IELTS General Writing Task 1: Formal Letters | ALL THE WAY TO IELTS 9 with Jay!



without further waffling let's get started so in this lesson we're going to look at IELTS general writing task 1 and specifically we're going to look at the formal letter though I must say there isn't really much difference between formal semi formal and informal a little bit of vocabulary and grammar a very very small part maybe maybe 2 percent of your vocabulary and grammar will change but apart from that the structures the same the language is basically 98 percent the same so let's have a look at the formal letter first cool so imagine you sit down on test day and this is what you see in front of you and it says task 1 you should spend about 20 minutes on this task fine so you got 20 minutes so you'd better act fast let's read the scenario because this outlines the scenario for the letter gives you the background information that you need it says you live in a room in college which you share with another student however there are many problems with this arrangement and you find it very difficult to work write a letter to the accommodation officer at the college in the letter describe the situation explain your problems and why it is difficult to work say what kind of accommodation you would prefer write 150 words what we can see here really are two things a background scenario that paints a picture of what's happening right because all of a sudden you're a college student and you're complaining about your accommodation and you see three bullet points these are critical and this is what we're going to look at but before we do that I want to show you my letter this is what your letter should look like this is what would get you an alt 9 or at least this deserves to get an IELTS 9 sometimes I also really strict with their writing sometimes I see really really good quality writing get poor scores and I think to myself maybe the I answers a little bit unfair with its writing but anyway take a close look at this one and I'm going to walk you through it and tell you why this would get nails 9 let me just read it to you quickly this is 156 words this is a top letter dear Sarah madam I'm writing to let you know that I am unhappy with my current living conditions while the accommodation itself is fine my housemate has become intolerable making it almost impossible for me to work I hope you will consider my situation favorably so I have nailed paragraph 1 that first bullet point paragraph 1 borne done paragraph 2 let me explain my situation the trouble started about 3 months ago when my housemate first moved in prior to that everything was fine my old housemate was extremely considerate a current housemaid however stays up almost all night and plays incessantly loud music as such I have not been able to sleep properly and therefore cannot concentrate on my studies that's bullet point bullet point – that's my second paragraph let's look at the third would you kindly transfer me or my housemate to another room I would much prefer to live with someone who is quieter and more considerate of others as long as it is quiet I don't mind with whom I live with thank you for your consideration yours faithfully Jai cool right why would this get an IELTS 9 well there are specific there are four specific criteria that the examiners look for in other words what I mean by criterias the examiners have a scoring system right so they get your essay or they get your writing task 1 and they have a scoring system and they tick boxes and they say okay you know I'll two nine eight seven six five four okay here here here and there are four things that they look at okay only four there are four things they look at they're really important first one is you write on topic and you must keep to the topic if you start writing about something else and you don't follow those bullet points you're in trouble to use precise vocabulary three use accurate grammar for use a logical structure let's have a look first a topic so topic is this topic writing on topic means that you do not deviate from this prompt specifically what it means is that you have understood this you've understood the scenario you have described the situation you've explained your problems and why it's difficult to work and you've said what kind of accommodation you would prefer now of course this becomes paragraph 1 this is paragraph 2 this is paragraph 3 what's really important is you do not blend your paragraphs together that's a hard thing to do you need to keep them separate right you want to just make sure that this paragraph is very separate from this paragraph and very separate from this paragraph etc so let's have a look at mine well if we look closely we can see paragraph 1 I described a situation paragraph 2 I explained the problems and difficulties in more detail paragraph 3 I asked for different accommodation in other words what have I done I have done all three of these describe explain and say describe explain and I've asked for different accommodation the second thing you need to be able to do is use precise vocabulary let's have a look at my vocabulary in this letter I want to point out to you what that means precisely you just don't leave me yet we're actually going to write a letter I'm going to get you to write a letter sentence by sentence but just bear with me while I explain why what you need to do to get that high score it's very confusing so let me explain then we'll do it together and we'll write one so get your pen out we're just about to start let me just explain this a bit more so vocabulary well first of all there are phrases that you need to memorize for example I am writing to let you know that blah so vocabulary is not necessarily just single words vocabulary can be a phrase of say five words or it can be collocation like pairs of words that come together let me show you some more so conditions this is a nice work nice intolerable beautiful adjectives what about this one we've got almost impossible well that's a phrase or a collocation of two words what about this phrase consider my situation favorably the trouble started prior to that however extremely considerate plays incessantly loud music transfer there's just a single verb and it's a nice one quieter more considerate these are adjectives right but there's special types of adjectives this one I don't mind phrase consideration just a good word so you want to use a variety of you know good when you choose your words only use words that you are a hundred percent sure of don't use a word that you think are that sounds good but I'm not quite sure of the meaning yes I'll put it in don't do that because if it's wrong if it's semantically wrong if the meaning is different than what you think it's but it's a bad thing to do you're better off using a simple