Avoid These Common Mistakes in English Emails

by | Business Professional English | 14 comments

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Writing Emails in English

You’ll look much more professional.

Writing emails in English can be stressful and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.

I know you want to communicate effectively. You want to look and sound like a professional in English.
And you want your emails to be correct in English. Today you’re going to learn how to do all of that!

With texting and social media, it has become common to write informally in English. With informal emails, there are often mistakes in punctuation and grammar. When you send an email to friends or family, this is okay. But when you are writing a professional email, it is very important to write correctly – to use the right punctuation, grammar, and level of formality.

In today’s lesson, you will learn about common mistakes in emails and how to correct them for professional emails.

For more help on emails, you can also visit my lessons:

7 Rules for Professional Emails in English

Write Great Emails in English

Now let’s get started!

Sample Email 1:

This email is not a real email. I wrote it using common mistakes I see in emails I receive every day. Below this email, I’ve provided a corrected version with explanations for each correction.

Hey Mr. Emily,

My name is Lara. I’m very happy to receive your email and join your course. I am engineer and use sometimes english at work but i feel nervous when i speak.sometimes i feel blocked. I hope you can help me improve my speaking.it is important for work. I look forward to the 10-day challenge. It’s very useful to me. )))))

Regards.

Corrected Email 1:

Hey Mr.(1) Emily,

My name is Lara. I’m very happy to receive your email and join your course. I am an(2) engineer and use sometimes sometimes use(3) English(4) at work but i I(5)feel nervous when i I(6) speak. (7) Sometimes(8) I feel blocked. I hope you can help me improve my speaking. (9) It(10) is important for work. I look forward to the 10-day challenge. It’s very useful to me. ))))) 🙂 (11)

Regards,(12)
(13)

  1. Emily is a female name. Using Mr. in front of this name is not appropriate because Mr. is only used for males. With your greetings, it is always important to learn the name of the person you are emailing and make sure your title is appropriate.
    If you do not know the name of the person, you can use Sir or Madam but, again, make sure you use the correct version. If you don’t know if the person is male or female, then you can use Dear Sir or Madam.
  2. Missing article. When giving your profession, it should always include an article such as an engineer, a teacher, a doctor, a sales manager. For more about articles, please visit my lesson on A/An/The.
  3. Words like sometimes, always, usually, often, occasionally, rarely, never are called Adverbs of Frequency. Generally, these words always go before the verb. I always go … We sometimes eat … I usually feel … I often make …
  4. English is the name of a language. Languages are always spelled with a capital letter. English. Chinese. Spanish. Russian. Latvian. This is also true for the names of countries. For example, I come from China. I come from India. He comes from Brazil. We come from Morocco.
  5. The word “I” is always capitalized. With the informality of texting and social media, many people do write emails very informally with all lowercase letters. This may be okay for emails to friends and family. But for professional emails, it is never okay to write the word “I” with a lowercase letter.
  6. Same as number (5).
  7. This is a punctuation problem. Be sure to always include one single space between sentences. It is unprofessional and very difficult to read an email with no spaces between sentences.
  8. Always start a new sentence with a capital letter. The first word of this sentence is “Sometimes” so the beginning of the word should have a capital letter. Similar to (5), it is common to forget this in informal emails to friends and family but for professional emails it is important to remember this rule.
  9. Same as (7).
  10. Same as (8).
  11. I see this – ))))) – often in emails and in social media. I think it is supposed to be a smiley face. In English typing, the only way to show a smiley face with the keyboard is with these symbols. : – )
  12. The closing should always be followed by a comma (,). For example: Sincerely, // Best wishes, // Warm regards,
  13. There is no name at the end of this email. You should always include your name after the closing of the email in professional emails.

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 Sample Email Two

Review this email below. Can you identify the mistakes and fix them? There are 19 errors. Share your answers in the comments section below.

Hello Sir,

My name is sam. I use often english for my work but i don’t feel good about speaking. I can write emails and read in English.I understand everything. But with speaking i’m very nervous so i’m happy about your emails. to answer your question, i mostly feel speaking is my challenge because i forget the words i need.I understand when i hear them but I forget everything when I speak.

Im thankful for your advices.)))))

Sincerely

 

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What are your greatest challenges for writing emails in English? Do you have additional questions or frustrations?

Or do you have some advice to share with others that you’ve learned about emailing in English? What has made you more successful in your emails?

Please be sure to share your questions or comments about emailing in English in the comments section below! Or feel free to practice by writing an example email below. And don’t forget to fix the mistakes in Sample Email 2. Share your answers below.

Happy emailing!

~ Annemarie


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