Emailing problems and solutions


Giving advice on good emailing, with useful emailing phrases

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Lesson Plan Content:

Emailing problems and solutions

Take turns asking for advice on the email questions/ problems on the next page, giving feedback on your partner’s advice each time and asking for more advice if you don’t like any of the ideas. There are (mixed) ideas for advice, but you can also use your own ideas.

Ask about anything which isn’t clear about the problems/ questions, suggestions, feedback language, etc.

Rank advice language and feedback language from the strongest/ most positive top to the most negative bottom, with ones with the same meaning next to each other.

Giving advice/ recommendations/ suggestions language

Feedback on advice/ recommendations/ suggestions phrases

Most positive
















Most negative

Most positive
















Most negative


Work together to write similar advice on smooth face-to-face communication in English, on topics like:

  • meeting people for the first time
  • meeting people again
  • being polite
  • being friendly
  • business cards
  • giving and asking for names
  • small talk
  • body language (shaking hands, etc)
  • responses/ reactions
  • finishing the small talk
  • ending conversations

Then get feedback on your advice from other groups.


Email subject lines/ titles questions/ problems

  • I need to send a copy of emails to my boss so that they know what I’m doing, but they don’t need to take any action and maybe don’t need to read the email.

Email opening greetings questions/ problems

  • I don’t know the name of the person who I’m writing to.
  • I don’t know if the person who I am writing to is male or female from their name.
  • I don’t know if I should use “Mrs” or “Miss” to write to a woman.
  • They finished their email with their full name, and I’m not sure which part of their name is their family name and which part is their first name.
  • I’m not sure if I should use their first name or family name in my reply.
  • I need to write an email to many people who I don’t know well.
  • I need to write an email to many people who I know well.

Email opening lines questions/ problems

  • I need to introduce myself for the first time in an email, but emails starting with “My name is…” seem like spam such as phishing scams.
  • I’m writing to someone after a very long time with no contact.
  • I want to start a formal email with a friendly opening line, but “How…?” seems too casual after “Dear Mr…” or “Dear Ms…”
  • I want to start a casual email with a friendly opening line, and “How are you?” doesn’t seem friendly enough.

The body of emails questions/ problems

  • I think that “Can…?” is not polite enough for this request email.
  • I want to make sure that they notice the attachment.
  • I want to emphasise important information in the email (without being rude/ too forceful).
  • I’m not sure when I should start a new paragraph in the body.

Email closing lines questions/ problems

  • I need a reply./ I need a quick reply./ I need a reply by a particular time.
  • I want to politely show them that I think no more emails are necessary (at this time).
  • I’m not sure if I should write “Thank you for your cooperation” or “Thank you in advance”.
  • I’m not sure how to end a thanking email, as “Thanks” at the end sounds like a request.

Email closing greetings questions/ problems

  • I’m not sure which closing greeting is exactly the right level of formality for my reply.

Name at the end of emails questions/ problems

  • People often write back to me with the wrong title (because I have a unisex name).
  • People often mix up which parts of my name are my family name and my first name.
  • It saves time to have my (full) name in my automatic email signature, but that makes it too formal for most of my emails.

What do you think I should do?/ Do you have any advice?/ What would you write?

How about …(ing)

I suggest that you

If I were you, I would

What about …(ing)

Why don’t you

You could

You must

You mustn’t

You really must

You really should

You should

You should always

You should probably

You shouldn’t



be careful about

begin with




do that

end with

finish with


not use

not worry about


start with

think about




after two or three sentences

capital letters

command/ order/ instructions

(family/ first/ full) name

in the body

request/ asking for help

the closing greeting in their email

their name at the end

they use only their first name at the end

with a new topic

write your name again before the signature

your title (in brackets) after your name

“Could … (possibly)…?”

“Dear + full name”

“Dear all”

“Dear Sir or Madam”

“for your information/ reference”/ “FYI”

“Hi everyone”/ “Hi guys”

“How are you doing?”/ “How’s it going?”

“How was your trip to New York?”

“I am writing to you about/ to/ because…”

“I hope you are well/ this email finds you well”

“I hope…”

“I was asked to write to you by…”

“I was given your address by…”

“I would be grateful if…”

“I’m looking forward to hearing from you”

“I’ve attached…”

“If you need any more info, just let me know”

“GOMI, Jun (Mr)”/ “Jun GOMI (Mr)”


“Please find … attached”

“Please note that…”/ “NB…”

“Please see the attached… for more details”

“Sorry I haven’t been in contact, because…”

“Sorry to write to you out of the blue, but…”

“Speak to you soon”/ “Talk to you soon”

“Thanks again”

“Thanks for your patience/ understanding”

“To: All…”

I’m afraid I don’t think that will…, because… Do you have any other ideas?

That’s a good idea. I’ll do that.

Well, I’m not sure about that, because…

Yes, that might work./ Yes, that might be suitable.


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