Types of letters - General Training (Task 1)

Depending on who you are writing to, a letter may be formal, informal, or semi-formal. Examples of some of the most frequent types you find in the General Training module for Task 1 are:


Your neighbours have recently written to you to complain about the noise from your house/flat. Write a letter to your neigbours. In your letter:
  • explain the reasons for the noise
  • apologise
  • describe what action you will take [IELTS 5 p.113]

You are looking for a part-time job. Write a letter to an employment agency. In your letter:
  • introduce yourself
  • explain what sort of job you would like
  • say what experience and skills you have [Instant IELTS p.100]


You have just returned home after living with a family in an English-speaking country for six months. You now realise that you left a small bag of personal possessions in your room. Write a letter to the family. In your letter:
  • describe the things you left behind
  • ask them to send some or all of the things to you
  • offer to cover the costs [IELTS Practice Tests Plus 1 p.143]


You were hurt in a minor accident inside a supermarket, and you wish to complain to the supermarket. Write a letter to the manager of the supermarket. In your letter:
  • say who you are
  • give details about the accident
  • suggest how the supermarket could prevent similar accidents [IELTS 4 p.115]

You see an advertisement for a course designed to help improve your memory. Write a letter to the organisers of the course. In your letter:
  • explain why you would like to do the course
  • enquire about methods used on the course
  • enquire about course fees and dates [Vocabulary for IELTS p.15]


You have just moved into a new home and are planning to hold a party. You are worried that the noise may disturb your neighbour. Write a letter to your neighbour. In your letter: 
  • introduce yourself
  • describe your plans for the party
  • invite your neighbour to come [IELTS 6 p.126]


You are due to start a new job next week but you will not be able to because you have some problems. Write a letter to your new employer. In your letter: 
  • explain your situation
  • describe your problems
  • tell him/her when you think you can start [IELTS 3 p.112]


An English-speaking friend is coming to study at your college next year and has written asking for information and advice. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter: 
  • give advice about accommodation in the town
  • describe the best thing about the college
  • offer to show your friend around the college [Objective IELTS workbook p.45]


You work in a busy but poorly organised office and you are keen to be promoted. Your employer needs to find a new supervisor for your department. Write a letter to your employer. In the letter: 
  • ask to be considered for this job
  • explain why you would be a suitable candidate
  • outline the current problems and the changes you would like to make. [Vocabulary for IELTS p.93]


You want to sell some of your furniture. You think a friend of yours might like to buy it from you. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter: 
  • explain why you are selling
  • describe the furniture
  • suggest a date when your friend can come and see the furniture [IELTS 4 p.129]


Last month you had a holiday overseas where you stayed with some friends. They have just sent you some photos of your holiday. Write a letter to your friends. In your letter: 
  • thank them for the photos and for the holiday
  • explain why you didn’t write earlier
  • invite them to come and stay with you [IELTS 7 P.128]
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