A formal letter is also known as official letter or business letter. It is the kind of letter we write to people we don’t know or are not used to. Here, the language you use must be formal/official. Examples of this kind of letter are the letter we write to commissioners, ministers, editors, etc.

Features of Formal Letter

A formal letter has the following features:

  • Introduction
  • Body and
  • Conclusion

In a formal letter, before anything else, the address comes first. Two addresses are to be written. The writer’s address and the recipient’s address. The writer’s address is written at the top right corner of the paper while the recipient’s address is written at the left side immediately after the writer’s address. Next is the salutation followed by the title. Note that after the recipient’s address you must skip a line before writing the salutation

It is important to note that if the letter is going outside Nigeria, there will be a comma after Lagos followed by Nigeria, then you add a full stop. Below is a sample:

56, Disgruntled Street,                                                                                                                                Maple Close,                                                                                                                                            Lagos State,                                                                                                                                        Nigeria.                                                                                                                                               28th January, 2018

Customer Service Manager,
Thatcher Company,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            California,

Dear Sir/Madam,


I am writing today to complain of the poor service I received from your company on June 15, 2017. I was visited by a representative of Thatcher Company, Mr. Green, at my home on that day.

Mr. Green was one hour late for his appointment and offered nothing by way of apology when he arrived at noon. Your representative did not remove his muddy shoes upon entering my house, and consequently left a trail of dirt in the hallway. Mr. Green then proceeded to present a range of products to me that I had specifically told his assistant by telephone I was not interested in. I repeatedly tried to ask your representative about the products that were of interest to me, but he refused to deal with my questions. We ended our meeting after 25 minutes without either of us having accomplished anything.

I am most annoyed that I wasted a morning (and half a day’s vacation) waiting for Mr. Green to show up. My impression of  Thatcher Company has been tarnished, and I am now concerned about how my existing business is being managed by your firm. Furthermore, Mr. Green’s inability to remove his muddy shoes has meant that I have had to engage the services, and incur the expense, of a professional carpet cleaner.

I trust this is not the way Thatcher Company wishes to conduct business with valued customers—I have been with you since the company was founded and have never encountered such treatment before. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss matters further and to learn of how you propose to prevent a similar situation from recurring. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,                                                                                                                                         (signature)                                                                                                                                            Mr. Funny

Note that if you choose to write the title all in capital letters you do not need to underline. But if you choose to write the title in initial capital letter you must underline.



Study the letter about above and write your own.


See also


Identifying Types of Nouns




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