Look at this task.
You are working as an assistant in the offices of an English company. You are finishing some work after your colleagues have left when the phone rings for you. As a result of the call, you need to take the following day off work.
Write two notes explaining the situation, one to your boss, and one to a colleague and friend, with whom you had a lunch date. Write 60-80 words in each note.
A task like this will be more realistic and more successful if you decide on some concrete details before you start. If you can use true facts, it’s very easy, but if you can’t, invent some interesting and believable ones!
Decide on answers to the questions below.
Your work: What kind of work do you do for the company? How long have you been with the company? How will you be able to make up for the time you will miss?
The phone call: Who was it from? What was the message? Why is it important? Why was there such short notice?
Your boss: Male / female? How well do you get on with him / her? How are they likely to react to your being away?
Your colleague: Male / female? How long have you known him / her? Have you had lunch together before?
The lunch: Where were you going to go? Will there be any problem about cancelling? When could you have lunch instead?
Notes and messages are usually even more informal than informal letters, although the
exact degree of formality will depend on the specific relationship. Decide which phrases
from the list below would be more appropriate in the note to your boss (B) and which in
the note to your colleague (C)
I received a telephone call __ out of the blue __
rang me __ such short notice __
I’ll gladly make up the time __ I’m really sorry __
In the circumstances __ I apologise for any inconvenience __
Some other time? __
There are no fixed rules about the layout of notes and messages. Look at these examples
and the comments which follow.
Just to let you know that I managed to get 2 tickets for the Flaming Lips concert at the
Ensemble Theatre on Tues. It starts at 7.30, so shall we meet outside the theatre at about 7.15?
We could have a bite to eat afterwards if you like.
See you soon
A quick note to thank you for helping me with the job application. Your advice was much
appreciated. I’ve sent it off now, so let’s hope I get an interview.
Saw Frank yesterday. I’ll pass on the news when I see you.
All the best,
· The day, date or time is normally somewhere at the top.
· You can begin with Dear …, with a first name or just an initial, depending on your relationship.
· Informal language is often appropriate.
· You need not always write in full sentences
· Finish with your name or initial.
Beginning a note
No special introductory phrases are necessary but notes often begin with expressions like:
Just (a note) to let you know / tell you / check that ….
A quick note to ask / see if ….
thank you for / apologise for / about
Sorry I couldn’t / wasn’t able to / forgot to ….
I (would like to) apologise for missing the meeting.
Ending a note
No special fixed phrases are needed but notes and messages may end with expressions like:
See you soon
Speak to you soon
All the best
Now write the two notes for the task above.