IELTS Letter: Sample Answer

Below is an IELTS letter with a sample answer which is estimated at band score 9 and is personal rather than formal. For the General Training Paper in IELTS, you are required to write a letter of over 150 words in 20 mins for writing task 1.

Last month you had an overseas holiday with some friends where you stayed at their house. They have just sent you some holiday photos.

Write a letter to your friends. In your letter:

  • thank them for the holiday and the photos
  • explain why you didn’t write earlier
  • invite them to come and stay with you

Band Score 9 Sample Answer

Hi John and Laura,

How are you both? I hope this letter finds you well. Although it’s such a short time since we last saw each other, it feels much longer.

Thank you so much not only for such a memorable holiday but also for the lovely photos that you sent of our holiday together. It brought it all back to me so vividly. Staying with you and seeing where you live was a real eye-opener for me. Australia is certainly a scenic country with remarkable landscape and wildlife, particularly up in the north where you are.

Sorry, it has taken me so long to write back and thank you. Almost as soon as we landed back in the UK, my mother became sick. Since then we’ve been running around looking after her and getting carers sorted out. She seems to be improving now and hopefully will be back to normal soon.

Next month, we’ll be celebrating our Wedding Anniversary and we’d be delighted if you could come over to celebrate it with us. It’ll be a chance for you to meet the rest of the family and see a bit of England. Of course, you must stay with us. There’s plenty of room and we’ll pick you up at the airport. I really hope you can make it.

Take care and write back soon.



IELTS Letter Writing Tips 


  1. Douglas Luna says

    Dear Carlos and Julia,

    I want to thank you for the an incredible time that we spent together. I haven’t had the opportunity to have such relaxing and quality time in a while until last month. The photos are stunning, especially the ones on the river behind Charlotte’s house, they look bright and neat. I must confess I was afraid at the begging because I do not how to swim, but after wearing the snorkelling equipment, I enjoyed it a lot.

    I am sorry for late reply, but I was extremely occupied with my office work, since my bi-weekly financial report was inaccurate by a large sum. Thus, I had to rush to create a new report before sending it to my head manager. It took me the entire morning.

    I would like to invite you all to come to Canada in winter. I have a large house where you can stay for the entire season if you want. My parents, who live with me, will spend their time in Mexico while the raw winter. There are multiple winter attractions not only in Toronto but also in near cities we can visit and delight.

    Thank you for the pictures and looking forward to hearing from you soon.


  2. Leonard Nnaji says

    You have just spent a week with friend on holiday. When you got home, you realized you had forgotten your wallet there.
    Write a letter to your friend. In your letter;
    .Thank your friend for the holiday
    .Explain that you left your wallet in their house
    .Give them instruction on how to send it back to you

    Dear Chris,
    How do you do? Hope my letter finds you well. Thank you very much for the memorable holidays we spent together. It was a short visit but had a profound impact on me especially the church chore group which you belong.
    Sorry to inform you that I had forgotten my wallet in house after my visit. You remember that moment your little younger brother Femi took it from our room to play in the sitting room. Thereafter, you collected it from him and kept in the CD storage box. I forgot to pick it up while I was leaving your house.
    I’ll request that you send it across to me. Pls, give it to Uncle Sam whom I’ll meet at his clinic office and pick it up from there. I ‘ll be glad if that could be done any day by next week as I will be at grandmother’s house all through the week.
    Thank you once more for the wonderful holiday reception you gave to me.
    Yours sincerely,

  3. Dear Smith and Linda
    Hope you both are doing well. I’ve received the photos of our holiday spent at your place in Australia. I’m really thankful to you both for such an amazing and memorable holiday.
    I am sorry to not write you earlier. Actually the day I landed back to India I got a call for interview in the company I always wanted to be a part of. After qualifying in all the rounds, I finally got selected for the position of Audit Manager.
    There is one more good news for you people. I have also got my new BMW car. So, you both are in for a treat for these accomplishments. I’m holding a party to celebrate these occasions in the first week of coming month. I know you will definitely make it.
    Can’t wait to meet you soon.
    Your friend

  4. Hi ,
    Could you please tell me how to improve writing in IELTS to secure a good band score.
    I have heard that in IELTS writing, we should not use colloquial language and I am confused in this regard as to how to differentiate what is considered to be colloquial language. Let say, if a letter is to be written to a friend on his achievement, then can we write as;
    “My happiness knew no bound the other day when I learnt about you getting best of the campus placements.”
    Please advise if it would be appropriate to use this language in IELTS.

    • You should use natural language. An essay is formal in style which means you avoid writing informally. That’s all you have to do. Avoid informal phrases or words such as “kids”. Any GT letter for task 1 writing which is informal needs to use informal language. Your sentence is an unnatural sentence to write a friend. Try to approach IELTS in a logical way. There are no hidden rules. Use the RED MENU BAR at the top of this site to open the Writing Sections of this website for free lessons, tips and model essays.

  5. Pradeep Bhatt says

    Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing well & safe, I am preparing for IELTS and I got to know about your website from a dear friend.
    I have attempt to write the above letter, request you to please assess it and tell me where I stand.

    Hi Kill & Bill,
    Hope you & family are doing well.
    Thank you so much for sharing the lovely photographs of the amazing holidays we had & can’t thank you enough for making each day memorable & for hosting us.
    We apologies that we couldn’t write back to you before As I feel glad to share with you that my daughter’s engagement has been fixed, hence we were really help us with the lots of preparation, The wedding date will also get finalized by this month end, which we will keep you posted about, as we are looking forward for you to come down to India & join us I would send the invitation as soon as the date is fixed & invitation are printed.
    Post wedding we have a planned for short trip to South India & I feel pleasure to invite you for the same.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Your friend

  6. Hi Liz,
    I had a question. For the informal letters, do we necessarily have to use contractions? Can we choose not to do so? I believe that at time when we use contractions in some phrases/clauses, we lose the emphasis required.

