generally accepted as correct and widely used ----- standardisiert
planned or meant ----- bestimmt sein für
acceptable or correct for the situation ----- angemessen, angebracht
a page sent with a letter or fax explaining the contents ----- Deckblatt
a person who receives something ----- Empfänger
existing or real ----- gegenwärtig
to continue to be ----- weiterhin so sein, immer noch
to need or depend on something ----- erforderlich
to express in spoken or written words, fully and clearly ----- aussagend
beneath or below something ----- unterhalb
to stop doing something or to leave or desert something/somebody ----- abbrechen
CORRESPONDENCE / Business Correspondence - Letters, Faxes and Email
It is important that a business letter, fax or email is clear, brief and follows the standard business format. Business correspondence should contain no spelling or grammatical mistakes and all correspondence should be reviewed before it is signed or sent.
The top of the letter should have the date on the top right of the page. Followed by the name and contact details of the sender (the name of the sender can appear here if you want the letter to be from you personally within the company). Next, on the left, should appear the title and address of the intended receiver of the letter. The next line should be the subject of the correspondence, the RE (this stands for ‘with reference to’, and is usually only used in more formal correspondence, however it is always used when sending emails). The message will follow the appropriate greeting, which is then completed with a closing phrase. Your title, name and position in the company should always be printed below where you will sign the letter. It is important to always sign any letter or fax before sending, or in the case of emails, simply put your name title and position at the end of the message.
Faxes are usually sent with a cover page, which indicates the name and fax number of the sender, and also the name and fax number of the recipient. On the cover page of a fax the number of pages should also appear, written as ‘Page 1 of x’.
When emails arrive, they always have a section at the start that gives the date and time when the email was sent, so there is no need to include the date on the actual message itself. This section of the email also has room for a RE (with reference to), and this should contain the major subject of the email.
Formal Letters, Faxes and Emails. Opening:
The standard opening to a letter is ‘Dear’ followed by the person’s name that you are writing to.
If you do not know the person well then you should use a title either Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. or Dr. For example – ‘Dear Mr. Smith’. If you know the person’s full name you can use their full name instead, it sounds friendly while remaining formal. For example – ‘Dear John Smith’.
The titles Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. and Dr. all should be used when the letter is required to sound formal. The title Mrs. indicates a woman is married, Miss indicates a woman who is unmarried and Ms. is used when a woman either does not wish her marital status to be made public or you are unsure of the marital status of the person you are writing to. Americans usually write these titles with a full stop after them, where the British and Australians do not.
The title Ms. is becoming more commonly used in present day, and should be used unless you have already received mail from this person stating her preferred title.
If you are unsure of the person who you are writing to then you should use ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or ‘Dear Madam or Sir’. The greeting ‘To whom it may concern’ can also be used.
The common way to close a business letter, fax or email is with the phrase, ‘Yours sincerely’ ‘Yours faithfully’ or ‘Yours truly’. ‘Yours faithfully’ is used when you have begun the letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’. ‘Yours sincerely’ should be the closing phrase when you have used the persons name in the opening greeting. When you are familiar with the recipient of the letter, fax or email use the phrase ‘Yours truly’.
It is also common to have your name and job title underneath where you will sign, if sending a letter.
Informal Letters, Faxes and Emails. Opening:
There are many different ways to open an informal letter, fax or email. It is a sign of friendship and familiarity to use the person’s first name. For example - Dear Chris, Hello John, Hi Sarah.
Alternatively it is possible to abandon the greeting altogether and use the person’s first name. For example - ‘John’ or ‘Mr. Jones’.
Similar to the informal opening, you should use a more conversational type closing, or simply thank the person you are sending the letter to. For example - Take care, See you soon, Thanking you.