Opening Line for IELTS GT Letter WT1

The opening line in IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 Letter. You need to change the opening line for your letter depending on whether you are writing formally, to a company or another organisation, or if you are writing informally, for example to a friend.

Below are some sample opening lines for an IELTS GT writing task 1 letter: both formal and informal. You can also read how the opening statement sets the tone of your IELTS letter.

Formal Letter Opening Statement

In a formal letter, the opening sentence should indicate the aim of your letter. The first line of a formal letter will show if you are writing a complaint letter, requesting information, answering an invitation, applying for a position, making a formal apology or making arrangements. You will also see that the letter might start “Dear Sir” or Dear Mr …”. IELTS will give you instructions on your test paper about how to start your letter.

Below is are examples of how to begin your letter:

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am writing to complain about … / to request information about … / to apply for … / to enquiry after ….  / to inform you … /  to thank you …

Full Opening Statement: I am writing to apply for the position of manager in your company which you recently advertised in the Times newspaper on June 4th.

Dear Mr Brown,

I am writing to you regarding my recent stay at your hotel … / regarding an article you wrote …. / 

Full Opening Statement: I am writing to you regarding the road works that are being carried out in Church Street, where I currently reside.

Dear Mrs Jones,

I am writing in reply to … 

Full Opening Statement: I am writing in reply to your invitation to the seminar which you will be holding on “Historical Artefacts in the Ancient World” on Saturday, June 26th.

Comments: You can see, above, that the first line of your IELTS formal letter is very structured. There is little variety. This is normal. Formal letters are not creative or descriptive, they are informative and without personal reference.

Informal Letter Opening Line

In an IELTS informal letter, your first line will often start with a friendly remark or comment. The beginning of the letter doesn’t always show the aim, it shows your relationship with the person. This means there is a variety you can choose from.

See some examples below for the beginning of an informal IELTS letter:

Hi Dave,

How are you and your family? It feels like forever since we last got together for a catch up … / How are things going? It’s been ages since we were last in touch.

Hi Sophie,

How are you? It was great seeing you again this summer.

Hi Frank,

It was so good seeing you last weekend. I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for such a great time.

Comments: You can see that most of the opening lines are offering greetings or just small talk. It’s a chance to for you reestablish your friendship before getting into the aims of the letter.

Signing Off IELTS Letters

To learn about signing off, for example Your faithfully or Your sincerely, please see my essential tips page: IELTS Letter Essential Tips. You can also learn about types of IELTS letters and much more useful information.

More IELTS General Training Lessons

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Feedback on my IELTS website and video lessons?

Hi guys,

Can you give me some feedback on my website and my videos??

  1. Are my lessons and advice useful?
  2. Are my IELTS videos helpful?
  3. What do you like most about my website?
  4. Is there anything you would like me to improve?

I would be really grateful if you could give me your opinions. You know I want to help in any way I can and knowing what you like and don’t like will help me to help you.

I hope your IELTS studies are going well 🙂

Thanks for your feedback 🙂

Liz

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IELTS Spelling: US or UK?

Does IELTS accept UK or US spelling? Can you write “colour” or “color” in your IELTS test? Will you lose marks if you use US vocabulary?

What is IELTS?

IELTS means “International English Language Testing System”. This means that it is not a UK English test, it is an International English Language test.

US or UK Spelling in IELTS?

As IELTS is international, it means that you can choose either UK or US spelling. So, if you write “specialized” or “specialised”, both are accepted.

Can I use UK and US spelling in my writing?

No, you can’t mix your spell. You must choose all US spelling or all UK spelling. You can’t write some words with American spelling and other words with British spelling. Choose your language and stick to it.

US / UK Vocabulary List

See this list of vocabulary with both spelling: US UK Vocabulary Spelling List (this is from a different website).

More IELTS Test Information

If you want to learn more about the IELTS test – get rules and tips, see my IELTS Information Page

If you want model answers, tips and free video lessons, see the main pages below:

Main IELTS Pages

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IELTS GT Letter 2017 with Model Answer

The IELTS General Training letter below was reported in the IELTS test this year. It is a typical formal letter that can appear in IELTS GT writing task 1. The task was reproduced as accurately as possible by IELTS students.
IELTS General Training writing task 1 is a letter which you must write in 20 mins with over 150 words. You can find useful tips on this page: Essential Tips for IELTS GT Letter Writing. For more useful links, see below.

IELTS General Training Letter 2017

You recently read an article in newspaper about someone you know personally. You found some information is wrong. Write a letter to editor to inform him about it. Use following points:
  • What is the article about?
  • What is the error?
  • What you expect an editor to do?

IELTS GT Letter Model Answer

Dear Sir,
I am writing to you regarding the recent article you published about Sir David Markham last week, April 2nd , in The Times newspaper.
The article gives a breif biography of Sir David’s life and then continues to focus on his work and the impact it has had. The biography starts with his birth in Edinburgh and his later move in 1962 to Durham University. From there, it focuses on his work with the UN.
I would like to point out an error in your article. Documentation shows that Sir David did not go directly from Edinburgh to the University of Durham, in 1961. In fact he took a gap year in Europe working with a volunteer program and then went to University in 1962.  I know this as I worked with him in Europe and become friends with him. His year abroad, which is absent from your article, created the foundation of his philosophy of life which guided him through his work in later years.
I hope you will publish this correction in the newspaper. Sir David’s work is still of immense importance and people should know the importance of that gap year in his life.
Looking forward to a positive reply.
Yours sincerely,
Jane Frankland
Comments: Estimated band score 8. The task has been completed but there are some issues with the letter. Below are a few points highlighted:
1) Second Paragraph: breif = brief
2) Third Paragraph: become = became
3) Yours sincerely = Yours faithfully
4) Signing off the name without a title

IELTS General Training Useful Links:

 Click links below to open …
IELTS GT Model Letter: Complaint Model Letter
IELTS GT Model Letter: Invitation Model Letter
For IELTS speaking and listening, all students take the same test. See the main pages below:

Main IELTS Pages

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Writing Skills: Spotting Mistakes 3

Mistakes in grammar or vocabulary can affect your score in IELTS writing. Learning to proof read your essay will help reduce the errors and improve your score. There are links to more practice lessons below.

Spot the Mistakes

The following sentences contain mistakes (one or more). Can you spot them?

  1. Research into space explorations can lead to new cutting edge technology.
  2. Handwriting skills is still essential even in todays modern world.
  3. The best way to tackle problem of littering is to have more bins available.
  4. Working long hours is a problem which can lead to increase levels of stress.
  5. Government should spend more money on the arts for order to protect cultural identity.

If you are aiming for band score 7, you should be able to spot 6 out of 7 mistakes.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers
  1. space exploration = uncountable
    1. Research into space exploration can lead to new cutting edge technology.
  2. noun verb agreement = are  /  today = today’s
    1. Handwriting skills are still essential even in today’s modern world.
  3. problem = it needs an article
    1. The best way to tackle the problem of littering is to have more bins available.
  4. working long hours = this is a noun phrase starting with a gerund = singular verb is correct  /  increase = increased
    1. Working long hours is a problem which can lead to increased levels of stress.
    2. Working long hours is a problem which can lead to an increase in the levels of stress.
  5. government = article needed  /  for order to = in order to
    1. The government should spend more money on the arts in order to protect cultural identity.

 

More IELTS Essay Writing Lessons 

If you would like more lessons, tips and see some model essays, please see this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page

Main IELTS Pages

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How I Scored 9 in IELTS Speaking

Nouman got Band Score 9 in IELTS Speaking this year, 2017. Below he shares his experience and tips of how he got 9 in IELTS speaking. You can find useful links for IELTS at the end of this article.

All students taking GT or Academic IELTS will take the same speaking test. There is only one speaking test for all students.

Band Score 9 in IELTS Speaking

How I scored Band 9 in IELTS Speaking

I believe I managed to score a 9 with continuous practice and being myself in the test. The best thing is not to feel shy when you speak about any particular topic. Do not think that your thoughts might be too little or simple to express.  Some of us may believe that if we are not full of knowledge, we may not be able to impress the examiner.  In speaking module however, knowledge of the topic is not a big deal. The thoughts presented may just be of a lay man and do not need to reflect an in-depth understanding of the subject.

I never crammed any specific topics however; I did gather my thoughts for topics which I would have found difficult to talk about. For example, I have not been visiting many historical places in the past. The one or two that I have visited, I made sure that I gather sufficient thoughts about those places to talk about. Important thing is that those thoughts were purely my own and not learnt from a book or Wikipedia. Gathering own thoughts in your own words is important.

Well done to you, Nouman, and thanks so much for sharing your tips!!! Liz

Liz’s Comments and Summary:

Nouman’s band score 9 advice is excellent. Here are his points in a list with some extra tips for IELTS Speaking:

  • don’t be shy
  • enjoy the chat with the examiner
  • your ideas are not important – your knowledge is not being tested
  • say your ideas with confidence and showcase your language skills
  • simple ideas explained using excellent English can get you band score 9
  • review topics
  • think of your experiences relating to the topics
  • if the topic is a museum, think of museums you have been to or would like to go to
  • remember your past experiences
  • speak from the heart – your English is better when you do that
  • learn to express yourself using your own language
  • imagine talking about your experienced and your views

Scoring 9 in Reading

Learn how one student scored band score 9 in IELTS reading: How I Scored 9 in Reading

Useful Links for IELTS Speaking

Click on the links to open them:

  1. Tips: Should I speaking fast or slow?
  2. How to start your talk in IELTS speaking part 2
  3. Asking the examiner questions
  4. Tips & Answers: All IELTS Speaking Model Answers & Tips

Main IELTS Pages

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Listening Practice for English Names

These two listening practices focuses on listening for English names. This practice is important for students preparing for their IELTS test as well as other students studying English or planning to move to the UK.