    For example:
    “It’s painful indeed and I’m extremely sorry for it but trust me I was not at fault, in fact, I was given a green chit by the traffic warden.”

    Had I wrote ” It is painful indeed….”, do you not think it would be more expressive?

    • You don’t need to use contractions every time you use the verb “is”. We can use this verb in its complete form in informal language.

  7. Hi John. It’s me, Daekyu.
    How are you? Everything working well? I hope you stay very well, right now. Due to the effect of Covid-19, everyone should care well by themselves, so please always be safe and clean well. While I was there, you don’t take showers as much as needs. It is a joke, don’t get mad about it. Anyway, I tried to send letters a few times to you; however, the border was closed. Finally, it removed.

    Oh! Thanks for the photos. It reminded me of meaningful and delightful memories when I was in Korea with you. Especially Food!. I will never forget that.
    Please, let me know your off schedule. We have to make a plan for another trip to my country. Before visiting Canada, you never know what the real beauty of nature is. Unfortunately, we do not have a variety of food compared to Korea, but it still delicious and tasty.
    Call me or send an email. I will wait for your response.


  8. I Aguiar says

    Hi, Liz! What do you think of this letter?

    Dear Jane and Bob,
    I can´t believe it has been already a month since I left your lovely home in Ibiza. It was by far the best holidays I´ve had in a very long time and the photos you sent me today showed just how happy we all were. Thank you so much for sending the photos and for taking care of me during my holidays.
    I should have written to you before but since my return I have been promoted at work and things couldn´t be busier. Besides my new duties, I still have to train the girl who is taking over my position. She is clever but with no experience in the field so it is taking me a while to get her ready.
    Next month I will celebrate my 30th birthday and I would like to invite you both to come to London and spend the weekend with me. I haven´t yet planned what to do but I am sure it´ll be much more fun if we are together. Obviously, you can stay at my place and I´ll pick you up from the airport!
    I look super forward to seeing you soon again.
    Take care, my friends.

  9. Hi Liz and my friends,Please help me with some sample answers.
    You have some time off work and are hoping to visit a close friend, Stephanie, for a few
    days. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
    1.suggest spending time together
    2. explain why you have time to do this
    3. propose some activities

  10. Hi Liz, or any friends, Could you please one sample answer for below letter for GT.

    Write a letter to your colleague asking for help in setting up the equipment for your presentation.
    In your letter, you should:
    -tell when and where presentation will take palce.
    -describe your arrangments.
    -tell him/her what equipment you need

    • Oluwatobi Trust says

      Hi James,
      How are you doing? I hope this letter meets you well. I want to request for your help in setting up my equipments during my project presentation to the class.

      The project presentation which is to take place on the 28th of May at the seminar hall for engineering students at University of Ilorin. The project presentation which is for my final year project for the school is a compulsory one and I’ve made preparations for how it will be presented.

      I’ve made preparations such that, as i am presenting, you will be in charge of operating the equipments from behind. Also you’ll be the one to control the presentation documents that will be displayed to the audience through a projector with my laptop or we could make use of yours if you feel comfortable with it. Lastly, as i am rounding up the presentation, you’ll join me on the performing platform to conclude the presentation and get ready as the audience will be asking us questions regarding the project.

      I’ll need you to help out with your fathers table lathe machine, a log of wood with a hacksaw. All these will be used for demonstration during the project presentation. I’m really looking forward as we work together to present.

      Take care.


  11. Hello Liz

    Thanks for all these tutorials. It helps me lot. I need a clarification. In general writing task 1, is the task order has to maintained in the answer or it can be interchanged????


    • I’m not 100% sure what you mean. Do you mean whether you can do task 1 first? In writing, for both Academic and GT writing, you have one hour to complete two tasks. It is your choice how you use that one hour. You can do task 2 first if you want. However, you must manage your time well and try not to spend more than 40 mins on task 2. You still need to give yourself 20 mins to for task 1.

      • Sean Xing says

        Hi Liz

        can we change the order of the 3 requirements given in the example task1, let’s say we invite them first and then explain why you didn’t write earlier


        • You are being marked on a logical order of information and the information was given to you by IELTS is a specific order. This means the examiner will be expecting that order. Don’t change it.

  12. Hello Mike and Molly!

    How are you both? I hope this letter finds you well. I haven´t forgotten all the wonderful times we spent together during the last Christmas. December is coming up again and on this occasion, I want to invite you over to stay with me for the celebration.

    First of all! Thank you so much for the amazing photos from our last Christmas. I received them yesterday and I was melancholic remembering every single moment. I am very sorry for having been out of touch for a short while. However, right after those holidays, my dog passed away and as a single woman in a huge flat, it took me more than nine months to put myself together again.

    In tho months, out favorite season is coming back and I would love to spend it with you. Every year my family has getaway packages to The Rocky Mountain National Park Resort in Estes Park, Colorado with all the amenities included. This year they are not going. Therefore, there transferred me two reservations for five nights, double occupation in each room. If you would like to spend your Christmas surround by nature, elks, deer, bears and the mysterious sound of Santa on December 25th, I believe this could be a great opportunity.

    In addition, the packages are extremely complete. Besides all the meals are covered, they include tickets for hiking, climbing, biking, horse riding, massages and arts and crafts classes with jewelry bits.