word that you're sure of the meaning in other words word choice is critical choosing words that are precise is what this is all about but as I said it's not just about single words it's about phrases it's about two words that come together like almost impossible or extremely considerate right what else we're going to look at we're going to look at grammar because to be honest this is probably the hardest thing about the English language especially written English language use accurate grammar first thing we're going to look at other verbs in my letter I want to show you the verbs so let's let's have a look at these verbs right verb so every sentence has a verb this one says let you know well it's a verb phrase am present has become present perfect is present hope present explain present started what's this one past moved in what that's a verb plus a preposition that's a phrasal verb was was stays up phrasal verb in the present have not been able now what is that that's like a present perfect crazy verb present concentrate would so we've got a modal verb would you transfer me would you prefer ears here we've got a negative do not mind live thang call so we have a variety of verbs here we've got we use present simple we use some past simple we use some present perfect now it's not about using a variety of verbs just to show off and say I can use this one this one this one this one no again it's about using grammar to be precise in terms of meaning it's about selecting the present simple verb because that's the verb that expresses time as you want it to be expressed or the present perfect to express time as you want it to be expressed or perhaps you're describing something that happened in the past and finished in the past so you will use past simple so you don't just choose willy-nilly verbs you choose to be specific to be precise cool let me show you some more você grammar here let's look at articles and nouns because this is seems to be just a absolute killer for people so here we've got the word out let's look at this one here conditions conditions plural here we've got the accommodation so we've used the article that because we're talking about specific accommodation housemates singular situations singular situation the trouble specific trouble so we must use this article months why months ah three more than one three months ago housemate fine housemate fine music fine Studies plural night housemate room others plural consideration so the big killer with nouns of course are two things one that you can identify when the noun requires the S is it one dog or two dogs is it what's what what did I use condition or conditions the other thing is to consider our articles is it the accommodation because we're talking about specific known accommodation are we talking about an accommodation or just accommodation in general have to be precise with your article use adverbs and adjectives when getting there hold with me I want to show you this I want to show you this here's a beautiful adjective unhappy living conditions this is actually an adjective intolerable great fine impossible considerate fine all love another quiet term more considerate quiet excellent and what about these adverbs here well we've got the almost impossible we've got favorably we've got extremely considerate incessantly loud sleep properly almost all night and kindly transfer min fine oh what's going on here what I knew it was going to do that let me bring it back prepositions just quickly let's look at the prepositions so you're unhappy with it's impossible for the trouble started about three months ago moved in prior to stays up concentrate on live with live with thank you for these little words with to in on etc these are critical for precision you have to get your prepositions exactly right if you choose the wrong one then it just sounds a little bit odd it just sounds a little bit strange finally I want to show you sentences so when you write your letter to get a nine to get a nine you have to write a mixture of simple short sentences and complex longer sentences this is what the examiners look for in the letter so they can sort of see they can see the length of your sentences and they can also see words that coordinate or connect sentences together like because or that or which or where you know how you're writing a simple sentence like subject-verb-object and you put aware and they can put another one next to it and you can plug them together to make a complex sentence so you want complex sentences but if you're not confident with your grammar then stick to short sentences much better to be clearer than complex and unclear simple clarity beats complex unclarity doesn't make sense but you know what I mean so you can see that my sentences are most of them along most of them along a couple of short ones but most of them are complex so this is an IELTS night last thing I want to show you and this is where we're about to move into you writing your letter I want to show you how to use a logical structure because one of the things that you can do to make your test day a lot easier and to help you a lot is to learn a logical structure learn a struck memorize a structure so when you walk in on test day you have in your mind a cheat sheet it's kind of like a cheat sheet but you're not cheating you're just being smart because you've memorized a very good structure so let's have a look at my structure here let me just get out my red pen again so I've got the greeting fine that's easy you just memorize that line memorize okay now we move into the paragraphs so reason this is paragraph one fine I can't really memorize this paragraph two fine this is straight from those bullet points those dot points paragraph three fine ending fine this we just memorize sign are fine we just memorize and your name of course you just memorize so there we go got those three so really the greeting you memorize their ending you memorize sign off a name you just memorize you have to just write three paragraphs in effect you're just writing three paragraphs now what you can do and what I want to show you today is how to memorize the first phrase of each paragraph because each paragraph will always be the same in IELTS writing task 1 the first one will always give a reason so therefore you can memorize this I am writing to let you know that something the second one will always be an explanation so you can always start with this let me explain my situation the third one the third paragraph will always be a request or a suggestion and so you can always use this phrase here memorize this would you kindly and then you just add whatever verb you want there would you kindly give would you kindly send would you kindly drive me to the airport whatever it is so what are we memorizing well we're memorizing we're memorizing