How to Write a Letter in French

You need a few tips to be able to write a French letter
1. What sort of letter?Business
Love
Administrative
Claims
Job
e-mail message2. Hand writing or type-writing?

Today, most of letters are type-written;
You may write a personal letter by hand if you wish.
But always sign up with your hand writing, except in e-mails

3. How to start a letter?

Business/professional administrative claims job Love or personal
Cher(s) collègue(s)
Chère(s) collègue (s)
Cher associé
Madame,
Monsieur,
Messieurs
Madame,
Monsieur,
Messieurs,
Madame,
Monsieur,
Messieurs,
Madame,
Monsieur,
Messieurs,
Chère X, Cher Y
Chers tous
Chers amis

4. The steps of the letter

1. From the past to the future

Say why you are writing: explain the situation

Give details if necessary

Ask or tell your main message with arguments if necessary

Give a conclusion with some polite expression

Sign up

2. Use paragraphs for each step

3. Be moderate and neutral

Use neutral expressions and rather short sentences.
You may use adverbs, the passive voice or the conditional to express your point of view
French people hate repetitions, so try to use various expressions

5. Page layout

1. Your personal information
example
Yvonne Morel
122 rue Maréchal
69500 Lyon
Tel: 04 78 86 45 12
y.morel@wanad.org

2. The addressee
example

Ikea
Zac St Priest
69700 ST Priest

3. Your References/ the aim of the letter/ added files
example
objet: Demande de logement

4. (Lieu) et date
Lyon, le 20 juillet 2003

5. Monsieur/ Madame…

6. Letter body

7. Sign up

Example of the Letter Layout
1

24
356

7

6. Useful Expressions

Professional letter

J’ai l’honneur de vous informer que… I am writing to inform you that…
Suite à notre entretien téléphonique... Following our telephone
Je joins une enveloppe timbrée à mon adresse. I enclose a stamped addressed envelope.
Pourriez-vous nous le faire parvenir par retour du courrier? Could you let us have it by return of post?

Veuillez agréer l’assurance de ma considération distinguée, Yours faithfully,
Dans l’attente du plaisir du vous voir bientôt, je vous prie de croire à mes sentiments les meilleurs, Looking forward to seeing you soon,
Yours sincerely,

Non-professional letter

Je te remercie de ta lettre. Thank you for your letter.
Merci de m’avoir écrit. It was kind of you to write to me.
J’ai bien reçu ta gentille lettre. I got your lovely letter
Merci beaucoup d’avoir bien voulu me recevoir. Thank you very much for having me to stay.
J’ai passé d’excellentes vacances. I had a really good holiday.
Dis bonjour à Pierre de ma part. Say hello to Pierre for me.
David se joint à moi pour vous envoyer notre bon souvenir. David and I send you our very best wishes.
Maman me charge de te dire que… Mum has asked me to say that…
Embrassez le reste de la famille de ma part. Give my love to the rest of the family. J’arrête ici mon bavardage. Must go now.
Grosses bises d’Hélène Love from Hélène
Affectueusement, Papa. Much love from Dad.
A vendredi: see you on Friday
Amitiés,
Hélène :
Yours,
Hélène

An e-mail

Bonjour, Hello
Bien Cordialement. Best Regards
Ci-joint le fichier doc. See the attached file
Donnez-moi, s’il-vous-plaît, votre adresse e-mail: please, give-me your e-mail
Envoyez-moi une copie de ce message: Send me a copy of this message
Connectez-vous à cette adresse mail Connect to this e-mail address
Voici le lien qui vous permettra de vous connecter au site. Here is the link that will allow you to connect to the website
Desirez-vous recevoir notre newsletter? Will you have our newsletter?
N’hésitez pas à me contacter. Do not hesitate to contact me
J’espère avoir de vos nouvelles. I hope to hear from you
Merci de votre réponse. Thank you for replying

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