    Please, whenever you have the chance let me know if we could stay together again and then I will proceed to confirm our reservations.

    Big hug!

    Linda Clarckson

    PS: Yes Mary! I´m implying that I will give you a reservation for free! xoxo

  13. Dear Liz, is is mandatory to start every passage with linking word in a letter writing?

  14. Hi Liz, I am really fond of your teaching style and grateful for such expert content that you post. Thanks a lot!

    I have one question: Is it fine to use the below in an informal letter written to a friend. I specifically wanted to check if one can start a sentence with “Guess what”

    Guess what, I have managed to get us an express entry in the annual parade event.

    • I wouldn’t choose to use that. I think there are better ways to showcase your language skills. It’s fine to use it in the speaking test. It is really something we would say rather than write, even if it is informal writing.

  15. Liz is it ok to write 200 words If we complete it on time?
    Asking because this sample is above 200 words got doubt if it can cut marks

    • The majority of all task 1 should be between 170 and 190 words. Your task is to group information together, select key features and avoid getting lost in too much small detail. There is no fixed upper limit rule, but generally aim for the word count I recommend.

  16. Hi Liz, can I use an exclamation mark where necessary in an informal letter

  17. Hi Liz!
    Can i use words like therein, thereafter, wherein, etc., in writing task 2?

    • They are rather old fashioned. You are not going to get a higher score because you used them.

      • Should a title for formal letters?
        Like ‘Re: Lost luggage’

        • That is not necessary for an IELTS letter. This is not about business skills, but simple language skills with good organisation of information relating to coherence and cohesion as well as task achievement.

  18. I really like your letters

  19. fatima salah says

    hi Liz
    Can this letter be written for 45 marks
    I like your writings but I don’t know whether it is suitable for the grades or not

  20. Hii Liz , can u let me know about pronouns in informal letter ??? Can we use them in a good no. ?

  21. Very helpful website so far I came up with.

  22. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your helpful material.
    I have one question. Should we use contractions like I’ve, I’ll for informal letters? and if I don’t use my marks will be deducted?
    Please help.

  23. Hi, Liz
    how are you?? thankyou so much for such important tips.. i need your help if u can evaluate my writing task 1 letter.. because i lack confidence when i write if u will check may b it will help me.. nd i ll get to know exactly where i am lacking..

    task1- You ordered a book online for exam preparation. It has been a some time to this order and you have not received your book. write a letter to the ecommerce company for the same.
    * decribe your purchase order of the book.
    *show importance of the book
    *say what you want the officer to do for you.

    Dear sir,

    I am writing this letter to inform you about my order of a book form your company on 20th march and my order number is Az4356337 which i have not received yet.

    I am preparing for IAS exam for which i ordered a book General Studies Manual by Manohar Sharma.. It is the best book for preparing for this exam.. and I only got it on amazon and was out of stock from other sites.
    After checking the delivery time in 5 days i ordered this book because my exam is on 15th april. Its’s already been more than 10 days and i did not received my order yet.This delay impacted my preparation and I left with few days to study. I beleive I can not make up for the lost time.

    Since you have wasted one week of delivery I request you to refund me for the book and courier charges if I will not get the delivery in 2 days. As it is hard to cover for the gone time but I am a regular customer and this is the first time i had to face this problem so I will wait for 2 more days..

    I hope to hear a positive reply.
    Your sincerely
    Riun Smith

    • I don’t usually comment on writing. However, what I have decided to do is to publish your letter as a lesson on my site. I will post it next week with a model answer so people can see the difference between this letter and a model letter. I will use the same information content as you have written, but organise it better making sure it more fully adheres to Task Achievement and Coherence & Cohesion. Your name will not be used – it will be anonymous. I have also altered your name on this post. If you have any objections let me know.

  24. Dear Liz,
    I find your website very amazing and it really helped; however when I was scrolling through the comments, I found your replies to questions very abrupt and passively aggressive. Maybe re-read your replies to make them sound more friendly and approachable.
    Aside that 5 stars!

    • Sorry you feel that.

    • Hey I think you misunderstood this website, we are learning english here and asking tons of questions, she is keeping her answer short and direct, it is more professional and quick. This is not rude at all.

    • Kirandeep Kour says

      She is not at all rude. She gets so many queries to handle . She has to be precise and straight forward .Consider her as your teacher. atleast she replies to each and every query and that helps a lot in identifying general mistakes we students do. thanks a lot a Liz ma’am. I think you are just amazing.

  25. Is this letter semi-formal or informal?

    Write a letter to your colleague who is also your friend for leaving the country without saying goodbye.

    1- Describe why are you leaving?
    2- What you going to miss more?

  26. Kazi Sameeo Sheesh says

    Dear Liz

    Is it ok to write Stay tuned instead of Write back soon.

  27. Hi Liz,
    Is it correct if I close informal letter ( letter to a friend ) as With Regards,

  28. Lovepreet singh says

    A huge thanks for your help
    how good is it to set off a letter with some idioms ( i hope you are in pink of your health or i hope this letter finds you in radiant health and best of spirits)
    I afraid the examiner may consider it as crammed content
    Could you please clear my ambiguity.

    • It looks like you are cramming your writing with language you hope will boost your score. We do not write that way in English. We do not often use such idioms. The examiner is very aware of people trying to impress with idioms which is why it doesn’t work at all. Your letter and language should be appropriate – not full of colourful idioms.

  29. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the help you offer IELTS candidates, please can u review this letter and give some correction.Thanks

    Peter and Sandra,

    I’m writting to thank your both for the memorable holiday and the photos of it you sent. I enjoyed every bit of my stay with you, especially the variety of California parks for realization and the seafood meal. I really appreciate thanks once again.

