English Writing Exercises for A2 – An informal letter

Preparation

1. Complete the social activities with a, e, I, o, u and y.

g__ for a b__k__r__d__

g__ sh__pp__ng

m__t fr__nds __n t__wn

pl__ b__sk__tb__ll

h__v__ a c__ff__

l__st__n to m__s__c

pl__ t__bl__ t__nn__s

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1 go for a bike ride   2 go shopping

3 meet friends in town   4 play basketball

5 have a coffee   6 listen to music   7 play table tennis

2. Complete the invitations by writing the first word of each phrase and adding a social activity from exercise 1. Use the infinitive without to or the -ing form.

_____. don’t we ________.?

_____. you fancy ________.?

_____. about ________.?

_____. you like to________.?

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(Possible answers)

1 Why don’t we play table tennis?

Do you fancy having a coffee?

3 How about going for a bike ride?

4 Would you like to meet in town?

3. Read the Writing Strategy opposite. Then write the missing words to complete the letter below.

1 _____. Lily,

Thanks for your letter. How 2 _____. you? I had a great weekend. Lauren came over and we watched the third Hobbit film on DVD. I saw the second film last year and I loved it.

I enjoyed the film, but I didn’t think it was brilliant. There are some exciting scenes, but it’s really long and I got a bit bored by the end.

Before the film, we made pizzas and popcorn. We ate them while we were watching the film. (The pizza was a bit burned!)

Would you like to go shopping next weekend? I need to buy a birthday present for dad, but I want to find some clothes for me at the same time. How about meeting for lunch too?

Anyway, that’s all for 3 _____. Write again 4 _____.

5 _____. wishes.

Paige

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1 Dear   2 are   3 Best

4. Circle the aspects of the film that Paige talks about.

acting      characters      ending      plot      scenes

script      special effects      length

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scenes, length

Writing Strategy

When you write a letter to a friend or relative:

–  Start with: Dear [Jake],.

–  Begin the main part of the letter with a short introduction. You can use phrases like: How are you? Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. Thanks for your letter.

–  Write in paragraphs.

–  Do not use very formal language in your letter.

–  Use contractions (it’s, there’s, etc.).

–  Finish the main part of the letter with a short paragraph. You can use phrases like: That’s all for now. I’d better go now. Write again soon.

–  End the letter with Love, or Best wishes, and your first name.

5. Read the task below. Underline the parts of Paige’s letter which give extra information about each of the four points.

You and a friend watched a film at your house recently.

Write a letter to another friend in which you:

–  Say what film you watched.

–  Give your personal opinion of the film.

–  Mention something else you did on that occasion.

–  Suggest an activity to do with the friend you are writing to.

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your own answers

Writing Guide

6. Write a letter for the task in exercise 5. Remember to include extra information for each point. Do not copy ideas from the model in exercise 3.

________. (greeting)

________.________. (introduction)

________.________. (what film?)

________.________.

________.________. (your opinion)

________.________.

________.________.

________.________.

________.________. (another activity)

________.________.

________.________.

________.________.

________.________. (an invitation)

________.________.

________.________. (final paragraph)

________. (close the letter)

________. (sign your name)

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your own answers

Extra exercises

Strategy

Plan your email carefully. Focus on developing each point, but also try no to include extra information that is not in the instructions for the task.

1. Read the Strategy. Then look at the exam task and the notes that a student has made for it. Match the notes with the points in the instructions for the task. Cross out any unnecessary notes.

You and your friends went hiking in the mountains and you nearly had an accident. Write an email to a friend in which you:

1 Describe the place.

2 Describe how you avoided an accident.

3 Give your personal opinion of the experience.

4 Invite your friend to go with you next time.

–  beautiful scenery   1

–  Mark pulled me back   ____

–  got very foggy   ____

–  went with friends from school   ____

–  exciting, memorable   ____

–  went hiking in the mountains   ____

–  started out early   ____

–  plan to go again soon   ____

–  got too near edge of cliff ____

–  taught me a lot   ____

–  had sandwiches and coffee at midday   ____

–  beautiful sunshine later, saw some deer   ____

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1234 E

2. You and a group of students made a film about your school. Write an email to a friend in which you:

–  Explain whose idea it was and why you wanted to make it.

–  Describe what is shown in the film.

–  Give your personal opinion of the experience.

–  Invite your friend to come round to watch the film.

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describe the place that you went

–  we went hiking in the mountains

–  we slept in tents because we love camping

–  every night at a different campsite

say what caused you to be careless

–  we forgot the map and didn’t want to go back – I have a GPs

–  GPs broke down and we couldn’t find the way

describe your unpleasant experience

–  got lost, and mark hurt his leg and couldn’t walk

–  we spent the night in the forest, cold and hungry

give advice on being safe in the mountains

–  always check the weather forecast before you head out

–  always have a map

irrelevant information

–  phone breaks down all the time, I need to buy a new phone

–  old phone was better, I’ll buy another one like that

–  as a child I always used to go camping with parents