Grips german 22 how to write letters, sms or e-mails?

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Whether you’re writing a formal letter or texting a request, complaining by email or applying for a job by letter, there are rules that make it easier for you to communicate in writing. Here you can find them.

State: 19.09.2011 | Archive

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Are you one of those young people who send a lot of chat messages a day?? Then you’re already busy writing communicate. In everyday life you will encounter situations in which you need to communicate something in writing. There are several ways to do this, which are described in more detail below.

Personal letter

Both the letter written on paper, as well as the SMS and e-mail count as personal letters. Although they are personal and have different private contents, you should stick to a certain structure.


salutation, place, date

Remember to capitalize the pronouns used to address someone you are addressing as a courtesy, i.e.: you, your, yours, you’re.

Also, don’t forget to label the envelope correctly and put a stamp on it.

SMS is short for short message service. This is English and means short message service. And these messages can only be short, because depending on the cell phone and contract only a certain number of characters can be transmitted per SMS. That is why it is common to abbreviate many words and phrases. Feelings and moods are often replaced by symbols, such as smileys.


E-mail is the short form of electronic mail. This is English and means electronic mail. Even when you write an e-mail, you should keep certain things in mind.

Important for the e-mail


Tips for writing e-mails

  • Each e-mail has a line for the sender.
  • It is important that you write the recipient (i.e. his e-mail address) in the address line without any mistakes. Otherwise the e-mail does not arrive.
  • You can use Cc and Bcc send this mail to several persons at the same time.
  • It is important that you write briefly in the subject line what it is about.
  • The form of address is, as in the letter informal, you write in colloquial language.


Advantages of an e-mail

  • It reaches the recipients quickly, a letter needs at least one day.
  • You can attach documents such as pictures, i.e. send them as well.
  • Large amounts of data can be sent more easily and at a lower cost.
  • Multiple Addressee can be achieved simultaneously.
  • It is environmentally friendly, as no paper is needed.


Disadvantages of an e-mail

Contracts cannot always be concluded by e-mail, since it cannot be ensured that no unauthorized third party has written this e-mail. In other words, you may be booking a trip using your father’s email address. How would the travel agency know that you, not your father, booked the trip?? That’s why contracts are often only valid by letter or fax with signature. In the meantime, however, there are also more secure e-mail options.

Business letter

Business letters include, for example Cover letter, Cancellations of contracts, invoices and also Complaints. Since important information is communicated in them, it is important to use a specific Norm agreed.

Important facts about the business letter

basic framework

This basic structure looks like this for any type of business letter:

Recipient data place, calendar date

if necessary: postscript (P.S.)

Courtesy formulas

Remember to keep the politeness forms, that is

  • a suitable form of address would be for example "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
  • you address the recipient,
  • "you", "To you" and so on, are capitalized,
  • A suitable closing formula would be, for example, "Yours faithfully".

Example of a business letter

Benny Muller
GRIPS German Sports Group
Florianmuhlstrabe 60
80939 Munich

Swimwear Aquafun
There’s-not-street 99
12345 Dingenskirchen Munich, 17.08.2011

complaint about the swim trunks "Sportstar" bought from you

Dear Sir or Madam,

enclosed I send you, which will be published on 10.08.10 acquired swim trunks "Model Sportstar" back. Unfortunately, I did not receive the trunks as ordered in size M, but in size XXL. I therefore ask you to exchange the swim trunks. Since I was confident that the size was right, I already opened the plastic package it came in. Nevertheless, the pants are unused, because they absolutely do not fit me.

Yours sincerely,
Benny Muller

Invoice about o.g. Swimming trunks

Letter to the editor


In a letter to the editor, you can publish your opinion on a topic and take a stand or even correct something that you think has been misrepresented. Most of the time you are referring to an article in the newspaper or magazine or an article in a Internet forum. That’s why your letter to the editor is also addressed to the readers and editors of these newspapers, magazines and forums. To make your letter to the editor understandable and convincing, here are a few tips you should follow:


How to make your letter to the editor convincing

  • Note the structure of a letter to the editor.
  • Do not write too detailed, a half to full page is enough.
  • Use short, simple, understandable sentences.
  • Write in present tense (present tense).
  • Give reasons for your arguments.

Structure of the letter to the editor


This is a special feature of the letter to the editor. It should arouse curiosity about the content.

Therefore, find a short but appropriate headline that already reveals what it is about.


