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IELTS General Writing Task 1: Informal Letter

IELTS Informal Letter, also known as a personal letter, is an informal type of letter that is usually written to a friend, a family member or someone you know personally.

When it says "write a letter to a friend", make sure you always use informal language. Even if the task asks you to write about work-related topic.

Here is an example how the task may look like:

WRITING TASK 1 (General)

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

Write a letter to your friend from a different country. Invite him/her to a party at your home and include the following:

  • what the party is about
  • give directions on how to get to your place
  • suggest how to accommodate him/her

Write at least 150 words.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ... ,

Note! You will find the IELTS Informal Letter Sample with grammar corrections and estimated band score down below.

IELTS Informal Letter Structure & Vocabulary

For writing an IELTS Informal Letter, we have listed the letter structure with a wide selection of useful vocabulary and phrases.

person writing on paper


  • 1
    Dear John, / My dearest Julianne,
  • 2
    Apologise, give purpose, else
  • 3
    More details
  • 4
    Informal ending, name, signature
  1. Dear John, / My dearest Julianne,
  2. Apologise, give purpose, else
    • Apologise
    • I am sorry I haven't written for so long. My work keeps / studies keep me so busy, that I never have a minute to myself
    • I am really sorry it has taken me so long to write but I have ...
    • Give purpose
    • I am writing to thank / tell / ask / apologise / wish / congratulate …
    • I regret to inform you that
    • Else
    • Hello Sofia! Do you remember me? I'm the girl you met ...
    • It was really great hearing from you
  3. More details
    • Expressing congratulations
    • Marvellous to hear that ... / What a surprise to hear that!
    • I am happy for you / Good for you!
    • How wonderful that you are getting married!
    • You should be so proud of yourself
    • Expressing regret
    • background, writing correction markups
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    • Unfortunately, I've got some bad news for you
    • I find it hard to tell you that
    • I can't find an easy way to tell you this
    • Words can't express how much I regret
    • If you need anything, I'd be glad to ...
    • Expressing thanks
    • How nice of you to think of me / Thanks again!
    • I won't forget your kind gesture
    • Giving advice
    • If I were you I'd ... / ... how about doing this
    • Why don't you ... / Let me give you some advice
    • Hope this helped / Let me know how it went
    • Letters of invitation / accepting or refusing an invitation
    • I'd love it if you could come to
    • I hope you will be able to make it
    • I hope we can get together some other time. How about next week instead?
  4. Informal ending, name, signature
    • With best wishes, Jo
    • Yours, Jo
    • With love and many thanks from me, Jo
    • With love, Jo

Be careful when you are writing to your manager/trainer. Many people are friends with their managers/trainers, but please disregard this when writing an IELTS letter. In this case, "manager/trainer" is the same as colleague or co-worker and the letter will, therefore, be a semi-formal type of letter.

Informal tone doesn't mean you can write like you would in a text message to your friend. Therefore, avoid using abbreviations (see ya) and don't use acronyms (OMG). But it's a good idea to use contractions. Using academic language would be inappropriate and will reduce your score.

IELTS Informal Letter Sample (Corrected)

Write a letter to your friend from a different country. Invite him/her to a party at your home and include the following:

  • what the party is about
  • give directions on how to get to your place
  • suggest how to accommodate him/her

Begin as follows: Dear ... ,

Dear Matthew,

I am writing to invite you to a party I'm going to have at my home on March 12.

The party I'm going to arrange is (planned) to start with a poker tournament at 3 o'clock and this should take thea maximum of three hours. After that I've got some mates coming over who will play some good music and so on.

As you have visited my home before I assume you remember how to find thisit. However, in case you don't, I'll give you some directions. Take a bus number 13 at Central Station and ridego towards Mitchell's Shopping Centre. Just after you've passed thatthe Centre, there is a bus stop before the junction on the right. Then movego along the same street for about 100 metersmetres and you should see my house at 67 Mitchell Street. As I've got plenty of free space in my house you don't need to worry about accommodation. I could reserve you a separate room if you are interestedI can keep a room for you.

Please let me know what thoughts you have regarding to thatthis/the party and whether it suitsfits into your time schedule.

I look forward to your reply!

Best wishes,


(191 words)


Band Score Estimate
(prior to corrections)

Brief comments:

  • metre = 100cm (UK), parking meter
  • when referring back, use 'this'
  • 'suits your schedule' or 'fits into your schedule'
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