The most important rules for writing letters are:

  • Write your address in the top right-hand corner (house-number first, then street-name, then town, etc). Do not put your name above the address.
  • Put the date under the address. One way to write the date is: number — month — year (for example 17 May 1982). For other ways, .
  • In a business letter, put the name and address of the person you are writing to on the left-hand side of the page (beginning on the same level as the date).
  • Begin the letter (DearX) on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Leave a line, and begin your first paragraph on the left-hand side. Leave another line after each paragraph, and begin each new paragraph on the left.
  • If you begin DearSir(s) or Dear Madam, finish Yours faithfully … .If you begin with the person’s name (Dear Mrs Hawkins), finish Yours sincerely or Yours (more informal). Friendly letters may begin with a first name (Dear Keith) and finish with an expression like Yours or Love.
  • On the envelope, put the first name before the surname.
    You can write the first name in full (Mr Keith Parker), or you can write one or more initials (Mr K Parker; MrKS Parker). Titles like Mr, Ms, Dr are usually written without a full stop in British English.
    Examples of letters and envelopes
  •  formal