Tag Archives: letter

#EngTips: How to RSVP

RSVP is the acronym for répondez s’il vous plaît, French for ‘please respond‘. It shows that the hosts are asking us to let them know whether we’re coming to their event.

When invited to an event, it is proper etiquette to respond promptly and politely. By responding to RSVP, you help the hosts arrange seating, catering, etc.

RSVP is usually sent out for events such as wedding reception, dinner party, dance party, birthday party and other official or diplomatic events.

Common format:

RSVP by [date] to [email address or phone number].


  • RSVP by August 31st, 2016 to etifoyu@gmail.com or (021)654321


Or if you’re asking to RSVP on website:

Please RSVP on our website at [web address] by [date].


  • Please RSVP on our website at englishtips4u.com by August 31st, 2016.


You can reply an RSVP immediately or within 24 hours. A quick response shows your enthusiasm and gratefulness to be invited. Or, you can also wait until the deadline to respond. Though this might signal that the event doesn’t thrill you on first thought.

Do we have to respond to every invitation? Yes! Wouldn’t you be devastated if you’re hosting and ignored?


Accepting RSVP

Simple way to accept an RSVP:

Subject: Accepting your invitation for [event name]

Thank you for inviting me to [event name] on [date]. I will be attending, and if you are preparing name tags, please put [your preferred name] on mine.

Kind regards [or your usual closing phrase].



Casual way to accept an RSVP:

[Name] accepts with pleasure the kind invitation to [event name] on [date].


Note how event name & date are repeated in the response. It is to confirm that you get the details right.


Declining RSVP

Simple way to decline an RSVP:

Subject: Declining your invitation for [event name]

Thank you for inviting me to [event name] on [date], but I am unable to attend.

Kind regards [or your usual closing phrase].



Casual way to decline an RSVP:

[Name] regrets that he/she/they are unable to accept the kind invitation to [event name] on [date].


Respond to RSVP even if you won’t be attending. It’s considered rude not to respond.

Worried hosts going to beg if you decline? The best way to avoid such awkwardness is to respond via email.

If you decline for whatever reason, you do not have to offer an explanation officially.
However, if you decline an invitation from a close friend, you may wish to offer an explanation in private. Just keep it as brief as possible.


When in doubt

If you’re not sure, please say:

“I’m not sure if I can make it, but I’ll let you know as soon as possible.”

And… make sure to let them know as soon as possible to aid her planning of the party.

Regardless of how you respond, always thank the host for the invitation. It’s a privilege to celebrate key events with them.


Canceling RSVP

What if something unexpected happened, but you have accepted an RSVP?
In the event of illness, death in the family, or unavoidable business conflict, canceling an RSVP is completely acceptable.

Call your host immediately. The telephone is the quickest way to reach someone and will save your host unwanted surprises. Canceling or going no show on the last minute without news is considered extremely inconsiderate towards your host’s efforts.

Now is the right time to check your inbox. Have you forgotten to respond to any invitation lately?


Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, August 7, 2016


Related post(s):


#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters (2)

In #EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters, we’ve talked about a couple of things you shouldn’t do in writing business letters. This time, we’ll continue the topic with a couple more tips.

Let’s get started!


4. Needless inversion

In good writing, inversion is used in order to give freshness and force. However, when overdone, it not only becomes very wearisome, but also positively nauseating to anyone who loves the beauty of English language. In business letters, try to avoid using this kind of sentence:

“Greater value than this, never have we offered.”

You should just write:

“We have never offered greater value than this.”


5. Words misused

People with limited vocabularies are forced to use the relatively few words they know without any regard for their precise meaning. This is an example of misused word in business letter:

“This most unique Delivery Service…”

“Most unique” is absurd. Either a thing is unique or it is not. The word “unique” means the only one of its kind, and is capable of no qualification.


6. Colloquial expressions

Vigorous and vivid language is to be preferred to pompous phraseology, but colloquial expressions should not degenerate into slang. You should simply state what you mean. Try not to use this kind of expression:

“You keep asking us for suggestions and every time we submit an idea, you give it the bird.”

The idiom “give (something) the bird” is an informal way of stating that you disapprove something. In business letters, you should just say “you keep turning it down.”


Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 3 April, 2016





#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters

In this post, we’ll talk about some faults to avoid in writing business letters.

The fault to avoid at all costs in letter-writing is ambiguity. What you write should carry one interpretation only, and that it should be the interpretation you intended it to have.

Let’s get started!