this we're memorizing this phrase up to here memorizing this phrase up to here memorizing this phrase up to here we're memorizing this entire ending we're memorizing the sign off and of course you memorize your own name so in fact all we have to write is this part here this part here this part here cool that's that's where it starts to get tricky so let's start I think you're ready now to a begin writing so get out your pen and what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you sort of sentence by sentence how to write this I'm going to show you what I wrote and then you're going to sort of copy I want you to copy what I write because obviously my letters good I'm in native English teacher I've taken the IELTS so I'll show you I'll show you exactly what to do so on test day you sit down you look at the question prompt okay you know you don't really need to read this stuff you know spend 20 minutes fine write 150 words fine but you really need to understand the scenario so let's read this again says you live in a room in college which you share with another student however there are many problems with this arrangement ie living with the other student and you find it very difficult to work write a letter to the accommodation officer at the college in the letter this is your paragraph one paragraph 2 paragraph 3 describe the situation explain your problems why it's difficult to work say what kind of accommodation you would prefer course don't blend your paragraphs this is really important you want to keep them very separate from each other keep them separate fine so that's it paragraph one two three paragraph one give reason for writing paragraph two explain in detail paragraph three request or suggest this is what your letter is going to look like from all of the starts of the sentences these are the bits that we memorize so you might want to pause this video and write this down because you can use this for every single writing task one letter that you have to write how to write the greeting dear sir/madam that's easy how do we know that because if you look down here it tells you how to start your letter dear sir/madam capital S capital M comma I want you to write now into the chat dear sir or madam exactly like this let's write this letter from beginning to end you have 30 seconds too easy too easy too easy right paragraph one paragraph one now we have to start to use our language we have to use our we have to use our creativity because we have to imagine we have to imagine what it's like to be living in college and to be unhappy with your accommodation so we're gonna have to use that scenario but now what we need to do is we need to describe the situation we're going to describe the situation but we're going to describe it in general very general because if you see in the second paragraph the second one here this is where we go into detail so this one is detail right this one is general this is just a general description of the situation then we go into the detailed problems don't start getting into details here this is not for detail this is just general description really how you can think of this as your reason for writing why are you writing this letter so I'm writing to let you know that I we're going to use this phrase I want you to copy this exactly so this is what I wrote so read this I'm going to read this to you then I want you to sort of copy it to write your own okay so I'm going to so I'm giving the reason for writing I'm describing the situation I'm keeping it general and I'm going to use this phrase I'm writing to let you know that I so this is mine I'm writing to let you know that I am unhappy with my current living conditions while the accommodation itself is fine my house made has become intolerable making it almost impossible for me to work I hope you will consider my situation favorably that's what I wrote okay now I want you to write yours but don't get into specifics you're describing a general situation you're not yet talking about specific problems you have three minutes to write your answer describing the situation your living conditions you have three minutes starting now one minute left you're describing the situation in general not going into specifics you're not talking about specific issues you're just sort of introducing the situation and you're beginning by the paragraph by writing I'm writing to let you know that I blah blah blah thirty seconds if you're on YouTube type your sentence into the comments below don't forget to click like please click like I love it when you click like and subscribe if you want three minutes is up cool if you haven't finished that's cool you can go back you can pause it and finish your first paragraph there but that's probably enough time let's let's have a look at what we're doing next we're going to write paragraph two we're going to write paragraph two we've written paragraph one where we gave a reason gave the reason for writing we gave the read the general reason for writing paragraph two we're going to get into some specifics we're going to start to describe some details we're going to explain your problems okay so we need to get into the specifics here or should I call this our details details details yes and why it's difficult to work so there are two things here we're going to give some details and we're also going to explain why it's difficult to work okay this is what we're going to do in paragraph 2 paragraph 2 its explanation so explain in detail let's have a look I'm going to read your mind ok and I want you to use look at this phrase here let me explain my situation I want everybody to use this same phrase let me explain my situation the trouble started about three months ago when my housemate first moved in prior to that everything was fine my old housemate was extremely considerate my current house maid however stays up almost all night and plays incessantly loud music as such I have not been able to sleep properly and therefore cannot concentrate on my studies so what have I done here well well one of the problems the problems are my current housemate stays up almost all night and plays incessantly loud music okay so I've got two problems I've got problem one here and I've got problem 2 here great because it's said here problems now why is it difficult to work what does that do to me well as such I have not been able to sleep properly and I therefore cannot concentrate I cannot concentrate on my studies in other words that's why it's difficult to work cool your turn I want to write your answer will give you three minutes to get into the details to explain the problem or the problems and why it's difficult to work your three minutes starts now 30 seconds left 30 seconds left I just sort of realized that three minutes is way too short to write these