    I’m sorry for not witting you back early, this is because of my son’s recurrent chest pain and fever. We rushed him to the hospital almost the same time we landed in Canada and since then we’ve been running around for his medications, though he’s recovering now, Doctor said we’ll be discharmed by tomorrow.

    My Daughter’s Christening is 20th of next month and I’m inviting you to celebrate with us. It wold be another opportunity for you to experience different cultures and food, the last time you visited us was 5 years ago in Germany. Canada is quite with a lot of land mass and beautiful view. I will make rooms available incase if you want to come with your son.

    I look forward in hearing from you soon

    Best Regards,

  30. Fatma Ibrahim says

    Dear Nora and Layla,
    I hope this letter finds you and all your family very well. First of all I would like to thank you so much for such a wonderful time that I had spent with you at your lovely home.
    I really had a great time at your place starting with your tasty food till the fascinating natural views in your city. As you know I enjoy trying now food from different countries, the most dishe I found it quite delicious was when we decided to have seafood at the restaurant next to your home, it was really awesome. I also found that your area where you live is full with the natural gardens and parks. So it is a good place for having a time for relaxing and enjoying a healthy air.I am really looking forward to visiting you again on the next holiday and getting a great time together.
    I would like also thank you for the beautiful photos that you have sent to me. Each time I look at these photos I remember every moment that we had spent together, I really a lucky person because I have you as my best friends, and I hope that my relisionship last for every, as I am feeling that you are as my family members.
    I love you both
    See you soon
    Best Regards

  31. Dear Mike and Sam,

    I hope, both of you are doing well.

    Thank you for inviting me for the holidays. You have a lovely home and I loved every minute being there. You are such a great host and it was really fun to go hiking and exploring the nearby wild places.

    Also, thank you for sending me the photos of our holiday. Even though, I enjoyed every second of the holiday but seeing the photos is like living those moments again. I also have a few photos, which I took from my cellphone camera, which you might like. I will email them to you as soon as possible.

    I am sorry, I couldn’t write earlier as I had to finish a few urgent tasks of my office work as soon as I landed here. Managing personal and work life becomes tricky sometimes. Writing back to you was on my mind since the time, I got back here but could find time only now.

    Sam mentioned during our holidays, that both of you will be visiting India in April this year. I am sorry, I didn’t pay much attention to this at that time in the excitement of being in Italy for the first time but now, I think that it’d be really great if you could come and stay at my place during your visit. It’d be my pleasure to show you around the city.

    Hoping to see you soon.

  32. Summiya Taj says

    Hello Liz,

    Thank you for taking your time to help all of out here.

    If u could please help me out with some doubts:
    1)When in the question they mention to illustrate an example- do we write just one example in the entire essay? or should we write an example on the sub idea we have, like for one paragraph one example?
    2) I have gone through your sample essays and that has helped me a lot. Where can I do more sample essays/ letters? please suggest because there is so much material out there and I just do want to get lost.

    Loads n loads of prayers to u, your site is a blessing.
    Take care

    • What do you mean “asked to illustrate a map”? Are you referring to writing task 1? Because writing task 1 is NOT an essay. IT IS A REPORT.
      There is a RED BAR at the top of this website to access different parts of the test for tips, lessons , answers etc. Click on the RED BAR.

  33. Neeta baral says

    Hi Cheryl and John,

    I hope this letter finds you fit and perfect. I am sorry for not writing to you sooner. Thank you very much for the lovely photos of our holiday together while we were at you place. It was really a unforgottable trip of my life.

    Most memorable moment for me was that when we climbed up the hill and reached the top from where we could see the beautiful valley with the high wall of snowy mountains being kissed by the sunrise. It was exhilariating that I don’t find any words to explain. Moreover, the time we spent with your all family members in the presence of your local cuisine was the best ever experience for me.

    I should have contacted you as soon as I landed here, but unfortunately, my assignment due dates were preponed by a week. I had to go through all the materials and relevant articles to present the best assignment for the great result. As soon as I submitted my task, I was planning to contact you, an here I come!

    Most importantly, 30th of the next month is my youngest’s third birthday. We are planning to celebrate it with family members and friends. I am inviting you and John to join us and add in a blessful flavor to the birthday party. At that time, we can recall all of our beautiful memories and create some new in the company of my children. We will stay together in my home and spend a quality time. I really hope you can make it.

    Take care and contact soon.


  34. Rameez khalid says

    Hello Simon and Dave,

    Hope you are having a good time? I’m writing to let you know that I really enjoyed spending my vacations with you in Georgia recently.

    It was a great trip with you guys. Although it was a short trip, but spending time with friends like you even for a shorter period is enjoyable. I got all the pictures of our holidays spent together on my google drive. I really miss our moments together while watching the pictures and videos you shared.

    I couldn’t write to you earlier because as soon as I came back there were lot of pending stuff to be completed by me at the home and at the office as well. So, I got busy in looking after both places but now I got free a bit so, I thought it is the best time to write to you guys.

    Fortunately, the Christmas holidays are coming up, so, why don’t you guys join me in Dubai? It would be fun to see you guys here and it will not be so cold as your country. We can spend some good time together again and share moments together by having the desert safari and on beach as well. You can stay with me at my apartment and it will be a great trip together.

    Let me know your plan and see you soon.

