The main types of letters are formal and informal letters. Formal letters are official letters written to communicate information to a business, government office, an NGO, or any other type of entity that requires official communication.
Table of Contents
- 1 Informal Letters
- 2 What are informal letters?
- 3 Informal Letter Format
- 4 Types of informal letters you might write
- 5 Features of an informal letter
- 6 Informal Letter Examples
- 7 How do you write an informal letter?
- 8 What is an informal letter example?
- 9 Friend Personal Letter Formats
- 10 The major difference between a formal and informal letter
- 11 Are there informal letter templates available?
Informal letters do not require to be written in formal language. They are letters communicating a message to someone known to you. Although they are informal letters, it is important to know how to develop skills for writing them. This is how you effectively write an informal letter.
What are informal letters?
An informal letter is a letter written using informal/nonofficial language. It is written to someone known to you either at a personal level or through a third party. The person could be your relative, a spouse, sibling, friend, workmate, etc.
There must be a reason that triggers you to write an informal letter which could be an achievement, requests for something, sending information about an issue, etc. Because they are informal, they salute the recipient by their name or title.
For example, Dear Uncle, Mother, Brother, Cousin, Peter, Serena, Amy, etc. The letter doesn’t require a subject line even when you have a specific issue you want to address or addressed.
Informal Letter Format
Types of informal letters you might write
There are many reasons why you might decide to write an informal letter or friend personal letter.
You might want to share the latest gossip in your workplace, neighborhood, state, or school. The friend might be far from you and the best way to communicate is through a letter. You should understand the informal letter format to know how to write to them.
Thank you note
You might just want to write a thank-you note. Someone might have done you well for one reason or another and they made a big difference in your life. You can look for a good informal letter example to guide you on how to write.
Another reason is to wish someone well on their anniversary, birthday, wedding day, proposal day, etc. Because they are well known to you, you just want to wish them well on their special occasion. There is a unique format informal letter template for this purpose.
Giving an invitation
You might have an upcoming important event such as a graduation ceremony, a wedding, migrating to another place, or a party. You will send a friend a personal letter inviting them to attend your event.
It is possible on certain occasions to have a misunderstanding with someone. It could be your parent, sibling, spouse, boy/girlfriend, or any other person well known to you. To win them again, you look for the best informal letter format and write to them to send your sincere apologies and ask to be forgiven.
Someone might have gotten a baby, a job, college, scholarship, visa, or something else important. You can read an informal letter example to get an idea of what to write to them.
Features of an informal letter
The features of an informal letter are the format or structure for writing the letter. Although there is a universal format informal letter template, the letters do not have a definite format. Each individual might decide to use their unique way of writing depending on who they are writing to. However, there are basic things that must be included in every informal letter.
To keep communication running, your friend must write back to you after receiving your letter. If they don’t have your current address, they will not write back to you to reply to your question, request, appreciation, or invitation.
Make sure to write the complete address without leaving out any details. These details should not lack in your address.
On the top left of the paper write –
- Your street name and number – example 2593 N. State Avenue
- The city you are located, state, and code – example Florida, Fl 93805
- The country – example USA.
The date comes below your personal address. It shows the date when you wrote the letter and not the date when you mailed it. The mailing date will be shown by the postal service stamp. There are two date formats you can use in your friend personal letter.
The American format starts with the month, date, year.
- February 22nd, 2022
- February 22, 2022
The British format starts with the day, month, year.
- 22 February 2022
- 22nd February 2022
Below the date, your opening sentence should start with a greeting. Make them informal because this is a person known to you. Depending on your level of friendship, you may choose to use the word dear or another type of greeting.
You might write dear dad, dear uncle, mum, Mr. Caliph, Mrs. Wesley, etc. If it is your age mate, you can use the words dear Susan, cate, Charles, Andrew, etc. You may ignore the word dear if it is a very close friend and salute them hey Robert, Christine, etc. What is important to consider when writing the salutation is who the person is to you, their age, or their relationship.
Informal letter body
This is the place where you will introduce yourself if the person is not well known to you. You may refer someone they know well to help them remember you. If the person is well known to you, do a brief introduction to your reason/s for writing.
Do some other paragraphs to expound your message in a way they will understand easily. Cover one point at a time while being careful with your tone. Although it is an informal letter, you must have in mind the person you are writing to and choose the right tone.
The concluding sentence is a summary of your letter. Tell them you hope to hear from them and bid them a warm goodbye.
