I stayed at your renowned hotel, and I became upset because of the rude behaviour of your receptionist when I asked him if he could arrange for someone to change my bed sheet, but he refused to do that. He told me that his shift had finished, and it was not his duty anymore to resolve this issue. I was really surprised by his response. Due to this interaction with your receptionist, I couldn’t sleep well that night, and this caused me to be extremely tired throughout the next day. Due to this sleepless night, we missed the buffet breakfast at the Pacific Restaurant which I already had paid for before coming to this hotel, and therefore, we all had to eat at another restaurant, and I had to pay for breakfast a second time. Because I have lost money on account of your receptionist’s behaviour, I expect you to refund the money I paid for the breakfast at the Pacific Restaurant. I have attached my bank account details, and I am expecting the refund as soon as possible. If I don’t hear from you within five working days, I will deal with this problem through my bank. Yours sincerely, Lar Ryan
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IELTS General Task 1 – Letter Writing
Succeeding at any exam requires positivity, preparation, and practice!
The IELTS General Writing Task 1 measures your ability to communicate about common practical issues. You have 20 minutes to respond to a question prompt, by writing a letter to a person, company, or institution. Your response is worth about 30% of your writing score and is graded separately from the Task 2 essay.
The information below includes test-taking tips, strategies, expressions, sample questions, model letters, and references. It can help you get the highest possible score on the letter-writing section of the IELTS. Use it regularly to keep track of your progress. All the best!
Tips for IELTS General Task 1
1. Identify the type of letter you are being asked to write.
Step 2 will help you recognize each type of letter.
2. Identify the purpose of the letter.
Read lots of sample questions. Decide whether the question requires a formal, semi-formal, or informal response. Steps 1 & 2 will help you choose the right language, style, and tone for your letter.
3. Open and close the letter correctly. Do this based on the type and purpose of the letter.
4.Start the letter appropriately.
a. Open a formal and semi-formal letter with a formal sentence and paragraph. Get down to business and say why you are writing. Don’t try to be friendly, as you do not know the person you are writing to.
Formal: Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to inquire about… I am writing in connection with…
Semi-formal Dear Mr Johnson, I am writing to inform you that… I am writing to…
b. Open an informal letter with a general, friendly paragraph. Acknowledge your friendship first, before explaining the reason for your letter. In fact, the first paragraph could include just friendly small talk, unrelated to the reason for your writing.
Dear Susan I hope you and your family are all well! It was so wonderful to spend time with all of you last month. It felt great to catch up with you and Bob, get to know your children, and have fun together after so long. You have always been dear friends of mine, and always will be.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing is that I have some good news: I am getting married in September…
5. Learn and use standard written phrases.
In English letter writing, we use a number of standard expressions and phrases. These not only save time and effort, but also make it easier for the reader to understand our meaning. You can add on the specific information you wish to communicate to these standard phrases. See the list of Useful Expressions below.
6. Spell commonly used words correctly. Learn and practice the correct spelling of words you are likely to use on the exam. Examples are: “sincerely”, “faithfully”, “in connection with”, “apologize”, and so on. This is an easy way to boost your score.
Usually you need four paragraphs:
- Problem / Situation
- Solution / Action
Indenting: Do NOT leave a line space between paragraphs. Start writing a little to the right of the left margin. Skipping a line: Leave a line space between paragraphs. Start writing directly from the left margin.
8. Use clear handwriting. Make sure your writing is neat and legible, so your words can be read easily and do not appear to have spelling mistakes. Get feedback from a teacher on your handwriting. Pay special attention to how you form and connect letters such as a, e, i, u, n, r, and w.
9. Write at least 150 words. Practice writing letters till you know what 150 words feels like and looks like. You will lose marks if you write less. You will not lose marks if you write more.
10. Include all three bulleted points. If you exclude even one of the points given to you in the question prompt, you will get a lower grade. Answer all the points.
In your letter:
- explain the problem
- describe why it disturbs you
- suggest a solution
11. Finish in time.
The IELTS General Task I letter is worth about 30% of your writing score, so make sure you complete the whole letter. Though you have to make up a story to explain the situation, keep it simple so you don’t run out of time. Make sure to keep 40 minutes to complete the essay in Task 2, which is worth much more in terms of points.
12. Read model letters but don’t memorize them. Instead, read the letters to get an idea of the overall flow and to pick up new vocabulary and expressions. Make sure to consult only reliable sources, such as Good Luck IELTS , for model answers.