    Take care,


  35. Dear Liz,
    I am a great fan of you.You are amazing teacher.I am planning to write Gen IELTS in March 2019.My doubt is about writing letter to a friend with whom you spent a week on holiday .when you got home, you realised you had left ur wallet there..Write to friend include
    a)thank him for the holiday
    b)explain about you left the wallet in their house

    c)give instruction of how to send it back to you

    My doubts are whether it is appropriate to include the address in the letter.If yes, where do I place it and how to write address in the letter.Is is ok to write in one line include telephone number ? Or any format.

    kindly explain me how to correct it.

    thank you mam

    • The instructions don’t ask for the address, only a decision about how your friend should send your wallet back to you. Your friend will already have your address – it is your friend! So, this is about secure registered post, asking another friend to bring it to you or Fedex.

  36. Hi Liz,
    I wrote the IELTS-GT exam 3 weeks ago and scored a 6.5 for the writing 🙁 For the writing part I got the below topics, and would be so grateful if you could some pointers on them. Task 1 threw me a bit because I understand it’s a semi-formal letter? But I couldn’t understand how to phrase a semi-formal letter to a direct manager?

    Task 1: Write a letter to your line manager about a party you wish to throw for a colleague. Mention what the party is about, your ideas and ask your manager for suggestions.
    Task 2: There is an increased amount of garbage in many countries these days. Write about why you think this is, what can be done to solve it with examples. ( note: I have paraphrased the question, but all the points are captured)


    • You have a formal work relationship with your manager – it is a formal letter. This is your boss, not your friend. A semi-formal letter is when you are writing to your friend about something serious (such as work). Don’t forget that task 1 only counts for 33% of your final marks, so you will need to review your task 2 as the problem might have been there. See my Advanced lessons to learn the right way to write your essay:

  37. Sakir Saiyed says

    Best Content for IELTS on this complex web.

    Thanks a bunch Liz.

  38. Hi I am Ridhima

    I liked the letter very much .

  39. Jatin Machchhar says

    Can any one help to write this letter…
    I am not getting proper point on 2nd Bullet point. It is recent exam letter….

    You recently started commuting to work by bicycle and discovered that there is a problem with bicycle parking near the building where you work. Write a letter to the building manager and say
    – Explain the reason for using a bicycle to commute.
    – What problems have you encountered with parking?
    – What are your recommendations to solve them?

    • The most likely options are:
      1) distance of parking from work place – parking is too far away
      2) security of parking for bicycles – possibility of theft or lack of security cameras
      3) lack of space – too many people wanting to park their bicycles

    • Sukhdeep kaur says

      Problem can be lack of space owing to cramped parking with vehicles

      Problem can be related to a damage you have encountered because of carelessness of people while they park their cars or other vehicles

  40. Ruchika Israni says

    In the 2nd paragraph last line, should it be “particularly” instead of “particular”?

  41. Ahmed Maged says

    Hi Liz,

    Is it OK to use smilies while writing informal letter to a friend. for example:
    I will be waiting for your reply and I will not take No for an answer 🙂



  42. mohamed ibrahim says

    Dear Ali and Ahmed,

    how are you? I hope this letter finds you well. I have been enjoyed in the last holiday with you because you were welcoming to me when I have just arrived your home city. I am writing this letter for being grateful to you according to the time spent and the photos that I received from my mobile this morning. I can’t forget those interesting memories of playing football in the yard and watching fantasy movies too.

    On behalf of my view, I consider that time interval is my adventure time in your country.
    I am sorry for the delay in writing to you this letter because of outside circumstances happened to me, such as working at night as we are going to deliver the old project to the end user in my company.

    I’ll be happy if you could accept my invitation for both of you in my humble home. my home has three big bedrooms and shared a bathroom with a kitchen. once you come over here, I will have finished my whole preparation for being a wonderful vacation.

    I can’t wait to see your reply, From Egypt with love.

    write back soon,

  43. Hi Liz, with semi formal letter e.g friend inviting you to work in his company, how do you address the person at the start and how do you sign off? Do you follow the informal style?
    i.e. Dear John

    All the best

  44. is there any mark that will effect band score of writing test about good or bad hand writing?

  45. Hi Lizz
    At the recent IELTS exam i scored 7.5 for reading and speaking with an 8.5 for listening , However i got a 6 for writing which ruined my overall score for an immigration application. Would be great if you could provide some tips or post more samples with regard to writing.


    • Writing can often be the most difficult part of the test. This is because there are specific requirements for higher band scores which many students don;t learn about. I highly recommend you get one of my advanced lessons for writing task 2. They are expensive but they will help you check which you are going wrong with your essay writing technique:

  46. HI, Just want to know how is this sample answer for band 9 ? because it seems to me it has crossed max. word limit.

    • There is no upper word limit in IELTS writing.

      • Hi Liz,

        This is my first visit to your blog and I must commend on excellent content that you have put here. I am already learning so much from the blog. A question came to my mind seeing your reply. While there is no upper limit, I have been told strictly to keep the word count to under 180 or else you might loose marks. What’s your take on this? Is there an ideal word limit for essays and letters… Looking forward to your reply.

        • You aim is under 200 for task 1 and under 300 for task 2. This is because you are being marked on:
          1) how focused your writing is
          2) if there is any irrelevant information
          3) staying 100% on topic
          4) errors in grammar and vocab
          Writing a long essay or a long task 1 could result in one of the above problems and that will lower your score.

  47. Payel Karmakar says

    Request you to post some more Model Letters for GT writing task 1. I feel these model ones are very good but isnt enough to practice and give confidence in securing a good score. Thanks a lot !

  48. Hi Liz,

    How are you? Hope you are doing great. Wanted to share my score IELTS-Academic (British Council 29 Jul ’17 ) L 9, R 8, W 7, S 7. Then I gave IELTS-GT(AEO 9 Sept ’17) score: L 8, R 8 , W 6.5, S 8. And I had a 5/6 in GRE AWA. My writing score was so low and I was not expecting it at all.

