Exercises for Unit One
I. Answer the following questions:
1. What are the functions of a business letter?
2. Why is letter-writing so important in our business activities?
3. What does an effective business letter require of our writers? 4. We often hear the seven C’s in business letter-writing. What are they?
5. What does the “You Attitude” mean?
6. How do you understand the “Conciseness” principle?
7. What are the two main letter styles in use?
8. What are the features of each letter style?
9. There are seven basic parts in a business letter. What are they?
10. What is the function of the date?
11. To which of the following titles appearing as part of the inside name and address would you
1) J. B. Peterson & Co.
2) The Asian Trading Co., Ltd.
3) Universal Machine Company
4) Industrial Suppliers Co., Ltd.
5) The Export Manager
Walker & Peltz Ltd.
12. What items should the body of the letter include? 13.What does the “Identification Marks” mean?
14. Why should we have the “Enclosure Notation” on our stationery if we are to attach
something to our letter?
15. What are the essential elements on our business envelope? II. Multiple Choice:
1. If our salutation is “Dear Mr. White”, our complimentary close should be ______.
A. Yours faithfully, B. Yours sincerely,
C. Faithfully yours, D. Yours truly,
2. The date appears ______ the inside name and address.
A. below B. beside
C. above D. behind
3. The main feature of blocked letter style is that all typing lines begin at the_______.
A. left margin B. right margin
C. top D. bottom
4. ______ will please your customer who dislikes waiting for days before he gets a reply to
A. appreciation B. Clearness
C. Obligation D. Punctuality
5. “A business letter should be business-like” means ______.
A. The writer should use business language in writing the letter.
B. The body should be concise.
C. The message should be effectively-communicated.
D. All of the above
6. In our business letters we should ______.
A. use as many complicated expressions as possible.
B. use plain, simple language appropriate to the understanding level of our readers.
C. write as many “you” or “your” as possible in order to take the “You Attitude”.
D. not pay any attention to our readers.
7. The open punctuation means ______.
A. none except essential punctuation marks are used outside the body of the letter.
B. no punctuation marks are used inside the body of the letter.
C. no punctuation marks are used both inside and outside the body of the letter.
D. punctuation marks are used both inside and outside the body of the letter.
8. Generally speaking, ______ are indented at the beginning of each paragraph for the
indented letter style.
A. two spaces B. six spaces
C. four spaces D. ten spaces
9. If you are using the simplified letter style to type your business letter, you can omit
A. the inside name and address B. the salutation
C. the complimentary close D. the salutation and complimentary close 10. The second-and succeeding-page heading should include ______.
A. the date B. the page number
C. the name of your correspondent D. all of the above
III. Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:
1. There are seven principles of business letter-writing: 1)___ 2)___ 3)___ 4)___ 5)___ 6)___
2. When you are sure about what you want to say, say it in plain, simple words. 1)___, 2)___,
3)___ English is what is needed for business letters.
3. The styles of business letters can be divided into two main types: 1)___ 2)___. 4. A business letter should include at least the following seven parts: 1)___ 2)___ 3)___ 4)___ 5)___ 6)___ 7)___.
5. Generally speaking, ___ is one of the important bases of good business letters. 6. An undated letter has no ___.
7. “Messrs.” is used only for companies or firms, the names of which include a ____.
8. An unsigned letter has no ___.
9. A business envelope should contain the following three parts: 1)___ 2)___ 3)___. 10. In our business letters we should write every message with the reader in mind and try to put ourselves in his place. This is what we call ___.
IV. Arrange the following in the form of a letter, and then write an envelope for it: 1) Sender’s name: Sichuan Provincial Textiles Import & Export Corporation
2) Sender’s address: 182 Jianghan Road, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
3) Sender’s postcode: 610031
4) Sender’s telephone: 028- 86634049
5) Sender’s fax: 028- 86631283
6) Sender’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
7) Sender’s web-site: http://www.sctiec.com/neic/gsjj.htm
8) Date: February 23, 2009
9) Receiver’s name: The Pakistan Trading Company
10) Receiver’s address: 15 Broad Street, Karachi, Pakistan
11) Attention line: Import Dept.
