When was the last time you wrote a letter? What type of letter was it? The chances of the letter being formal are highly likely. People often draft formal letters to clients, team members, bosses, or anyone in the company. But what about informal letters? Informal letters are making a comeback. It is a great time to learn the basics of an informal letter format.
An informal letter is a personal letter for someone individuals are close to. They may or may not have a professional relationship. However, the letters are primarily written to friends, family, or acquaintances. The purpose of these letters is usually to inform others about what is going on with them. They may also be used to ask others about how they are doing.
It is a friendly way of acknowledging others and casually checking in. The letter need not contain important information. It could be just a symbol of thinking about someone in one’s daily life.
A formal letter is usually written for professional purposes. The reader is someone of authority. So, the tone of the letter must be formal at all times. The letter states an official purpose and is not written to check in casually.
An informal letter is very different from a formal letter in terms of tone. It has a friendly aura to it. The words used and the purpose is always casual. There is no compulsion for an informal letter to have a specific purpose. A person can write an informal letter just because they feel like writing one.
Formal letters generally follow a standard format that cannot be changed drastically. Elements such as date, address, and salutations are pre-determined and must be used.
However, in the case of informal letter formats, there is no such hard and fast rule. An informal letter format is rough and needn’t necessarily be followed. As the letter is read by someone known, the matter discussed is personal. One can custom-write the letter, break paragraphs, and insert anything desired. Only a basic informal letter format needs to be followed.
A formal letter is often written to professionals. They could be business letters written to clients, partner companies, or authorities to register complaints. They could also be written to businesses to give feedback after a purchase. The letter is always written in the third person.
An informal letter can be in the first, second, and third person. The letter is often addressed to friends, family, and other known relatives.
Formal letters are written in passive voice. Informal letter formats use the active voice. The sentences in formal letters may be long and complex, without contractions and abbreviations.
An informal letter is often short, simple, and for personal communication. It can be long or concise, depending on the writer’s whims. One can use idioms, metaphors, contractions, and abbreviations in an informal letter.
Formal letters are often to the point and only discuss the relevant matter. There is no beating around the bush, thus keeping it concise. An informal letter can be as long or short as desired. One can compose a long letter if there is a lot to communicate.
Also Read: Formal Letter Format For Your Daily Use
There can be many contexts and needs for an informal letter. However, it is mostly employed for personal communication. The following are reasons we should be familiar with the informal letter format:
There are numerous formal and informal letter formats. At present, blocked/fully blocked informal letter formats are in use. In these, everything is left aligned.
The components of an informal letter format are as follows:
The first component of an informal letter format is the heading. This usually consists of the address line. Each address line is written below the other without making it a long sentence. The address of the sender is written first. The alignment followed in all standard letters is left.
Pertinent details must be included in the sender’s address. This way, the receiver can write back if needed. Complete addresses with pin codes must be included. When writing to a different country, the country must be specified. The address is followed by the date of writing.
The greetings part of a letter follows the heading. In an informal letter, one can address the recipient as ‘dear’, their name, or both. For example, if the letter is to one’s friend named Steve (nicknamed Stevie), one can use the following greetings:
All these forms are acceptable in the informal letter format. If the letter is to Steve, an uncle, one could include that in the greeting:
This is a matter of personal choice. One can use a greeting based on how the person is generally addressed. Other forms of greeting used are:
Greetings in the informal letter format are quite flexible. If it is a friend or a sibling, slang or nicknames for the person are acceptable. When the letter is to elder relatives, Mr, Ms, or Mrs is used as applicable.
The body of the informal letter format is the third component that follows the greetings. Also called the main text, it consists of all the text the receiver should read.
In a friendly letter, the initial paragraph asks how the person is doing. A line should be skipped to make paragraphs. Common questions include asking about health, life in general, etc. One can ask about their studies and work if it is a student or a professional. For example:
The conclusion of the informal letter format is a significant part of the greeting. Short words should be used, and they should end with a comma. The last line should reflect that the writer enjoyed writing the letter. It should have a pleasant tone so the conclusion doesn’t feel sad. One can even include that they are awaiting a response to the letter.
Informal complimentary closes used in the informal letter format are as follows:
One can write their name or use a signature in the signature line of the informal letter format. The signature line should follow the complimentary close, leaving one or two spaces. One should address themselves as Mr, Mrs, or Ms as applicable. Nicknames may also be used.
Noida – 201304
24 February 2022
I was overjoyed to learn you had graduated from high school and fulfilled your dream. I so wish I could personally congratulate you.
Hard work pays off! I have seen you work hard to achieve it all, and guess what? You did it, girl! I am so proud of you. I know you were scared, but I was always convinced you would pass with flying colours. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to attend the celebratory party.
I look forward to seeing you soon. Keep up the good work. Your prospects are excellent! My family expresses their sincere happiness for you too.
With much love and regards,
44, ABQ Complex,
19th Cross Road
Chennai – 600006
19 August 2022
Hope you are doing well. How is work? Still the best employee?! I hope your parents are doing well. How are Timon and Simba? I miss their sloppy kisses so much!
I am inviting you to my birthday party on 8th September 2022. I have planned it at our family farmhouse. The party starts at 5 pm, and I expect to see you there. If you have questions about the venue, call Dada or me. I can also arrange for you to reach the train station.
It has been so long since we met, and I hope you can make it to the party. Can’t wait to see you again!
Love and regards,
B- 46, Sector 18,
Delhi – 400128
28 October 2022
My dear Shefali,
I hope everything is going well for you and your family. You know that my start-up strategy has taken up much of my time. We hardly get to spend meaningful time with our entire family. I have therefore organized a lavish gathering for us all.
Please visit me on 5th November 2022. Our whole family will be present, and we will relive moments we enjoyed during school days. I hope to see you and do the crazy things we used to do, like prank our cousins. The weather in Delhi is amazing, as usual. You will love it for sure.
I am waiting for your positive reply soon. See you soon!
C-44, Sector 126
Noida – 201303
2 April 2022
My dear Catherin,
I hope you are well. Mother and I have both been worried about you. Knowing you had a high fever and were being treated in the hospital was devastating.
Despite our best efforts, we could not visit you because of travel limitations. As the summer break has already begun, I was considering spending time with you in Noida. I want to show you around the city and meet my friends and family. Let’s go out and eat some food off the street! We can also spend time relaxing close to the Hauz Khas Lake—maybe even hit the clubs.
Just the prospect of spending the holidays with you thrills me. I eagerly await your response.
Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you.
An informal letter is a friendly letter written for personal communication. It is often written to a friend, sibling, or someone close. The language and tone used in the informal letter format are mainly casual and friendly. There is no need to be serious or formal with the usage of words.
Examples of informal letters include invitations to birthday parties, weddings, or any other festive ceremony. Inviting a friend over for a sleepover also counts as an informal letter. Informal letters also apologize for mistakes, congratulate achievements, or lend condolences.
A formal letter is written in the passive voice. In contrast to a formal letter, informal letters are written in an active voice. The phrases are lengthy and complex when used in official correspondence without contractions or abbreviations.
The informal letter format must include a heading with the sender’s address. The letter should also have the date, greetings, and body text. The conclusion can be informal and modified as needed. A signature line is the final component of the informal letter format.
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