    Can you please upload some more Sample Letters in your blog? For academic module you have so much material uploaded on your blog, but there are so few sample letters for GT.

    I had to write a letter to a friend about some concert ticket issue and I wrote it semi-formally. I had no idea about an opening sentence for a letter to friend. Would have helped if there were more sample letters.

    • Sure. I’ll post more. A semi formal letter is to someone you have a close personal relationship with but the content is serious (eg work). Your letter was informal only. It was to a friend about a leisure activity. You would probably start “Dear John, I hope you are well….”

  49. Hi Liz,

    Your website has been really helping me out for my IELTS preparations 🙂
    In this regard, I was wondering if could help me out in classifying the different types of letters under 1) Formal, 2) Semi-formal, 3) Personal for GT Task 1.

    I intend to assemble a structure for each of these different types on my own, so as to prepare better for my exam on 30 September,

  50. Hi Liz,
    I am really impressed with your work.

  51. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for all these valuable lessons. I’m learning a lot from you.

    My friend had his exam last Saturday and he was asked to write a letter to his neighbour, telling him that he’s going to leave the neighbourhood.

    It asked to include ( tell him when you’re leaving / what will you miss about the area / invite him to visit you at your new place)

    What tone should we use here?

    I’m guessing we can use either, is that possible?

    Many thanks


    Hyderabad India 8th July (general)
    Task 2
    Some people that everyone should go to university while others feel it will help everyone.
    Discuss both views and give your opinion.
    (Some words are not exact)
    Task 1
    Letter to a new friend in another country to invite for a party in your country.
    What is the invitation for
    Tell how to reach your home
    (I hope you can understand the question, because I am unable o recall)

  53. Alankrit S. Bhalla says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for all the supporting material that you have provided on the website.
    Helping out a lot to practice for the exam.

  54. Hello Liz, after writing the title, should I leave a space before going to the body of the letter?
    For example,

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am writing………
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing……..

  55. Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot.. I have a doubt.
    In the model letter above, the friends have been named as John and Laura despite of their names not being mentioned in the writing task 1 question. Can we use the names and family names of our choice in informal and semi-formal letters respectively, if the names are not given in the question?

  56. Hi Liz,

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for keeping this blog.

    I need a help on how we can separate informal and semi-formal letters according to the question??

    What are the facts to identify which letter to be written??

    • The majority of letters will be either formal or informal. An informal letter is to your friend about personal things – invitations, parties, memories etc. However, sometimes they ask you to write a letter to your close friend about work – this is a mix. Work is formal but it is your friend which is informal – hence it is semi-formal.

  57. Soniya Jagyasi says

    Hello Liz,
    In the above letter sample, as it is an informal friendly letter, greeting should be Hello John and Laura as the signing off is with Take care and write back soon ?

    • I agree completely!

      • ethar yahya salih says

        Hello Liz

        Thank you so much for providing such a great help for all readers. May I lease ask you why an IELTS candidate must write hello instead of hi in the above matter?


  58. Thank you so much Liz
    you are very helpful indeed and I appreciate you so much .

  59. I wanted to ask that if we need to leave lines after every paragraph ends???

  60. Hi Liz,
    Task 1 GT,

    Please is a “letter asking for some time off from work from your manager” going to be formal, semi-formal or informal.

    • If it is about work, it’s formal. Your manager is not your best friend or a close personal friend. He or she is a work colleague and also your boss.

    • Ejime Stanley says

      Dear Liz,
      Thanks for everything. Please i want to ask if i need to include any heading for my formal letter.
      Eg a letter of application for job.

      Do i need to write thus,
      Dear Sir,

  61. Hi Liz,
    Your teaching pattern is excellent. Please help me to find answers for your listed questions of GT task1
    Thank you.

  62. Hey
    Help me to write a letter to ur best friend who had gone to abroad a couple of months ago, recently surprised you with his letter. He wants to know how you and your friends are and telling him how u miss him

    • Please see these tips on Gt letter writing:

      • Hi Liz,
        I was going through a personal letter regarding joining a college or going to job.The examiner’s comments for the letter were that the student has used disclosure markers mechanically(At first,however, also, at last, in conclusion etc).What does this mean because these i had used when i appeared for academic test should we avoid these in general training?

        • It is essential to use linking words (also, furthermore, firstly, however etc). If you use them mechanically, it means that you use them in same place in the sentence and in the same way all the time. This is fine if you want band 6 but for a higher score you will to use them more flexibly and naturally so that they are not so obvious.

  63. Thank you for this advices but I want to ask you one question .

  64. Hi
    Plz help me
    If we are attemptinng all our reading section answers in capital letters then how do we write a date like 27th august in capital ???
    And also how will we write Mrs. Tim in capital letters ???

  65. Hi Liz.
    Thank you for all your help.
    I’m going to start IELTS classes.
    There are about 5 students who want to study.
    But their grammar and vocabulary levels are different.
    What book should I start with?
    Looking forward to your reply.

    • Most students who do not have good enough English, will not start with IELTS. They will develop their English language up to the right level and then focus on IELTS. So, it’s best to look at English language books rather than IELTS books. Or look at the IELTS Target 5 books.

  66. Ahmed Shawky says

    Hi Liz,

    Let me thank you for the huge amount of videos you are published for the IELTS training

    But I see that there is no more exercise for General IELTS task 1 writing

    Could you guide me from where I can get more example for thes kind of letter band 8 and higher

  67. Hi Liz,

    Your training have been very helpful in preparing for my IELTS . Pleas as regards the number of words 150 to 170 as advised…i want to confirm do we have to count our words because i noticed the sample above is up to like 200 words. Is there a penalty for too much words ?

