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  1. Arlene Jones
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    #1

    Arlene Jones

    My son is trying to rewrite a formal letter in a 7th grade english class. He wrote it to a Dear Sir and to a company. His english teacher says that it is a business letter and he was to write a formal letter to an important person. I cannot find anywhere online that there is any difference between a formal and a business letter. Everything refers to it as business or informal. Is there really a difference? Can you explain it to me if there is because I am at a loss as to how to help him especially since there is no text book to come home to expain anything?

    Thank you,

    Arlene Jones


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: Arlene Jones

    Not really. A business letter is a formal letter, but I would humour his teacher and suggest he writes his formal letter addressed to the President.

    This site gives a number of examples of formal letters: How to write a formal letter

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #3

    Re: Arlene Jones

    The only differences I can think of are that a business letter often contains a person's title as well as his name, and includes a subject line:

    (date)

    Mr. Bruce Davis
    Executive Vice President
    Spahn Industries
    P.O. Box 350
    Boston, MA 02134

    REF: OUR PURCHASE ORDER NO. 0924

    Dear Mr. Davis:

    (etc)


    A formal, non-business letter, wouldn't include the person's business title, company name or a reference line:

    (date)

    Mrs. Cynthia Worthington-Hargreaves
    322 Park Avenue
    New York, NY 10020

    Dear Mrs. Worthington-Hargreaves,

    On behalf of the Every Other Wednesday Afternoon Women's Club, I'd to thank you for hosting our chapter's recent fundraiser. etc etc

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