Cambridge First Informal Emails

Cambridge First Informal Emails

How To Write An Informal Email for Cambridge First

Informal emails are one of the possible options in Part 2 of the Cambridge First Writing exam. Here we take a look at what you need to know and how to write an informal email in the exam.

Informal Email Writing Basics

  • As with all writing in the exam you must write between 140-190 words
  • The style should be informal or neutral
  • You must include the points listed in the question
  • Use suitable greetings and endings

Let’s now look at an informal email sample question. You can typically expect something like this.

Informal Email Example

You have received an email from your English speaking friend Peter.

From: Peter
Subject: My project 

As you know I am studying tourism in college and I have to do a project on what makes a place attractive as a tourist destination. Naturally, I thought of you and your town.  What  can you tell me about it? Are there any festivals or cultural events? What about the weather? Is this why people visit? I am sure you can suggest some other things that make it popular that I haven’t mentioned.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Peter

            Write your email

Organising your informal email writing

An informal email is like a conversation in a lot of ways. In a conversation we start with general chat before we discuss more important things.  As always we recommend that you should use one paragraph for each point you include in your writing. This way makes it easier for you to plan and easier for readers to understand. You do not need to include any address or date in your informal email.

Paragraph 1
The first paragraph is where we begin the conversation. We often use it to thank the writer for their email and also to talk in general about personal aspects of our lives.  It’s common to ask some personal questions here.

First Paragraph Example

Hi Peter,
how are you? It’s great to hear from you. How’s life? I hope the family are all well.

Paragraphs 2-4
Use these paragraphs to answer the questions asked.

Final Paragraph
Use this to finish the email in an appropriate way . It can be quite short, often a line or two is enough.  Look at the image below to see how you can write this informal email structure. 

 

Informal Email Plan

Cambridge First informal email plan

Sample Informal Email Answer

Suitable Start

Hi Peter,

thanks for your email. It is great to hear from you. How is everything on your course?

Describe your town

Yes of course I will be happy to help you with your project. Our town is quite historical and there are many interesting buildings and other sights to see. You’ll also see a lot of flowers everywhere, in the parks and the streets.  

Talk about cultural events

I suppose I can talk about our Maytime festival. This happens on the 1st of May and is a festival of flowers. You see lot of impressive flower displays everywhere and there is a parade in the centre of the town. What’s more, it’s also a chance to try our traditional food.

Answer questions about the weather

May is not always the best weather and we usually have more warm sun in June and July. They are definitely better times to visit for good weather! Even in summer it’s not too hot and it’s nice for people to be able to walk around and see the wonderful colours of the flowers and visit the old buildings.

Suitable Ending

I hope this helps you and I’m happy to give you any more information you want.

All the best


Some Informal Email Writing Tips

  • Think of it as a conversation with someone you know well.  Often, imagining you are writing to a real friend makes it more realistic and helps you think of what you will say and how you might say it to that friend.
  • While the informal email is often considered one of the easiest forms of writing, it is only one of three email or letter writing options.  There is also a formal writing option so there is a good possibility it may not appear on the exam even if there is a letter or email task.
  • Be careful with the register or style and how you use it.  The style here must be informal. Not using it correctly could have a negative effect on the person reading it and that could affect your score in the exam. 
  • Your score can also be affected by not including all the points in the question.
  • Follow the word limits given. A few words over the upper limit of 190 words should not cause problems but you must write at least the minimum of 140 words.
  • You can lose marks if you write too few or too many words.
  • Finally, give yourself enough time to  plan and write your email. The exam is 80 minutes long, so 35-40 minutes to write the email task should be enough.  

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