Even if you had written your name at the top, you must sign your full name at this point and include your signature. This helps confirm the letter is indeed from you. To give you a better idea, you may read an informal letter example online.
Informal Letter Examples
How do you write an informal letter?
Depending on who you are writing your informal letter to, the best way is to choose your unique style and let the words flow as your write. However, three main sections will not lack in any informal letter.
In the opening paragraph, address your recipient directly. Address them by their name or title like miss spencer, Mr. Robinson, uncle, dad, etc. Be mindful and show respect to the person if they deserve it due to age difference, status, or relationship. You don’t need to use a title if the person is well known to you. Just say Peter, Tom, Cecilia, etc.
Examples of opening words
- Dear mom, I hope you have been well
- How is the family
- I hope you, your uncle, and your kids are fine
- I hope you are pushing on with your wedding arrangements.
Use a friendly tone in the body but again, be mindful of who it is that you are writing to. The best way to communicate with the right tone is to write as though the person is sitting before you and you are talking to others one on one. The language you would use in one-on-one communication, use it in your letter. Tell them your message without beating around the bush. Go straight to your point and then expound it.
Examples of subjects in the body
- The purpose of your letter
- Give details of your purpose
- Ask the person how they are or your expected response
- Include the body of the letter
- Request them to write back
Summarize your letter and be hopeful to hear from them soon. State this in the letter to remind them not to forget to communicate through your postal address.
How to close an informal letter?
You can use any of these closing sentences
- Hoping to hear from you soon
- Pass my greetings to…
- Wishing you all the best
- I hope to see you soon
- I can’t wait to meet you
Sign your informal letter
A formal letter restricts you to a specific kind of signature but informal letters are not restrictive in any way. You can choose any type of signature you want as long as it is the perfect one for your recipient. You may choose to use any of these signatures.
- With kind love
- With kindness
- Your best friend
- Your son
- Your love
What is an informal letter example?
You can check various websites online and download a format informal letter template or an informal letter example to give some inspiration on what you should write. No matter who you are an informal letter to, the main rule is to remember the structure, the dos, and the don’ts.
Structure: start with your address on the top left, followed by the date and then immediately the salutation. Write the body or the main message and close with a concluding tag, then sign.
- Salute the recipient by their name or tile
- Use friendly language – consider the person you are writing to and use language that shows respect to them. The language you use when writing to your parent is different from the way you write to your brother, friend, uncle, grandparent, etc.
- Write a detailed body
- Request them to reply
- Conclude with your name or title
- Do not use offensive language – it is enough evidence to sue you
- Do not write a too lengthy letter – and not too short like an official letter
- Avoid official language
The advantage of writing an informal letter is that you don’t have any time limit for the number of letters you can write. As long as there is a good reason to write, you can write as many times as you want. You may write when you have a special request or need but its main purpose is to create constant communication among people.
Friend Personal Letter Formats
The major difference between a formal and informal letter
Although there are major differences between formal and informal letters, they also have major similarities. Their main similarities are as follows:
- They include addresses
- They have dates
- They have an opening sentence
- They have body content
- They have a closing sentence
- They include a signature
Here are their major differences:
The language used
A formal letter uses a formal tone or official language. This is a language used in official communication. Informal letters use casual language or language used in informal communication.
A formal letter adopts a neutral tone because it has to be objective. Sometimes you don’t even know the person you are addressing. Informal letter adopts a casual tone but the strength of the tone differs with the person writing and recipient.
Formal letters are specifically written for official reasons only. The most common formal letters written are jobs applications, requests for quotations, loan applications, job termination letters, etc. Informal letters are written for any kind of reason. It might be an invitation, thank you, appreciation, requests, apologies, updates, news, etc.
Recipients of formal letters are mostly CEOs and managers. Rarely will someone write a formal letter to junior staff because it is the managers that make important decisions such as hiring and purchasing of goods and services.
The recipients of informal letters can be anyone regardless of their position, title, or influence. Someone might be a CEO of a major company but they are someone’s spouse, dad, mom, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, etc. The people they are related to will write informal letters to them and use an informal tone. However, when they sit in the office of a CEO, the other people will write formal letters to them.
Are there informal letter templates available?
You will get any type of format informal letter template that you want. You just need to be certain of the person you are writing to. You may also check online to an informal letter example or informal letter format just to be sure of the tone to use or how to address the person you are writing to. The most important thing is to understand the structure and the language.