    • There is no penalty for more words, only a penalty for under the word count. However, for the majority of students, I recommend aiming for between 160 and 180 words – more or less. Writing more is ok for letters but if your English is not excellent, it will only present more grammar errors or vocabulary errors. So, go for controlled in length and accurate in vocab and grammar.

  68. Sumanth SV says

    Hi Liz,
    I would really appretiate if you could post few more General Training task 1 sample examples.


  69. Taghrid Osman says

    hi can you help me to write this task 1
    when yu had a problem at an airport recently, an employee was very helpful to you. You decide o tell the airport manager about this.
    write a letter to the airport manager, In your letter :
    explain what your problem was.
    describe how the employee helped you
    say what you want the manager to do

  70. Hello Liz,

    I would be highly obliged if you can put o some more samples for GT Writing1.
    Your blog is indeed a great source of learning and it would be great if you ca help me up with this.


  71. I will tell her i can’t live without my family

  72. Hi Liz,
    I visit you blog almost daily for last 2 months and i found your lectures very helpful.
    i’ve just started writing task 1 practice and i wrote an invitation letter ,if you could please
    give me some feedback on the areas that you think i should work on.
    Invitation to attend a public event
    explain the event
    describe other plans while visit

    Dear Saima,
    How are you?Hope you doing well.

    It’s been long time since we last met and spent some quality time together.
    we are having an event,the spring festival ,on April 6th 2017.i thought i’d drop you a line if you could make it.

    The spring festival starts on every April in the capital of Pakistan, with aim to bring culture of every province at one place to be observed by tourist as well as the local people who don’t get a chance to go to different places.Beside getting a chance to know about the variety of cultures you’l have chance to buy traditional items and a chance to have the traditional dishes too.

    I’ve other plans for us ,it’s a visit to Nalter Valley ,which is in the north of Pakistan and has recently been developed skiing resort where national level skiing competitions are held to promote skiing as well as tourism in the area.

    Looking forward for you to come over and staying with us while your visit.

    Take care,write back soon.

  73. Topic:your mother’s friend has just returned from abroad and requests that you live with her. Thank her for the offer but politely reject it, giving her three reasons for not accepting her offer.

  74. Janhvi Srivastava says

    Hii maam
    Could you please give me some ideas for writing a letter on this topic-
    Write a letter to your friend whom you have not met from very long time, asking him/her what they are currently doing and informing them what you are doing.

    • My attempt at writing a letter for the topic that you have mentioned (You can say, I have let my imagination run wild!).

      Dear ABC,

      How are you doing? I hope this letter finds you in the pink of health.

      The other day, I was going through our College year book and it struck me that we haven’t spoken or met in a long time. To think of it, we were best buddies during Undergrad days and also had participated as a team in many a Inter-University Quiz competitions. I am not sure how we lost touch but this is my sincere attempt at reviving our friendship.

      After my graduation, I joined a Software development firm in India and currently deputed to United States on an assignment. I intend to stay here for the next couple of years after which I would move back to India. If you happen to use an iPhone, I was a part of the team that developed many a applications that run on the device.

      Please write back telling me what you are upto nowadays. I would also like to know where you are located and if possible come up with a plan to meet up soon.

      Keep in touch,

  75. hi ma
    pls can i get a letter on this topic ma?
    A letter to your friend telling requesting for a post of manager in his company.
    And also is this letter a Formal or Informal?

  76. jeffther bonney says

    please Mam i want the answer for this question
    you have left home for foreign country . write a letter to your brother telling him about your experience in your environment

  77. Hi Liz
    How can I improve my writing ?

    Could please advise me

    Thank you

  78. Amin Chowdhury says

    Today, I took a mock test in a IELTS learning center. I used contraction such as I’m, I’ve in informal letter to a friend. The teacher told that I shouldn’t use contraction in IELTS. I’m confused. Please let me know I’m correct or. not?

    Also they told I shouldn’t use Mr. Amin Chowdhury in formal letter as my name.

    • It is fine to use contractions in informal letter writing (never in formal writing such as formal letters or essays) and you can also use it in speaking.
      All the best

  79. Please I want to write a letter to a friend about something I lost quite small but important how do I write it

  80. Hi Liz,

    If i am writing letter in all Capital letters, then can i write contractions, like I’m, I’ve, I’d, also in capital letters, like I’M DOING WELL, I’D LIKE TO APOLOGISE FOR?


  81. hi mam,
    I always worry in starting a paragraph. don’t know wether to start the first line of the paragraph from the begining of the margin or from the middle of the page.
    When a country develops its technology, the traditional skills and the ways of life die out. It is pointless to try and keep them alive.

    When a country develops its technology, the traditional skills and ways of life die out. It is pointless to try and keep them alive.

    Please tell me which one i have to follow. Also let me know wether i can leave a line of gap between the paragraphs. Because i feel it looks clumsy after finishing my letter and essay.

    thank you.