Below are TWO LISTENING PRACTICE EXERCISES FOR NAMES.

You will find more useful tips for IELTS listening, after the practice exercise, lower on this page.

Instructions for Listening Practice

You should listen to the recordings and write down the names you hear.

Before you listen, please make sure you watch English Names Tips for Listening Video.

  • Don’t forget to listen for titles. Some will have titles and other won’t. If there is a title, you must write it.
  • Write down the complete name given.
  • Some names will be spelled and others will not.
  • You can learn some common English names here: Boys Name and Girls Names
  • All free listening practice and tips: IELTS Listening Main Page

Listening Practice for Names 1

You will hear 10 names. Listen and write down what you hear.

 

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers
  1. David Darwin
  2. Mrs Alice Smith
  3. Balthazar Jones
  4. Sara Bartholomew
  5. Sean Bean
  6. Mr Frank Allenson
  7. A R Beevers
  8. James Chichester
  9. Mary Schooling
  10. Sir Paul McKellen

Capital letters are not needed and are not marked so don’t worry if you use them or not. See this page: IELTS Exam FAQ

 

Listening Practice for Names 2

You now have a chance to listen again to 10 new names. Think about the mistakes you made in the previous practice and see if you can improve.

 

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers
  • Dr Davis
  • Richard Chamberlain
  • Miss Victoria Halley
  • Mr C J Billings
  • Robert Powers
  • Emily Jackson
  • Nora Ingalls
  • Mrs Caroline Castle
  • Charles Pringle
  • Emma Ford

Capital letters are not needed and are not marked so don’t worry if you use them or not. See this page: IELTS Exam FAQ

 

More IELTS Listening Practice

To get more tips and also free listening practice. See my MAIN IELTS LISTENING PAGE

Main IELTS Pages

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What Tense to Use in IELTS Writing Task 1

It is essential to use the right tense in IELTS writing task 1, both academic and GT. This page will explain which tenses to use. The academic test will be explained first and lower down the page you will find grammar tips for GT letters.

Also find writing task 1 tips further down the page.

Academic Writing Task 1 Tenses to Use

For IELTS writing task 1, you may be given a map, a diagram, a bar chart, a line graph, a table or a pie chart in the academic test. The IELTS examiner will mark you on the following (each worth 25% of task 1)

  • Task Achievement: information, overview, accurate of data
  • Coherence & Cohesion: Paragraphing, Linking Words
  • Vocabulary: Collocations, Spelling and Accuracy
  • Grammar: Sentence structure, tenses, punctuation, grammar range and accuracy

So, you can see that using the right tense is important in IELTS writing task 1 because it falls into the marking criterion of Grammar.

Dates and Tenses

On your IELTS graph, chart, map, diagram or table, you might find dates. These will tell you what tense to use. See the list below:

  • No Dates = present tense
  • Dates in the Past = Past Tense
  • Dates in the Future = Future Forms
  • Dates spanning both Past and Future = both Past Tense and Future Forms

Using Passive Voice in IELTS Writing Task 1

There are students who seem to think they will get a high score if they use passive voice. This is not true. You can only use passive voice when it is appropriate and correct to do so. Most writing task 1 will not give you this opportunity. However, if you get a diagram, they are usually a combination of passive and active voice.

Mixing both Past Tense and Future Forms

Here is a sample sentence using both tenses:

In 2010, the number of sales stood at 2 million and is forecast to rise to a peak of 10 million by 2050.

You can see past simple “stood” and future forms of prediction “is forecast to”

IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 Tenses

The examiner will mark you using the same criteria as the AC test, but with one difference in Task Achievement. The IELTS examiner will mark you on the following (each worth 25% of task 1). See below:

    • Task Achievement: Purpose, tone and expanding points
    • Coherence & Cohesion: Paragraphing, Linking Words
    • Vocabulary: Collocations, Spelling and Accuracy
    • Grammar: Sentence structure, tenses, punctuation, grammar range and accuracy

For students taking the General Training test. You will use a range of tenses in your letter depending on the aims and purpose. Below are some sample sentences:

  • I am writing to …. (present continuous)
  • I visited your store … (past simple)
  • …the poor service I have received (present perfect)
  • I hope the problem will be resolved … (future form and future passive)
  • I had hoped that … (past perfect)

Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1

Academic writing task 1 tips, click below:

All Tips, Model Answers, Free Video Lessons & Practice for IELTS writing task 1

GT writing task 1 tips, click below:

Essential 10 tips

Differences between GT and Academic Writing Task 1

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more. Click below to find the main pages for IELTS on my website:

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