Vocabulary practice for the Cambridge PET exam
On this page we will look at some useful phrases for informal letters (PET Writing Part 3).
In the Part 3 Writing task you have the choice of writing an informal letter. Using contractions like 'I'm' instead of 'I am' or 'she's' instead of 'she is' will help create an informal style.
Contract the words in brackets in the following letter:
The words and expressions below are often used by native speakers when writing to friends and relatives. Using them will help you write in an informal style and will also help you organise your letter into clear paragraphs.
Starting your letter (Paragraph 1)
Thanks for your letter.
Lovely to hear from you.
How are you?
How are things?
Hope you're well.
Commenting on something (Paragraph 1)
I'm sorry to hear/learn ...
I'm so pleased to hear ...
It's great to hear ...
What wonderful news about ...
Moving the topic on (Paragraph 2)
Anyway, the reason I'm writing ...
I thought I'd write to tell/ask you
Anyway, I was wondering ...
Ending your letter (Paragraph 3)
Well, that's all for now
Write back soon
Looking forward to hearing from you again
All the best
See you soon
Lots of love
Another way to create an informal style to your letter is to use exclamation marks. These are used at the end of short 'exclamations' to show strong feelings or surprise. For example:
They often appear in informal letters as these are written in the same way we would speak. However, only use them when absolutely necessary and don't use them too often - perhaps only once or twice in a letter of 100 words.