paragraphs if you you're supposed to spend about 20 minutes on this letter now if you memorize the greeting the sign off the ending and your name etc and you memorize those first phrases of the paragraphs then you should be able to spend about five minutes on those three paragraphs on each paragraph rather so five minutes first one five minute second five minutes though that's 15 minutes then sort of five minutes to to read the question five minutes to write the greeting except around sign-off and that will equal about twenty minutes so in the IELTS spend about five minutes on each paragraph I've left it too short here but you can go back press pause and finish your paragraph cool all right let's let's let's keep going how to write paragraph three well what's paragraph three about this is where we request so here it says say what kind of accommodation you would prefer say what kind of accommodation you would prefer really what we're doing here is we're requesting something we're requesting something we're requesting something sometimes it's either going to be two things in the IELTS writing task one you're either going to request like here or perhaps perhaps you're going to suggest which is a little bit different so you might request where you might suggest so yes let's have a look here so requesting or suggesting fine all right what's going on I think what's going on why can't I skip to the next slide there we go so how do we request well there's a certain phrase in English where we say and this is very formal very polite would you kindly would you kindly would you kindly and then we put any verb here we put any very you like like would you kindly pay for my lunch or would you kindly bring me a drink or would you kindly turn off the TV okay this is a request and this is just a verb that you just you fit in here but this you just memorize would you kindly okay so let's have a look at mine it says would you kindly transfer me all my housemate to another room I would much prefer to live with someone who is quieter and more considerate of others as long as it is quiet I don't mind whom I live with so say what type of accommodation you would prefer I've just said I don't really care what type of accommodation as long as it's quiet so that's fine I have answered the question they obviously have taken that question manipulated it a bit cool so now I want you to request say what type of accommodation you would prefer use this phrase here write your answer and give you three minutes but again you can pause it come back and spend five minutes one more minutes thirty seconds cool that was three minutes feel free to spend another couple of minutes on this paragraph as I said five minutes per paragraph is a good idea and then another five minutes just to write the introduction and the greeting and whatnot and to read the question cool all right so we're up to the final part now we've done the most difficult part now all we need to do is write the ending sign-off and your name that's it and this is simple this is we just memorize this it's it's very straightforward you can just if you're requesting something just memorize this word-for-word thank you for your consideration okay memorize that phrase . it's perfect that is perfect English thank you for your consideration memorize this yours faithfully comma and then just put your name remember to put a capital letter okay thank you for consideration yours faithfully Tom Mary whatever your name is that's it that's it so memorize this that's the last part of your letter that's the ending the sign off in your name so copy this into the chat or the comments below word for word same punctuation you have 30 seconds cool all right done you've just written an IELTS writing task one formal letter and well it depends depends on vocabulary and grammar but the structures excellent the formatting is perfect everything's good one thing I'll say too if you're not confident with your grammar if you're not confident with your vocabulary if you feel like you need some help check out eetu language comm let me just write it on the screen because what we do is we offer feedback we offer feedback go to this website whoops that's a W let me start again w WWE – language comm check that out what we do is we offer tutorials one-on-one tutorials with the teacher you'll sit down with the teacher on zoom' which is this platform like Skype one-on-one on the computer right and the teacher will have your essay and screen share with you and go through with you and tell you what you're doing wrong and tell you how to do it right it's the fastest way to improve we also offer written feedback so you submit your essays through the online course the teacher receives them gives you written feedback and sends them back to you tells you what you're doing wrong and what you're doing right but more importantly what you're doing wrong so you can improve so we have courses that include tutorials written feedback we do speaking tutorials we've got all of the practice questions everything you need at this website here e to language comm so check that out if you're worried if you need help all right what you did that let's recap let's recap let's think about what we learned in this lesson so we looked at this this is the structure that you want to use for your letter you're never greeting paragraph one two and three you would have an ending a sign-off and a name of course you can just memorize the greeting ending sign-off a name as we just saw this only takes 30 seconds to write 30 seconds that takes 10 seconds to write your paragraph 1 will be the reason for writing paragraph 2 is the explanation more details and paragraph 3 is the request really these are the things that you want to remove that you want to memorize you want to memorize the greeting you want to memorize the first phrase of the reason for writing you want to memorize this sentence you want to memorize this phrase this sentence this phrase and well hopefully you don't have to memorize your name hopefully know that already but this all of this here is about I don't know what this would be about this would be about 25% of your letter memorized the rest of it goes here and this is where you need to just watch your grammar and vocabulary so the other 75% go into your paragraphs cool and so this was mine you can see it here word-for-word this would be well this deserves to be an IELTS 9 this deserves an IELTS 9 and that is that that's e 2 language calm cool thanks for watching don't forget to click like subscribe and leave a lovely comment even a smiley face will do yes thanks very much for coming I appreciate it and check out the other videos we've got on offer and check out a 2 language comm if you need some serious health for your IELTS thank you my name is Jay and I'll see you soon whoops you