13. Understand the scoring criteria. Learn how to get a high score by knowing what examiners look for and how they award or deduct points.
IELTS General Task 1 Grading Criteria
14. Practice writing letters regularly and get them checked by an IELTS trainer. Not every English teacher understands the demands of this particular exam, so find someone who has IELTS teaching experience, if possible. Practice writing answers to sample questions every day in order to improve your skills, your speed, your confidence, and your score!
IELTS General Task 1: Useful Expressions for Letter-Writing
To complete your IELTS letter-writing task within 20 minutes, learn to use and spell common phrases and expressions correctly. Choose the correct level of formality based on your question prompt. By using these phrases, you will save time and effort and earn a higher IELTS score. Most of the expressions below are arranged from formal to semi-formal to informal.
For a full list of phrases and expressions, check Good Luck IELTS .
Apologizing Please accept my sincere apologies for… I am very sorry about… Sorry for…
Asking for help I’d be grateful if you could… I would appreciate it if you could… Could you please…
Asking for information I am writing to enquire about… I am writing to find out about… I would like to know about…
Closing I look forward to hearing from you, I look forward to seeing you, I look forward to meeting you,
Complaining I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with… I am writing to express my annoyance with… I’m not happy with…
Expressing satisfaction I was delighted to learn that… I was thrilled to hear that… I was very glad to hear that…
Expressing concern I am writing to express my concern about… I was very sorry to learn that… I was really sorry to hear that…
Giving bad news I regret to advise you that… I regret to inform you that… I am sorry to tell you that…
Giving good news I am pleased to advise you that… I am delighted to inform you that… I am happy to tell you that…
Giving reasons This is due to… This is a result of … This is because…
Making suggestions Perhaps it would be useful to… Perhaps it would be possible to… It might be helpful to…
Thanking I am extremely grateful for… I really appreciate… Thank you for…
IELTS General Task 1: Sample Questions
You are looking for a full-time job. Write a letter to an employment agency. In your letter:
- introduce yourself
- explain what sort of job you would like
- say what experience and skills you have
Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir/Madam
You should write at least 150 words. You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
You are going to take a short holiday in Singapore and you want to rent a holiday apartment while you are there. Write to the tourist information office. In your letter:
- explain what you need
- say when you plan to be there
- ask for information about prices
Begin your letter as follows: Dear Mr/Ms __________
You stayed at your friend’s house when you attended a conference in Australia. Unfortunately, you left a large envelope with some important documents in your room. Write a letter to your friend. In the letter:
- thank your friend for the stay
- describe where you left the envelope
- ask him/her to return it to you by post
Begin your letter as follows: Dear _________
For more sample IELTS questions, visit:
Good Luck IELTS: Sample IELTS Letter Topics 1 Good Luck IELTS: Sample IELTS Letter Topics 2 Good Luck IELTS: Sample IELTS Letter Topics 3
IELTS General Task 1: Model Letters:
Last month you had a holiday overseas where you stayed with some friends. They have just sent you some photos of your holiday.
Write a letter to your friends. In your letter:
- thank them for the photos and for the holiday
- explain why you didn’t write earlier
- invite them to come and stay with you
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write any address.
Begin your letter as follows: Dear __________
Dear Ajay and Sunita,
Thanks so much for your kind letter, with the lovely photos of my holiday in Mumbai. Sorry for the delay in replying, but your package arrived as I was about to leave town on a business trip. I’ve just returned to Toronto today.
Looking at the photos brings back so many happy memories of the times we spent together and the wonderful hospitality you extended to me. I felt completely pampered by both of you! You surrounded me with warm friends, tasty food, amazing sights, great shopping, unforgettable cultural events and laughter-filled evenings. I would have been lost without you! I can’t thank you enough.
These good memories gave me an idea. I know you’ve always wanted to visit Canada. Why don’t you plan a holiday and stay with me this summer? The weather is great at that time of year and I could take two weeks off from work. Aside from seeing Toronto, we could drive to Niagara Falls, Thousand Islands, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City. I would be thrilled if you could make it.
Thank you both again for the beautiful holiday and the photos, which are already up on my wall. Now, I’m really looking forward to hearing from you.
Warm wishes, Carol (205 words)
For more formal, semi-formal, and informal letters, check Good Luck IELTS – Sample IELTS Letters
IELTS Reference Material
Good Luck IELTS – Complete, free guide to the IELTS
EngVid IELTS videos
IELTS official website
IELTS band descriptors
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