1. Faulty Syntax

Faulty syntax is dangerous because it can distort the writer’s meaning. Have a look at the following sentence:

“We are sending you an antique clock by our Mr. Stark, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

The placement of the comma in that sentence is very important. The phrase “with ornamental hands and engraved face” in that sentence refers to Mr. Stark because it’s placed after the name, separated by comma. That sentence is wrong because the phrase actually refers to the antique clock. This is the correct sentence:

“We are sending you, by our Mr. Stark, an antique clock, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

That sentence is correct because the phrase is placed after “an antique clock”, separated by comma.


2. The double negative

The rule is of course that a double negative makes a positive, but in some instances a double negative is used where no positive is intended. For example, instead of writing:

“Neither of the three samples you send is the correct shade, and are of no interest to us.”

You should write:

“No one of the three samples you send is of the correct shade, or is of any interest to us.”

Nevertheless, avoid using a double negative.


3. Overdone superlatives

Giving compliments is good but don’t overdo it. Use only ONE of these: super, breath-taking, supreme, gigantic, exquisite, masterpiece, miraculous, stupendous, etc.


Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 20 March, 2016





#EngTips: Writing formal letters and emails

In this post, well focus on how to write formal letters and emails. If you missed our last discussion on basic etiquette in writing emails & letters, check out #EngTips: Basic etiquette in writing letters and emails

Letter writing is an important life skill. It is even more important for your study, career or business. The kind of formal letters you might write could range from cover letters for job applications, inquiry to college or scholarship institutions, complaint to your bank or insurance company, to cover letter for proposals to be sent to clients.

A lot of people tend to feel intimidated and overwhelmed whenever there’s a need to write formal letters. Worry not. It really is not that hard. Just follow these #EngTips on how to write formal letters:

1. Write in the correct format.

The basic format includes:

  • subject,
  • salutation,
  • clear and concise body, and
  • complementary close.

Read more about the basic etiquette here ~> #EngTips: Basic Etiquette in Writing Letters & Emails

2. Keep the letter short and to the point.

Get straight to the point, stick to it and don’t include any unnecessary information.

There’s a good chance that the person you’re writing to has tons of letters to read, and yours is merely one of them. Your letter should take seconds to read rather than minutes, otherwise it is more likely to end up in the bin.

In the case of cover letters for job application, don’t use any flowery language or long words just to show off, and don’t repeat too much information which may already be included in a CV.

3. Start by alerting recipient’s attention to the subject and purpose of the letter.

State the purpose of your formal letter in the first paragraph and don’t veer from the subject. Try to avoid flowery language or long words. Keep the letter short and to the point.

4. Introduce your main point as early as possible in a clear, concise way.

Once you have done this, you may want to give more details, perhaps adding further background or relevant facts.

  • If you’re replying an inquiry, you can start by saying: “In reply to your question concerning…”
  • Or if you’re writing to follow up a previous email, you can start by saying: “I recently wrote to you about…”

5. Provide a brief summary of your expectations.

Before the end of a business letter, it’s usual to provide a brief summary of your expectations.

For example:

  • “I look forward to hearing from you” or
  • “I hope we can discuss the issue…”, etc.

6. Vigorous writing is concise.

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences. Writer need not make all sentences short, avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but make sure that every word tells.

7. Check your letter and make sure it’s free of any grammatical or spelling mistake.

Mistakes will create a bad impression, lessen the effect of what you’re saying and if you’re applying for a job, they could be the cause it’s sent to the bin. Use the spell-checker if you’re using a computer or a smart phone. Check your grammar & punctuation.

8. Be polite, even if you’re complaining.

One way of doing this in English, which is common in formal letter writing, is to use ‘modal verbs’ such as would, could and should.

9. Be formal, but not overly so.

‘Formal’ doesn’t mean pompous or obscure.

10. Use words with which you are familiar and which you can reasonably expect the letter’s recipient to understand.

  • Avoid technical phrases or jargon, particularly abbreviations, unless you are certain that the person you are writing to will understand them.
  • Avoid everyday, colloquial language; slang or jargon.
  • Avoid contractions (I’m, it’s, etc).

Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, September 11, 2014



#EngTips: Basic etiquette in writing letters and emails

Imagine the following situation and tell us what you think.

There’s a new email in my inbox from some unknown address, with a blank subject? Do you think it’s worth reading?

Okay. So, curiosity got the better of me and I read it anyway. Nothing was written in it, save for 1 file in the attachment. What would you do?

@DaLonGxxi: it looks suspicious .. it might be a link some hacker has created to hack the account ..

@AwesomeChaser: A big no. I will just delete it even without opening the email.