38 Replies to “IELTS General Writing Task 1: Formal Letters | ALL THE WAY TO IELTS 9 with Jay!”

  1. Would you kindly transfer ny or my roommate to another accommodation? I would much appreciate someone who is quieter and more considerate of others. As long as it is quiet, I don’t mind whom I live with.

  2. Let me explain my situation. My problem started 3 month ago when my new roommate first moved in. Prior to that, everything was fine; my old roommate was extremely considerate. My current roommate, however, stays up all night and play loud music. As such, I have not been able to sleep properly and cannot concentrate on my studies.

  3. Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing to let you know that I am unhappy with my current living conditions. While the accommodation itself is acceptable, however, my roommate has made it impossible to live. I hope you will consider my situation favorably.

  4. Would you kindly transfer me or my housemate to another room? It would be nice if I could live with someone quieter as this will help me to sleep better and concentrate more on my work.

  5. Let me explain my situation, the trouble started three months ago when my housemate moved in. My housemate has made it a point of duty to play loud music at night, because of this, I have found it difficult to sleep at night or concentrate when I am studying.

  6. I am writting to let you know that I am not happy with my current living condition. While I am at home, I find it difficult always to concentrate on my work because of my house mate' s behavior

  7. I am writing to let you know that I am unhappy with my current accommodation programme. Although the room itself is fine, my roommate on the other hand, is my main source of discomfort and troubles.

