Writing: Unit 1 Are there any rooms free? Writing Advice Use a spell checker Use an English-to-English dictionary (online) and a thesaurus to expand your vocabulary also look at the examples and the context given in dictionaries to avoid wrong use e.g. Parking : The act or practice of temporarily leaving a vehicle or manoeuvring a vehicle into a certain location. a parking a car park, a parking lot fitness : The state or condition of being fit go to the fitness go the gym Writing Advice The Elements of Style (William Strunk, Jr.) Use “the Google Method”: Google for phrases using quotation marks (“”). If you get 100 000 results the sentence is probably correct, if you only get 3 results, there might be something wrong. e.g. “He’s interested for cars” (0 hits); “he’s interested in cars” (14,400 hits) Also use the asterisk * if you’re looking for a particular word e.g. “I'm writing to * you” Five Idioms What is an idiom? a combination of words that has a figurative meaning Where to find the meaning of a particular idiom? http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ Where to find an idiom? Thematic dictionary of idioms Five Idioms You need eyes in the back of your head now that the twins are walking. To know everything that is happening around you. Life’s no bed of roses. Not a state of comfort and luxury. Oh, am I glad to see you here! You're a sight for sore eyes. a welcome sight First come, first served. The first people to arrive will be able to get the best choices. If you darken my door again, I’ll kick you out. (for an unwelcome person) to come to someone's door seeking entry Five Idioms You need eyes in the back of your head now that the twins are walking. To know everything that is happening around you. Life’s no bed of roses. Not a state of comfort and luxury. Oh, am I glad to see you here! You're a sight for sore eyes. a welcome sight First come, first served. The first people to arrive will be able to get the best choices. If you darken my door again, I’ll kick you out. (for an unwelcome person) to come to someone's door seeking entry Portfolio task Find an article about cooking or dinner parties (add the article to the portfolio) e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/food-and-drink http://www.nytimes.com/pages/dining/ Look up at least five new and interesting phrases or expressions to share with your classmates Present the article to your fellow students in class and exchange points of view (informal presentation) Fill in a reading report for your portfolio (see also: blog) Deadline: 11/2 Getting ready to write Have you ever travelled abroad as part of a group? Have you ever made an enquiry (= ask for general information) about a hotel....? Would you consider going on a group holiday now? Why ? Why not? Write: a) One advantage of travelling as part of a group b) One disadvantage c) One difficulty for an organiser trying to book a group Asking about accommodation Suitable Appropriate Reasonable Fair, not excessive Twin beds Two single beds (twin room = room with two single beds; double room = one double bed) A special rate A special price Consultant Someone that gives advice Discounts Reduction What is missing in the email? Formal versus informal letters Who is the reader? What is your relation to the reader? - formal: people you don’t know - informal: family, friends ! It also depends on your power relationship: e.g. Boss writes to a new employee: s/he may use informal language (not the other way around) How do you want to (re)define your relationship with this reader? - distance yourself? Show that you’re the boss/secretary? (power relations) - show/create friendship Informal Letter Contractions I’m, there’s, he’d... Phrasal verbs (verb + preposition) To look after, to hand in... Colloquial expressions = word or phrase that is used in (informal) conversations but not in formal speech or formal writing Wanna, gonna, go nuts... Formal versus Informal Letters Name Formal: Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Informal: Hi/hello Previous contact Formal: Thank your for your email... Informal: (Many) Thanks for your email... Reason for writing Formal: I am writing in connection with/with regard to/to reply I/we regret to inform you... Informal: I’m writing about I’m sorry to tell you Formal versus Informal Letters Attachments Formal: Please find attached ... I am sending you.... as a pdf file. Informal: I’ve attached.... Here is the ...you wanted Requests Formal: I would be grateful if you could...? I was wondering if you could tell me/email me...? Informal: (Please) could you...? Formal versus Informal Letters Promising action Formal: I will investigate the matter I will contact you again shortly Informal: I’ll look into it I’ll get back to you soon Formal versus Informal Letters Final comment Formal: Thank you for your help Do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions Informal: Let me know if you need anything else Just give me a call if you have any questions Close Formal: I look forward to... (+ ing) Informal: Looking forward to ...(+ ing) Writing a formal email How to address the person? a) You know the addressee’s name Dear Mr Burns (married or not married) Dear Miss Dalloway (not married) Dear Mrs Dalloway (married) /ˈmɪsɨz/ Dear Ms Dalloway (married or unmarried) /ˈmɪz/ best option (in American English, use a full stop after Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms) Mr. / Mrs. Writing a formal email How to address the person? b) You don’t know the addressee’s name Dear Sir, (if you know the addressee is a man) Dear Madam, (if you know the addressee is a woman) Dear Sir or Madam, (if you don’t know the addressee) Writing a formal email If you don’t know the name of the recipient… Yours faithfully, When you do know the name of the recipient… Yours sincerely, Very formal (rarely used in emails) But also: Regards, Kind regards, Best wishes, Best... In general: Anglo-Saxon culture is less formal emails are less formal than letters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUIA40uLlKw Asking about accommodation Is the email formal, informal or neutral? Reread the email and underline the words or phrases that make this email (in)formal/neutral. Formal - Neutral No contractions I am bringing, we will... Some words or phrases At present (= now) Reasonably priced (= cheap) Require (= need) Offer (= give) often: in formal language, words of Latin origin are used Dear Julia Rambert, I am interested in the job of Waitress advertised in "Metro" this morning and I am enclosing a copy of my CV. I worked as a waitress in my own country for five years before I came here and my former employer can provide you with a reference. I imagine that you cater mainly for overseas tourists so I believe my language skills would be useful. In addition to speaking both Portuguese and English, I can also understand Spanish. I hope you will consider my application carefully and I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, Maria Chagas A letter of enquiry: useful phrases Reason for writing I am writing in response to your article/advertisement/letter... to receive further information about to enquire about to receive more detailed information about to receive further details about More neutral: I would like to know if... Requesting first piece of information The first thing I would like to know is First of all I would like to know I wonder if you would mind telling me first of all ….? A letter of enquiry: useful phrases Requesting further information Could you also tell me….? Could you also inform me ….? Would you also mind informing me ….? Would you also mind telling me ….? Do you know ….? I would also like to know if I would also like to know whether I hope you might also let me know about … Thanking for information I would like to thank you in advance for this information Ending the letter I look forward to receiving your reply I look forward to your reply I look to hearing from you Sample Letter Replying to an enquiry: useful phrases Thanking for the interest We thank you for your enquiry about… We were pleased to learn that you are interested in… Adding information It might (also) be interesting for you to know that... You might also be interested to know that... We would like to draw your attention in particular to... Referring the customer to a colleague or website For full details we refer you to... We suggest that you contact Our colleague, Mr/Miss/Ms…, will contact you in the next few days to explain the matter more fully. For more information please visit our website Replying to an enquiry: useful phrases You don’t have the information We are sorry we are unable to give you the information which you request Ending the letter We hope this information will be of service to you We look forward (with interest) to hearing from you. Naturally, we shall be happy to give you any further information.