People used to hand-write their letters and send them by post. However, to save cost and to cut on the use of papers, more prefer to correspond by emails nowadays. Letters and emails alike are tools of communication. Think of them as written communication.

Letter writing is an important life skill, especially in the digital era. It has the potential to affect your reputation and credibility. So, check out these basic e-mail etiquette.


1. State the purpose or main issue of your email in the Subject box.

Subject is the first thing people see, they would either read your email or ignore it altogether. It gives a brief idea of what your email is about.


2. Always start with a salutation.

In verbal communication, “salutation” is the part where we greet someone. This simple point can help build a good first impression. The most common salutation used is “Dear…,”.

  • If you only know the gender of the recipient, not the name, you can start with “Dear Madam/Sir/Miss,” Do pick one of the three.
  • If you know the name of the recipient, you can write his/her name with a title. Example: “Dear Mr. Jones,”
  • If you aren’t writing to a specific contact person, or if you have no idea whom you’re writing to,  you can start with “To whom it may concern,”
  • If you’re writing a semi-formal letter you may use “Hello,” or “Hi,” or even “Hey,” for informal greetings.


3. Depending on whom you’re writing to, you might start by asking after his/her well-being.

Or if you’re writing a more formal email, you might want to skip the small talk and get straight to the point.


4. Organize your thoughts and put them into writing.

If you can help it, divide the content into paragraphs, grouped by topics/ideas. That would definitely help keep the reader’s attention.


5. Thank the recipient.

For the time and effort to read your email, it wouldn’t hurt to add a “thank you” on the last paragraph of your email.


6. Be polite and use a complimentary close.

To end your letter on a good note, use a complimentary close. Of course, followed by your name.

  • For formal letters, stick to “Sincerely yours,” “Kindest regards,” or “Best wishes,”
  • For semi-formal letters, you can end them with “Sincerely,” or “Regards,”.
  • It’s not unheard of to end letters with “Love,” “Affectionately,” or “Fondly,” especially in ones for loved ones or close friends.


All these points might either sound a lot or even trivial for some people, but believe me, these basic etiquette not only shows how well-mannered and civilized you are, but also how much you respect, care about and appreciate the recipient. Yes… Even if you’re only writing to friends or relatives.


Do you have any other pet peeves when it comes to emails? Or do you have other tips on how to write a ‘good’ email? Feel free to mention us on Twitter or leave a comment in the box below.


Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, August 14, 2014





#EngVocab: Confusing Words Starting with letter “T”

Evening fellas :) So it’s Tuesday, what letter does Tuesday start with? Anyone?

@renggasanti: capital letter T <=   Yep, it’s T! This evening admin will share some #EngVocab on confusing words starting with the letter ‘T’

As previously discussed, ‘T’ comes after ‘E’ in ETAOIN SRHLDCU which means ‘T’ is the second most common letter in English Language

Let’s start shall we :) The words, some explanations and pronunciations were taken from wordinfo.info :)

1.“The trusty was the trustee of the tool box which contained the trusty electric screw driver.” Are trusty and trustee different?

1a. Trustee (tru STEE) (noun) = (1) individual yang diberikan kuasa dari seseorang biasanya untuk hal administratif. Contoh: “I am the trustee of the documents for my colleague who’s out of town.”

1a. Trustee (tru STEE) (noun) = (2) individual yang menempatkan posisi kepercayaan. Contoh: “My son is a trustee with the local charity.”

1b. trusty (TRUS tee) (adjective) = bisa dipercaya, biasanya untuk mendeskripsikan suatu alat yang telah dimiliki lama. Contoh: “I always have my trusty pocket knife with me.”

1c. trusty (TRUS tee) (noun) = seorang yang dipenjara dan diberikan kepercayaan serta hal-hal special karena telah berbuat baik selama dipenjara. Contoh: “Tony is a trusty and got longer time to create artworks.”

2. Tortoise dan turtle. Bukannya sama-sama kura-kura ya?

2a. tortoise (TOR tis) (noun) = (1) mahluk-mahluk terestial, khususnya termasuk Testudinidae, yang memiliki cangkang tinggi bundar besar yang menjaganya. Hidupnya di darat. Contoh: “Did you hear that the eldest Galapagos tortoise died a while ago?”

2a. tortoise (TOR tis) (noun) =  (2) siapapun yang bergerak lamban. Contoh: “Because I had a blister on my foot, I moved like a tortoise.”

2b. turtle (TUR t’l) (noun) = reptil terestial atau akuatik, tidak bergigi, memiliki cangkang yang berkulit/bertulang dan kepala serta ekor bisa keluar masuk darinya. Contoh: “Yesterday our sister’s green turtle was given to our nephew as his new pet.”