    Let me explain my situation. My main reason for living in this room, is to bring me closer to school, focus my attention on my studies and minimise distractions. However, since this current roommate moved in, it has been impossible to focus as he moves around really late at night, always has friends around and insists on them having loud conversations, over already loud rap music!

    Would you kindly look into changing the current arrangement? Although I have no real preference, I only need a quiet roommate who knows that his current accommodation is a shared one and understands that he should have some consideration for his roommate.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Yours Faithfully,
    Ehis

  8. Let me explain my situation. The problem started when my housemate shifted in to my room. He does not attend classes and invites his friends to the room, who altogether speak loudly and watch movies with a high volume. Because of which, I am unable to sleep and hence, cannot concentrate on my studies.

  9. Hi Jay, I have a question. Should we be specific with the room number as well and the block number?

  10. in informal Aussie slang : 'you're a legend mate! Cheers for this I am sure I can smash the paper harder than ever now, like smashed avocado'
    Thank you Sir Jay!

  11. Your all techniques and steps are highly appreciated but I've question you have used housemate word repeatedly in your letter. Does repitition not going to affect your score????

  12. Can we start the explanation with "Let me elaborate my situation" instead of "Let me explain my situation"?

  13. Dear Sir or Madam,
    I am writing to you to let you know that my current living situation is not favorable. While the room and other hostel facilities are extremely favorable, I have a concern with my room mate. The issues are increasing day by day and its getting difficult to cope up with the same.
    Let me explain my situation. The problem started about 3 weeks ago when my new room mate moved in. My previous room mate was extremely co-operative and considerate. My new room mate, however, is not very much in agreement to adjust with me. She plays extremely loud music till late night due to which I am unable to concentrate on my studies.

    Would you kindly help me with an alternate accommodation, in order to overcome this issue. I am ready to move in to any other room as long as the room mate is quitter and more considerate about others. Thank you for your consideration.Yours faithfully,Gauri

  14. Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing to let you know that I am not happy with my current accommodation conditions, as my home mate is inconsiderate and making me feels uncomfortable in my accommodation.

    Let me explain my situation, the problem started when my current home mate moved to the accommodation three months ago; He used to stay up all the nights incessantly playing loudly music. The matter which badly affected the quality of my sleeping during nighttime, and my work during daytime as well.

    Would you kindly accept my request to be transferred to another accommodation with more considerate person or to replace my current home mate with more quitter person.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mohamed

  15. Thank you for this video. Quite interesting, and I hope to come give gratitude in a few weeks. Wish me success!

  16. Hello dear Jay, would you please check my essay?
    Title: on a recent holiday you lost a valuable item. Fortunately, you have travel insurance to cover the cost of anything lost.
    Write a letter to the manager of the company,
    * describe the item you lost
    * explain how you lost it
    * tell the insurance company what you would like them to do
    …………………………
    Dear Sir or Madam ,

    I am writing to let you know that I am one of your customers, who is under cover of travel insurance, which is presenting by your company. Recently I had been travelling to Paris for 10 days. At this travel I lost my bracelet.

    Let me explain my situation, the bracelet was my marriage anniversary's gift that my wife had gave it to me, I mean it is very valuable for me beside it is priceless and unique.

    Let me describe how I have losing it, before the last day of travelling, I interested to attend a tour, which was going to Eiffel tower, when I got back to hotel I understood my bracelet has lost.

    Would you kindly make a condition for me to use travel insurance to cover this happen? I mean by this insurance can I request from your company to prepare another bracelet for me or pay the value of it to me?

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Yours faithfully

    Shahab

  17. Would you kindly transfer me to another room. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a different roommate who doesn’t smoke or any other room as long as my living condition will be taken into consideration.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Yours faithfully,
    Pearl

  18. Let me explain my situation. Everything was going well until my roommate cultivated the habit of smoking in the room and bringing friends to stay over. It had been a major challenge to me because I have never smoked in my entire life.
    Also, I am experiencing some difficulties with breathing well. This has disrupted my ability to concentrate and work.

  19. Dear sir,

    I am writing to let you know that I have been facing several issues with my current accommodation. I do not have a problem with the accommodation itself but my room mate has made my stay unbearable. It’s becoming a nightmare sleeping in my room

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