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Administrative procedures

How to write a formal letter or email in Spanish

writing-formal-letter
Written by Ana Petrusevski

Speaking, listening and reading often get prioritized when learning a new language, they come more easily than writing and are often more used as forms of communication. Writing a formal letter in any language may seem hard to begin with, but it does get easier. If Spanish is not your first language then below are some pointers to keep in mind when constructing a formal piece of written communication.

There are many reasons you might be called to write a formal email or letter; preparing to work or study abroad, applying for a job or looking for business partners in a Spanish speaking country.

The greeting: how to begin the email

If you’re not sure the name of the person you are writing to, there is a Spanish equivalent for the “To whom it may concern,” greeting traditionally used in English:

writing-on-a-laptop

Photo by Visualhunt

A quien corresponda:
(to whom it may concern:)

If you know the name of the person but you don’t have enough of a relationship for a warmer greeting then go with:

Estimada/o plus the person’s title and surname
Estimada/o translates to “esteemed.”

Masculine: Estimado Señor Garcia.
Feminine: Estimada Señora Garcia.

Introducing yourself

You should write your full name if you have never met the person you are writing to:

Mi nombre es…..

Ending the email

There should be an active call to action to inform then that you will welcome their reply or any questions they might have. A couple of options to use are:

Espero su respuesta.
(I await your reply.)

Cualquier cosa estoy a su disposición.
(I am available should you have any questions.)

The final greeting would depend on what is right for the intent of your communication, you can choose from:

Muchas gracias por su ayuda/tiempo
(Thank you for your help/time)

Gracias y saludos
(Thank you and greetings)

Saludos
(greetings)

Saludos cordiales/Un saludo cordial
(cordial greetings—this is more formal than the first option)

Le saludo atentamente
(I attentively send greetings—this is even more formal)

Want to learn more

Click here for some more tips and tricks on how to construct your correspondence en Español!

Spanish Text Message Slang

And once you’ve wrapped your head around the above then you can move onto some Spanish Text Message Slang.

About the author

Ana Petrusevski

Ana Petrusevski is an Australian writer living and working in Barcelona.

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