Want to say something to your closed ones? How about trying it in the old style? Would you like to convey your message in writing? Do you remember how to write an informal letter? Let’s recall it together.
Letter writing is an age-old trend, now out-fashioned though. The trend of writing letters started back in ancient India and saw its rise during ancient Egypt and Sumer through Rome, Greece, and China. While in the beginning, letters were used to self-educate, these became the medium to communicate, gradually. People used to write letters to their loved ones, friends, partners, etc., sitting miles apart. However, this beautiful, traditional means of communication lost its spark with the rise in information technology. People nowadays use emails to communicate professionally while numerous messenger applications are in trend for informal interactions.
But as we say, Old is Gold, no email, chat or messenger app could ever replace the charm of letter writing. So, let’s get back into the past once again and see how to write an informal letter. You never know when you might need this art in the future again. (Source)
Take notes, guys!!
How to write an informal letter?
Before we delve into writing an informal letter, let us first understand its meaning and purpose.
Informal letters are written in a personal fashion. Unlike formal letters, you can write an informal letter to a friend, relative, family member or anybody with whom you have a non-professional association. In other words, we write informal letters to people we may know very well, personally. For this reason, they tend to be long and detailed. This form of letter writing shows that the writer has taken the time to communicate. Further, their format is not rigid or formal.
With informal letters, you can be as creative as you want. You may include multiple topics, add images, photographs, tables, charts, etc. to an informal letter.
Let us know what all constitute an informal letter.
1. Receiver and Purpose
Before you write an informal letter, consider these two things as crucial. The person you are writing and the reason behind writing will determine the length, tone and language of your letter. Hence, think before you start writing an informal letter.
2. Language and Tone
The best part about writing an informal letter is its language and tone. Since we write these for our closed ones, we can use a casual or friendly tone. You have the freedom to choose any language that both parties can understand. Spelling modifications, contracted forms (short forms), bilingual words, etc., are all allowed. In short, writing an informal letter is just like you are actually conversing with the other person. Hence, you can write it in any way you want.
More than the language, emotion is what matters here in informal letters. Unlike formal letters, informal letters tend to have more emotional value. In fact, the mixture of the language you use and the content you write are the reasons for their candid nature. Whether you are writing an informal letter to your childhood buddy or your Ma-Pa or siblings, do not forget to add a pinch of emotions to it. Actually, the intention here is, the person reading your letter should feel the emotions exactly the way you’ve felt.
Informal Letter Writing Format
Unlike formal letters, there is no standard format for informal letter writing. However, there is a universal pattern that people across the globe follow. There are no hard and fast rules, as such. Just a few tips one must consider when writing such letters. The pattern and tips we are about to share may guide you if you are writing an informal letter for the first time.
Students, please take notes!
Address (Where do you currently stay?)
Date (The day of writing the letter)
Dear (Name of the lucky recipient)
(Begin with a good catch-up line)
Use this portion to write about what made you write this letter or what is the purpose of this letter. If this is a reply to an old letter, acknowledge it and let them know how you felt when you received their letter.
(The actual story – why are you writing this letter)
(Wrap up using a few final words)
(Use a creative or fun sign-off)
So, the basic elements of informal letter writing are:
Address of the Sender
Informal letter writing begins with the address of the sender, i.e. the person who is writing the letter. It should be written on the left-hand side on the top of the letter/paper. We give our address in the letter so that the receiver can write back to you. Make sure to give your complete address, including the Letter Box Number/Post Box number, City, Street and Pin Code. Also, if you are sending this letter to an international receiver, do not forget to add the country name.
No. 11, Third Floor,
Part 2 Market,
Delhi – 110048
Next to the sender’s address comes the date when the letter is written. The most common way to write a date is: mm/dd/yy (month, day, year). The name of the month should always be written in Capital. However, there’s a difference between the date format in British and American English.
- Date Format in British English
22nd November 2020
- Date Format in American English
November 22nd, 2020
Greeting the Receiver
After the date, comes the greeting line. Since we are writing an informal letter, the greeting can be as casual as you want. You can either use their full name or just the first name. Also, you may or may not end with an exclamation. Instead, you can put a comma at the end.
Further, you could also add a friendly expression that follows the name of the receiver.
How are you?
I hope you’re well!
The first Paragraph after the greetings section is the introduction. This section sets the tone of the letter. You can either use it to tell the receiver about your purpose of writing the letter or talk about a past memory to build a storyline.
I am excited to tell you…..
Hey, I was missing you since we last met…
I got your message on…….
Use this section to elaborate on the purpose of writing the letter. You can write everything you want to tell the person. Just keep your sentences short and friendly. One important thing here is to adjust the tone and usage of words depending on your relationship with the receiver. If you are writing to your friend, for instance, you can use friendly terms. But if you are writing the letter to someone respectable like your parents, or grandparents, choose respectful words.
Wrap up the letter with some good closing lines. Leave them with a reason to revert on your letter. This will show your intention to continue the conversation. You can also give some advice, recommendation or suggestions on their future endeavours.
Finish off your letter with a nice closing line.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Give my love/regards to your family.
Say hello to the kids.
See you soon.
In the case of informal letter writing, there’s no way to close the letter. You can either put your signature simply or sign off the way you want. You may also choose the closing line based on the purpose of your letter.
Lots of Love
How to write informal letters – General Tips
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Here a few things you could consider while writing an informal letter:
- Write your full address with correct Pin code.
Your personal address should be the first thing you write on your letter after the date. It should be ideally located at the top right corner of the page. It is useful since the person you are writing to will have your address at hand if they want to reply.
- Keep your writing simple and friendly.
- Divide your letter into small paragraphs.
- Choose your words carefully even if you are writing to a friend. Consider the purpose of your letter before you chose the words.
- You can use contractions like: isn’t, it’s, it’ll, can’t, won’t, etc.
- Make your writing creative and engaging by using anecdotes, phrasal verbs and real-life incidents.
Informal Letter Writing Samples
Now that you know how to write informal letter, its format, basic tips, here we are sharing an example to give you a clear idea of the format
Informal Letter to a Friend – Sample
No. 11, Third Floor,
Part 2 Market,
Delhi – 110048.
30th May 2020
How are you? It’s been long since we met. I hope you’re doing great.
As winters are approaching, I was thinking to spend some time with you. I really miss our school days when we used to hang out together all day long. Remember eating those spicy corn bhajjis at Chandni Chowk? I haven’t been there since you shifted to Mumbai. I feel like going back to the past sometimes. Nevertheless, I was thinking if we could spend the winter breaks together at my place in Delhi. We will visit all those places we used to, meet our school time friends. To add the cherry on the cake, we could also visit Rishikesh or Dehradun, if possible.
I am excited at the thought of meeting you, Sam. I have got a long list of things ready to tell you. Hope, you’d feel the same way. Give my regards to uncle and aunty.
Hope to hear a YES from you this time!
So, the next time you feel like connecting with your loved ones, try out this traditional way of expression. Informal letter writing can be fun and emotional at the same. Just imagine writing a letter to your friend and getting a revert back from them. And then, it goes on!
And if you are a student and want to practise how to write informal letters, you could find many informal letter writing topics over the net. You can even share them with us in the comment section below.