    • You leave one empty line between paragraphs so the examiner can clearly see your paragraphs. There is no need to indent the start of any sentence. You write it exactly as you see my model essays written.
      All the best

  82. T A Sheikh says


    I have been told by one of the assessors that they penalize if word count exceeds 180 words for Task1 letter. I have seen your letter is around 215 words , would it not be wrong to cross 150-180 words range as I have been told ? I had 7.5 in my writing last time and I have been told that all parts of letter exceeding around 180 words for Task1 and around 280 words for Task2 will be stricken off by examiner and not read at all. Is that true ? Kindly comment. Thanks

    • There is no penalty for a long essay or long letter because there is no upper word count. There is only an lower word count (over 250 words for task 2). However, both tasks are marked based on focus and relevancy in task 2 and the ability to avoid insignificant detail in task 1. For that reason, it isn’t recommended to go over 300 words in task 2 or over 200 in task 1. Band score 9 students usually write with more complex language which might result in slightly longer writing but that doesn’t mean it should be an aim. The aim should be between 160 and 180 words for task 1 and 260 to 280 words for task 2. See the marking system:
      All the best

  83. Dear Liz,

    I am preparing for the IELTS and for the same following your this website since last two months. I appreciate your wonderful work which is helping people like me to know about IELTS exam in details.

    I read your tips to write formal and personal letter and evaluated that we should use word Hi.. while writing a personal letter and Dear Sir/Ma’am or Dear Mr. X for formal one.

    In my point of view, your above written sample answer is of personal type.
    So why did you not write Hi John and Loura instead of Dear John and Loura?

    I am so sorry if bothered you.

    I am looking forward for your kind reply.

    • It is fine to use “Dear” with informal letters because it is a term of endearment which means the people are dear to you (you have an emotional attachement to them). But it is people you know but you are not close to, then use “Hi”.

  84. Hello Liz,
    First of all thank you so much for the excellent help and guidance you provide through this blog. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Just a request if you could please add a few more model letters for apology, arrangements and the other possible letter types.

    Thank you once again!


  85. Hi Liz, i recently took ielts exam. In letter i did not use the correct title. It was letter to your teacher but i addressed as dear sir. How much will it affect my band score

    • It will only have a margin impact on your score. It is just one mistake in one marking criterion.
      All the best

  86. Liz i found this website very useful and helped me improve my band score


  87. Hii liz,
    I am writing this comment to clear my doubts about writing task GT 1. I want to know that where do we have to write about why we are writing the letter? Is it compulsory that we always have to write it in the first introduction paragraph? Because I saw one example for the personal letter about the photograph on this website in which i didn’t see the reason for the writing the paragraph in the first introduction paragraph.
    Hope to get a reply from you soon,

    • If it is a formal letter, you write “I am writing regarding …”. If it is informal to a friend, you might start with “How are you?” or “I hope this letter finds you well.” Each letter should be adapted for the purpose and style. Your score in task 1 is based (25%) on your style and your ability to understand the difference between writing formally and informally.
      All the best

  88. sukirty joshi says

    Really a best site..I find no scepitical to clarify that this site is is so gud.It is helping alot to me.

  89. Hi Liza,
    I had given Ielts 2 times on both occasion my Writing score was 5.5, i am desperate to get at least 6 band, please suggest me tips for that. However, my listening and reading bands 8 and 7.5 respectively. Only problem is with writing. Please suggest, My examination is on 29th Aug 2015.


    • Take time to learn more about how writing is scored. On each of the main pages for writing, you will find links to band score information – read those pages and then start reviewing model essays to see structure, linking devices and content of each paragraph.

  90. Hi Liz,

    I tried to make an answer for one of your sample tests. I hope you could make some comments or correction on my work. Thank you.

    You are applying for a job and needs a letter of reference

    Write a letter to a former teacher. In your letter:

    -give details of the job
    -explain why it is important to you
    -suggest what information your teacher could put in the reference

    Dear Miss Smith,

    I am writing this letter to request for a letter of reference which is a requirement for the job I am applying.

    There is an open job position for an interior designer in the Ayala Interiors and I found that I have the knowledge and skills of the employee that they want to hire. They also specify that they want someone who is flexible to travel due to many projects they are having for this year and me being single, there is no hindrance for me to travel from time to time.

    This job is really important for me. Ayala is one of the biggest companies in our country. This job will be a great step in the success of my career.

    Kindly put in the reference letter how passionate and dedicated I am in designing. Please also include how good I am in time management and handling pressure. It would be a great factor in my application.

    Thank you and regards,

  91. Hi Liz, I would really like to thank you for your help on your lesson tutorials and preparation materials for the IELTS.
    There are two practice letters I wrote. Could you check for their mistakes?


    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I am writing this letter with regards to the schollarship program to study at London University which I read in the United Kindom’s consulate’s website.
    I would like to apply for the full schollarship to take the Writing and Directing course. I am graduated at University of Buenos Aires with a degree on Image and Sound Designer, and I would want to continue developing my academic career with a specialization on Writing and Directing.
    I discovered London University in my search for schollarships and I found that this University provides the courses I want to take. It is highly recommended and I would be delighthed to take part of the student body.
    Since I am passionate on those subjects, and admire many british writers and directors, I look forward to learn the most of the teachers who I believe to be immerse in an industry I admire. I am a hard worker and I want to take the most of this experience.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Yours sincerely
    Miss Jane Smith.


    Dear John,
    I am writing to say thank you for the offer of joining your company. I’ve been following the news regarding the company and I learned it recently won an international award on the advertisement department. Congratulations on that! I find the company very interesting respecting the way they manage news and ads and I’m a big fan of the chief creative director.
    I’ve been looking forward on working at your company for very long time, and that’s one of the reasons I would love to accept your offer. I believe we could achieve big things toghether and I also think it’s the best place to continue developing my career.
    As you well know, my partner and I were also awarded at Cannes Advertising Festival. We both have been creating and planning some brand new ideas that could help your company to reach a greater achievement. I would like you to meet him, he does a brilliant job and we share the enthusiasm and working rithm.
    I hope we’ll get in touch soon.
    All the best.


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