Unit 10: Letters | Vocabulary | B1
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Unit 10: Letters | Vocabulary | B1

Letter writing is bound by certain conventions, as are all forms of communication, written or spoken.


Find out what the following abbreviations stand for. The answers will be provided at the end of the unit.



If you can, look at the keyboard of a typewriter or a computer and find and write down the following punctuation items:

  full stop   exclamation mark
  comma   question mark
  capital 'a'   colon
  dash   semi-colon
  brackets   apostrophe
  quotation marks   asterisk


Sentences are the basic units of written language. They are made up of words and put together to form paragraphs. Put the following units of language into order of 'size':



Match the following words into pairs which have similar meanings:

1. note A. author
2. write B. pamphlet
3. writer C. memo
4. brochure D. jot down

EXERCISE 5  |  Office jargon

Match the following with their respective meanings:

1. A note circulated in an office between certain individuals

A. document


2. A piece of computer hardware which stores information

B. memo (memorandum)


3. Pens, paper clips and other office equipment C. file
4. A piece of paper with official information on it D. disk
5. A place where papers etc. are kept for reference purposes, often in alphabetical order E. stationery


Use the words provided below to complete the text of this business letter:

candidate     position     referees     application     recommended      temporary     qualifications     experience

P. Trumper Esq.

Barsted Philharmonic Orchestra

Lamed Ave.

London W12

Mr D. Fiddle

36 Cold Corner Terrace


London E16

Dear Mr Fiddle,

Thank you very much for your letter of 1.____________ and C.V., which we read with great interest. Your 2._________ from the University of Dullshill and relevant 3.___________ of working with composers made you a very strong 4.__________ and it is therefore with regret that I must inform you that we are unable at this time to offer you a permanent 5.__________as concert violinist. However, I have 6.__________ you to the board and there is a possibility of a 7.___________ post becoming vacant in the near future. If you would provide the names and addresses of two 8.___________, the board will contact you to let you know if you have been successful. The details of your letter will, of course, remain strictly confidential.

Yours sincerely,

P. Trumper

EXERCISE 7  |  Related vocabulary

Choose the word which best completes the following sentences:

ordered     sent     received     registered     mail

1. The office junior usually gets the job of making coffee and opening the ________.

2. If you have something valuable to send in a parcel, it1 s advisable to send it by ________ post.

3. He ________ off for the brochure three weeks ago but it still hasn't arrived.

4. Thank you for your letter which I ________ this morning.

5. The furniture which I _________ was damaged in transit and I would like a complete refund or a replacement.


Use the abbreviations in the box to complete the following sentences:

1. Send an up-to-date copy of your _________ along with your job application.

2. She's a fast typist; she can do over 90 __________.

3. The vacancy has been filled, ___________ the job no longer exists.

4. If you want to swim, bring your bathing costume, a towel, suncream ___________.

5. You pay a small deposit now and the rest is ___________.

6. I'm sorry about the delay. Your order will be sent ___________.

7. I'll write again soon. Love from Daniel.

___________ Did you see the match on Saturday?

8. You are invited to a party to celebrate the engagement of Peter and Sonya. ___________ by 11th April.

etc.              et cetera (and the rest; and so on)
i.e.               id est (that is)
P.S.              postscript
w.p.m.         words per minute
a.s.a.p.        as soon as possible
R.S.V.P.       répondez s’il vous plaît (please reply)
C.O.D.         cash on delivery
C.V.             curriculum vitae