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ICSE English-1: Writing letters

Letters can be of different types. As was pointed out by the renowned poet W.H. Auden, in the poem ‘Night Mail’, there can be

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,

Letters of joy from girl and boy,

Receipted bills and invitations

To inspect new stock or to visit relations,

And applications for situations,

And timid lover’s declarations,

And gossip, gossip from all the nations.

Thus, as can be seen in the poem, letters can be of varying types. Personal letters or informal letters are letters addressed to parents, friends, relatives, colleagues and other acquaintances.

ICSE letter writing is usually made up of two types:

  • Letters written to parents and siblings.
  • Letters written to friends.

Format of personal letters in ICSE

  • Your address should be written in the right handed corner on top of the page. Write your full address followed by the date.

65, Hindustan Complex,

Hinduja Avenue,

Kolkata 700026.

10th January, 2010.

  • After you complete writing your address and the date, follow up with the salutation or greeting. In case of the personal and informal letters, the most commonly used salutation is ‘dear’. For example a letter addressed to your friend can begin with ‘Dear’ followed by his/her name.
  • Since there are no such rule to write the subject in a separate column, you can start the letter having a reference to the subject. For example, if you want to write a letter to your friend, describing a recent football match which you played in your school, you can start by briefing him about this match.
  • The body is the main part of the letter and this part ought to be comprised of the subject matter. For example, this part may contain the details about the football match which you played recently.
  • You may conclude the letter conveying love or respect not only to the friend or the one to whom you are writing the letter, but also his or her family and other near and dear ones.
  • Do not end the letter all of a sudden, but end with phrases like ‘yours lovingly’ or ‘yours affectionately’.
  • End the letter with your first name.

Last but not the least, do remember that the letter being a personal letter with no such strict rule as is the case with formal letters, be yourself and express yourself without any constrain!
For Formal Letter Writing tips click here

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