Functional language in email writing

In the previous post in the email writing series we looked at five functional expressions.

 These are expressions used for a particular purpose, such as expressing best wishes or giving a compliment.

Email Writing Strategy

 Here are five more language functions that are used frequently in business communication.

Choose the best expression for each situation. Then check your answer and find out other ways of saying the same thing. Practise using these expressions in your own email writing.

1. You need to take sides on an issue.

a) We are in full agreement with your conclusions.

b) I would advise you not to go ahead.

c) We would be grateful if you responded immediately.

 2. A client asks your company to commit to do something

a) Thank you. That was very helpful.

b) We would be very interested to hear from you.

c) We can assure you that it will be done today.

3. A colleague asks you to make a suggestion.

a) That won’t work.

b) We would like to recommend our accountant.

c) We are happy to accept your proposal.

4. You need to warn someone about something

a) We feel that you should know of the risk that is involved.

b) We would like to congratulate you on your appointment.

c) Another time perhaps.

5. Your company offers to do something

a) Thank you. We are very pleased to be here.

b) We wish you every success.

c) We would be happy to do that.


1. a

Other ways to take sides.

– I disagree.

– That won’t work.

 2. c

Other ways to commit yourself to do something

– Definitely

– It will be done in 24 hours.

3. b

Other ways to make a suggestion.

– Have you thought about using this software?

– Have you considered getting a second opinion?

4. a

Other ways to warn someone.

– I wouldn’t if I were you.

– You better make sure that the arrangements are clear.

 5. c

Other ways to offer to do something.

– May I help?

– I’d be happy to do that.

Adapted from “The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment.” 2011.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *