How To Write A Letter In French – I certainly wouldn’t and every time I move to another country and receive one of those, even though I speak the language fluently, I’m usually like, “Huh?!” and had to read it slowly at least two or three times before I was sure I really understood what they wanted from me.
(While living in Germany, I once received a letter informing me that my visa had expired and that I was living in the country illegally and that I better get my pretty face to the office soon or they will deport me – whoops! Better understand these letters, if you ask me!).
How To Write A Letter In French
The thing is, administrative language is often different enough from normal spoken language that it almost deserves its own course! And writing a formal letter is often no easier than reading one.
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SO! In this post, I will try to make formal letter writing in French more accessible to you.
Unfortunately, this post does not include the main body of the text, as I cannot provide a template that will match every situation. But just adjusting the frame will be a good start and hopefully give you the courage and confidence – so let’s get started!
Remember to always write “le” at the beginning of the date and always write the month in letters (lowercase!) and not numbers.
Most official documents have a title, so look for the title to enter the appropriate document name here.
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When you’re not sure who will read your letter or whether the recipient is male or female, just start with “
If you know who will receive your letter, it is still customary not to add the last name after the “
There are different ways to end a formal letter. It depends on the general tone, what you said before and how you expect the recipient of the letter to act.
The first two sentences are the ones usually used to end a formal letter. It doesn’t matter if you start with “
How To Write A Letter In French: A Simple Guide
“. However, if you are writing a letter as a group, be sure to end your formal letter with “
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Postal systems between countries can differ greatly. The French mail system, called “La Poste,” delivers mail throughout France and allows you to deliver a registered letter via the Internet. A notable difference in France is that La Poste prefers the use of clear capital letters on envelopes. The best way to ensure that your letter is received in France in a timely manner is to follow French postal etiquette as closely as possible, while taking into account the postal system of your home country.
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To address an envelope in France, place the recipient’s address in the center of the front of the envelope. Write the recipient’s last name in all caps, and remember to put the country on its own line below. Put your address and country on the back of the envelope, on the side of the flap, with your last name in all caps. Then, take the letter to the post office so they can weigh it and tell you how many stamps to use. Read more to learn how to properly address French recipients. Writing letters can be stressful for many people…. and even more when you need to do it in French! Today we will make writing letters in French easier with this simple guide on how to write a letter in French.
In this lesson, you’ll learn words, phrases, and expressions for starting and ending your letter along with tips and examples.
To start writing a letter in French, you need a proper greeting and the correct title of the person you are writing to.
I Love You
For a personal letter where you do not know the person you are writing to, you can choose from the following:
For business letters, salutations are very formal and include the recipient’s title if necessary. You can use the following greetings:
Remember proper spacing when writing punctuation marks in French. When writing a sentence with a question mark or exclamation mark, there must be a space before and after it. Example:
As with greetings, you’ll also need to use the right closing at the end of your letter.
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For personal letters to acquaintances or friends that still require a degree of formality, you can end them with the following French email closures:
Please note that the translations are not exactly the same, but more or less express the same thought.
For informal letters to close friends and family, you can be very liberal in showing your love for the person by using the following informal closing:
Note that the final expressions above are similar to saying “hugs and kisses” or “XOXO” in English. You can’t just use it to close a letter to, say, your boss or the hiring manager at the job you’re looking for.
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Je vous prie d’agréer, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués.
Je vous prie d’agréer, l’expression de mes meilleurs salutations.
Let’s look at two sample letters below. The first is a personal letter and the second is a business letter.
C’est avec plaisir que je vous écris. L’envie me prend soudainement de vous conter l’une de mes nombreuses aventures…
My Favorite Teacher (french Teacher) Is Leaving And I Want To Make Sure This Letter Is Good And The Emotion And Connotation Are Not Lost In Translation.
It is with pleasure that I write to you. The impulse suddenly brought me to tell you one of my many adventures …
Of course, starting and ending a letter written in French is only the tip of the iceberg. Here are more tips on writing letters in French.
Let’s face it, writing an email in French is another hurdle you have to overcome. Whether you’re writing an email to your boss, a colleague, or someone you barely know, you need to make sure everything is in place before you hit the send button.
As in English, there is also a set of email phrases and expressions that are commonly used when signing off on formal emails. Besides the usual “merci” or “merci beaucoup”, here are some ways to sign off an email in French:
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Letter writing is still a necessary skill despite the many new forms of communication available today. I hope this short guide will help solve your problems on how to write letters in French. Hopefully, you also learned something about writing emails in French!
For a complete French letters lesson with audio guides and exercises, get your copy of My French Routine, a complete study series you can use to learn French independently from beginner level to advanced.
This particular lesson is part of the Complete Advanced French Course. Check it out now at the Talk in French Store!
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To address a letter in French, The first line is the recipient’s full name. Don’t forget to add Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle before the name.
The second line is the recipient’s street address and next is the city or town, followed by the state name and zip code on the third line.
First write the sender’s details at the top left of the letter. Start with your name or company name and include your address, with the country name in French under the postal code.
Second is the addressee information. This is where you write the recipient’s name and address. Remember to capitalize place names.
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In French, instead of writing ‘Subject’, ‘Objet’ or ‘Concerne’ is used. This is where you indicate the purpose of the letter.
After the subject in the upper right corner of the letter, write the place and date and separate them with commas. The name of the month is written with lowercase letters.
Sign your letter above your printed name on the right side. Also, add your job title or department to the line below your full name.
Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners practice and improve their french. Macarons
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