@doc_holliwood: Beda, tortoise kura2 darat, turtle kura2 air..

3. “At the banquet, we noticed the buffet was laid out in a tasteful fashion and the chef told tasty stories about each of the very tasty dishes.” Hmm, tasteful dan tasty beda?

3a. tasteful (TAYST fuhl) (adjective) = apresiasi yang bagus suatu  karakteristik yang enak dilihat. Maka kalimat di atas: “We noticed the buffet was laid out in a tasteful fashion.”

3b. tasty (TAY stee) (adjective) = (1) sangat menarik. Seperti di atas: “The chef told tasty stories.”

3b. tasty (TAY stee) (adjective) = (2) terasa atau terlihat enak. Seperti di atas: “About each of the very tasty dishes.”

@renggasanti tasteful-penuh rasa. tasty-enak

4. “Be careful that you don’t hurt your toe when you try to tow the grocery cart up the steep hill.” Pengucapan toe dan tow sama, namun artinya beda.

4a. toe (TOH) (noun) = satu jari kaki. Contoh di atas: “Be careful that you don’t hurt your toe.”

4b. tow (TOH) (verb) = menarik suatu kendaraan menggunakan tali, rantai atau mekanisme khusus untuk keadaan tersbut. Seperti di atas: “When you try to tow the grocery cart up the steep hill.”

5. “The tun that was filled with rare wine felt as if it weighed a ton.” – Hmm, tun dan ton terdengar sangat mirip ya?

5a. tun (TUHN) (noun) = (1) suatu tempat besar untuk cairan biasanya untuk minuman anggur atau wine. Seperti di atas: “The tun that was filled with rare wine.”

5a. tun (TUHN) (noun) = (2) pengukuran untuk kapasitas cairan, satu tun diperkirakan 252 galon (954 liter). Contoh: “The wine company is estimating how fast a tun of wine sells.”

5b. ton (TUHN) (noun)  = (1) unit pengukuran suatu benda, biasanya sangat berat. Contoh: “The meat that were exported last week weighed around 2 tons.”

5b. ton (TUHN) (noun) = (2) Perumpamaan kuantitas yang besar. Seperti contoh di atas: “Felt as if it weighed a ton.”

6. “His boat was tied to the pier so the tide wouldn’t take it out to sea.” – Hati-hati antara tied dan tide ya :)

6a. tied (TIGHD) (noun) = diikat. Seperti di atas: “His boat was tied to the pier.”

6b. tide (TIGHD) (noun) = gelombang air. Seperti di atas: “So the tide wouldn’t take it out to sea.”

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on April 9, 2013


Tell us, what are the most common words or letter that you have heard in English all this time?

So fellas here are some English words that you think are most common heard:

@raafian@13njet@Princess_destii said “The”

@ErhansJulianto said “Yes”

@budib5n said “Good morning”

@onnaRP said “hi” or “hello” 

@fitriananaa said “stop” 

@yth_bikor said “Drowsy”

@Andriandriant said “the most common heard english word that I’ve heard this week is “catalyst” cz I work in the lab”

@MonicaJenni said “eat”

@saniarickmono said “Thanks”

Now that you have shared some, have you heard of “ETAOIN SRHLDCU” or “ETAOIN SHRDLU”?

Looking from the responses, it seems fellas haven’t heard of it.

Quoting from http://stancarey.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/etaoin-srhldcu-or-what-are-the-most-common-words-and-letters-in-english/ …

“ETAOIN SRHLDU” is the nonsense string that used to appear in print because of early-20thC printer design and now serves as shorthand for the most popular letters.

No wonder it sounds a bit odd isn’t it? And of course, they are not words indeed.

She stated that, different studies have shown different results on the most used letters and words in English. Yet Google’s director of research Peter Norvig used the vast data from the Google Books corpus (over 743 billion words), found this:

Which violates ETAOIN SHRDLU only slightly, becoming ETAOIN SRHLDCU. pic.twitter.com/nuxl5VBnyX


The 50 most common words, in order of frequency, are: the, of, and, to, in, a, is, that, for, it, as, was, with, be, by, on, not, he, I, this, are, or, his, from, at, which, but, have, an, had, they, you, were, there, one, all, we, can, her, has, there, been, if, more, when, will, would, who, so, no.

As you said previously, “the” is the most commonly heard English word indeed :)

So, what do you think fellas? Interesting isn’t it? If you want to read more about it you can go here http://norvig.com/mayzner.html 

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on March 19, 2013