First write why you came up with the idea of writing this letter to the editor. Also tell your readers which article or Internet report you are referring to. Try to attract the attention of your readers, so that they continue reading in any case. You can do this, for example, with a provocative statement.

Main body

In the body of the essay, you must present your opinion through reasoned arguments, comments, and background explanations. The best way is to prove everything with verifiable facts. The better you can justify your arguments, the more convincing they will be. Be careful to remain objective and not to be insulting. This also increases your chances that the Editors publish your letter to the editor.


From the arguments and examples you have given in the main part, you must now draw a conclusion. You can also make an appeal, i.e. a demand. In conclusion, take a clear position once again.


In the case of a letter to the editor, the signature with the full name alone is not sufficient. You must also indicate your place of residence. This is the only way that the newspaper publisher can ensure that it is a genuine Document and that it reflects the opinion of a real reader.


Since letters to the editor are the personal opinion of a reader, newspapers and magazines usually publish a note on the reader’s letter page:
"Letters to the editor are in no case expressions of opinion of the editorial office. We reserve the right to shorten the text. Unfortunately, we cannot process letters without your full name and address."


Tips for sentence beginnings
In the article the opinion is represented .
I refer to the article . from .
I am of the opinion that .
In my opinion .
I therefore find that .
Therefore I request .

Online orders

No signature is possible or necessary for online orders. If you want to order something on the Internet, you usually have to register with the Internet store, i.e. enter your name and address. As a customer you always have a right of return for online orders. So don’t worry if you don’t like something or a joker has ordered something in your name. But pay attention to how long you can take with the return, also here return periods apply. Be careful where you put what personal information, how it is stored, and how secure the transmission of your information is.

"Written form"

Will be a "written form If you request a letter by mail, this usually means a letter by mail, because only then your original signature is included. An e-mail is then often not valid! Only in the case of letters sent by registered mail will you receive a receipt. So be careful: If you want to complain or return something by e-mail or also with a normal letter, or if you want to file an objection, you have to check if your complaint is confirmed and if they agree with your procedure. You can ask for this in writing.
Example: "I hereby cancel my order and ask you to confirm this briefly. If the process requires a different form, please let me know in due time."
If you do not receive an immediate acknowledgement, you should definitely complain again in due time, if necessary by registered mail. An automated confirmation of receipt that your e-mail has been received by the addressee will not help you in a legal dispute. Oh yes: keep a copy of your important letters, so that you can check what you have written in case of a dispute.

Secrecy of correspondence

Letters, SMS, e-mails as well as business letters are subject to the secrecy of correspondence, respectively secrecy of telecommunications. It means that its content is intended only for the recipient and only the recipient is allowed to open and read it. It is a criminal offense if you open or read another’s letter without permission. It’s just as forbidden to secretly read the text messages on a friend’s cell phone.

Explanation of terms

The terms written in bold are perhaps not so simple. Therefore, here are some briefly explained again:

Technical terms


From Latin, means complaint, objection.
When you sign a sales contract, the seller assures you that the goods are in perfect condition. But if it is not flawless or as described, you can complain about this in writing. You have to keep in mind that you need the original packaging and the proofs of purchase (invoices). You also have to pay attention to warranty periods and exchange periods.

Cc and Bcc

Cc is the abbreviation for carbon copy. All persons entered here receive a copy of the e-mail for all to see. With Bcc (blind carbon copy) the recipients do not see among themselves who else has received an e-mail.


From Latin, means communicating, informing. In this text context it means that you write in a casual style, for example "Dear Mr. Muller" instead of "Dear Mr. Muller".


From Latin, receiver means.

Cover letter

If you want more tips for writing applications, work through GRIPS German lesson 24 "Bewerbung schreiben" through.


From Latin, means to communicate.


From the Latin, means rule or also fixed measure.

Internet forum

The term forum, plural forums, comes from Latin and means marketplace. An internet forum is a virtual place on the internet where people exchange and discuss their opinions in writing.

provocative statement

The word provocative comes from Latin and means challenging. So if you want to make a provocative claim, it needs to be a little exaggerated and pointed.


From the French. An editor is a journalist who works in radio, newspaper, online or television. An editor elaborates or revises texts. He does interviews and investigates topics and facts.


From Latin, means document, official writing or also piece of evidence. When working on the computer, individual files are also called documents. These can be for example word files, excel sheets or also pictures.

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