12) Salutation: Dear Sirs
13) Subject line: First Enquiry
Your name and address have been given to us by ABC Co., London as a prospective buyer of Chinese Silk Piece Goods. As this item falls within the scope of our business activities, we shall be pleased to enter into direct trade relations with you.
To give you a general idea of the various kinds of silk piece goods now available for export, we enclose a pamphlet and a pricelist for your reference. Quotations and sample books will be airmailed to you upon receipt of your specific enquiry.
We look forward to your favorable reply.
15) Complimentary close:…
16) Signature: …
17) Enc. As Stated
V. Fill in the missing parts:
_____ October, 2009 Manager
123 Fifth Avenue
Our Sales Manager, Mr. Jack Harper, will be in New York on business for ten days. His address is as follows:…
We should be ______ if you could contact him directly.
VI. Translate the following into Chinese:
1. The message is a written replication of your subject. In your message, you want your receiver to have in his mind the same subject or concept that you have in yours. You are trying to enable him to see the concept in the same way you see it, to understand it as you understand it, to feel about it as you feel about it. The success of your business letter can be measured by the degree to which your receiver has in the end the same view of the subject that you had when you wrote the letter.
2. When will you use a letter? A memo? A report? A fax? An e-mail? Only you can decide, because it depends on a situation known only to you.
The letter is a common business communication medium. The memorandum (or memo) is useful for intra-company communications. The important advantage of a report is that it may be
used for complex subjects. For written communication, fax and e-mail is by far the quickest method of communication with customers abroad. By using the latter, more contents can be transmitted such as sound, pictures, especially moving pictures (video clips) and software programs.
You must consider the advantages and disadvantages of each and decide. VII. Fill in the blanks with the words given below:
When 1)______ a business letter in English, be careful not to use an old-fashioned business instruction book as a 2)______. The style of writing is changing 3)______. Every year it gets simpler and 4)______formal. Instead of using an out-of-date phrase 5)______ “we are in receipt
of your favor”, we now write “thank you for your letter”. Except for a few firms 6)______ still live in the past, business correspondents prefer 7)______ English to express what they want to say as effectively 8)______ possible. Time is more precious than 9)______ to a busy executive and he does not want to 10)______ read a lot of unnecessary words. But the writer of a business letter must 11)______ a good impression, especially if he is 12)______, so a few words to promote a feeling of friendship 13)______ good-will are not wasted. However, compliments must 14)______ be exaggerated, as they may 15)______ the opposite effect, and the reader may feel that the writer is being insincere.
(selling, rapidly, like, writing, as, produce, have to, guide, and, simple, create, not, less, ever, who) VIII. Rearrange the following extracts from letters so as to make what improvements you
consider to be necessary:
th1. We confirm our letter of the 12 November last as per the copy annexed and acknowledge
thwith thanks your favour dated 4 January.
2. We are awaiting your esteemed favours and orders.
3. Looking forward to the pleasure of receiving your L/C at the earliest, we are
4. We thank you again for your valued order, and trust we may be favoured with further orders in
5. Enclosed please find two copies each of the original and duplicate of Contract No. UE-5923
for your signature.
th6. Replying to your enquiry of the 5 inst., the quotation we sent you only relates to goods
ordered during this month.
7. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your authorization and have duly registered same.
th8. We duly received and thank you for your enquiry of the 27 ult. and have pleasure in quoting
you for the timber as follows:
9. We shall be very glad if you would oblige us with your lowest quotation CIF West African
ports for 30 tons of cement.
10. We have much pleasure in handing you herewith a booklet entitled Everything Electrical,
wherein you will find brief descriptions of the many articles we supply.