How to write a transactional letter for New FCE exam

How to write a transactional letter – describing, recommending and suggesting a visit for the New FCE exam? Here’s a sample topic that has been divided into paragraphs and each of the sections explained. 

Part 2 

You must answer this question.

You would like to learn Russian and you see this advert in a newspaper. You would like to know more. Read the ad and the notes you have made. Write a letter to the school asking for more information.

FCE writing task

Write your letter. Don’t include any postal addresses. Write your answer in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Sample answer:

Dear Sir/ Madam,
I have recently seen your advertisement in the international newspaper and I am writing to enquire about your Russian language school.

You start with Paragraph 1- Introduction
In the introduction you :

– say why you are writing and what you are responding to (e.g. an advert, a prospectus).

– begin Dear Mr Johns/ Dear Ms Jones etc. if you don’t know the name of the person write Dear Sir/ Madam

– say where you saw the advert ( you can invent a newspaper and/or date if you need to)

Phrases you can use in the introduction:

*  I am writing to you about ..
* I am writing … with reference to…/ in response to …   to enquire about …
* I would like to … I would be grateful if you could…
REMEMBER: It’s a formal piece of writing that means:  use a formal, neutral style: no contractions, no colloquial language, no direct questions, no informal punctuation such as exclamation marks.

What interests me in the course is the limited number of students in a group. Would you be able to advise on the exact size of the group and forward some indication whether it is half a dozen or close to a dozen learners? I would also like to enquire if there is a group for a complete novice like me. 

As you can see you have few notes within the question, the notes may refer to different areas. Organize your paragraphs in a way that each point is within a paragraph referring to particular area e.g details about the course( price, hours)- 2nd paragraph and details about the group ( size, levels)- 3rd paragraph .

 In the 2nd Paragraph you :

– write a topic sentence

– organise your application so that you mention the relevant notes of the areas in the advertisement

Phrases you can use to in the 2nd paragraph:

* I would be very grateful if you could …
* Would it be possible for you to …?
* Please could you tell me more about / send me further information about …

Furthermore, I would be glad to receive some details about fees and the timetable. Could you please advise on the total number of hours and price of the fortnight course? I would love to use the study centre, do you think you could instruct me on the opening hours please? And also, I will be coming to Moscow on my own, so a company of a Russian family would give me more chance to practice the language. I was wondering how far from the school the accommodation is. 

It is worth mentioning that I will be coming to Moscow on my own, so a company of a Russian family would give me more chance to practice the language. I was wondering how far from the school the accommodation is. 

In the 3rd Paragraph you :

– mention the relevant notes of the areas in the advertisement
– write a topic sentence
– only include necessary information
– DON’T repeat the whole phrases from the question- use synonyms ( e.g. 12- dozen, price- fee, times- timetable)
– if necessary add an extra paragraph is a point doesn’t refer to any of the previously discussed areas

Phrases you can use in the 3rd paragraph:

* Use similar phrases as in paragraph 2.

* Use linkers e.g. Moreover / Furthermore / In addition etc

Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Yours sincerely,

Paul Brown

Paul Brown

In the last paragraph you :

– use formal ending ( Sincerely/ Sincerely yours / Kind regards / Yours truly etc. )
– sign your name and then print your name clearly underneath

Phrases you can use to end the letter

* I look forward to hearing from you.
* Thank you in advance for your help.

Over to you:

You are planning a camping holiday with a friend and you saw a Camping Site advertisement. Read the advertisement together with the notes. Then write to Meadows Camping Site asking for the information and adding any relevant questions of your own.

FCE letter formal

Write your letter. Don’t include any postal addresses. Write your answer in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

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