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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam on the topic of writing a friendly letter.

The key with all letter is:

  1. Use the right level of formality/informality.
  2. Include enough detail about all 3 points.

If you can do that, you’ll at least get a really good task achievement score.

Find my online IELTS courses here, corrections here, and exclusive essays on Patreon here.

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio below and make notes:

IELTS Writing Task 1 General Training Sample Answer Essay: Friendly Letter (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

Write a letter to friend to inform them of a celebration you are having for a recent job promotion. Include information about

The promotion

The celebration

Their accomodation

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Hey Sally,

It’s been a while since we were last talked and I wanted to touch base with you. Actually, I’m writing to brag because I just got that big promotion I’ve been gunning for! It’s not actually a promotion, more of a new job offer to head up the marketing department for a rival company. It will mean a lot of responsibility and, more importantly, a better salary!

I’m having a dinner with some friends and co-workers who I’ll be leaving behind to celebrate this pivotal moment in my life. It’s going to be at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan called Elio’s, which is well-known for its authentic dishes and how hard it is to get a reservation. They make some of the best ravioli I’ve ever had!

If you are free on the 23rd for dinner you can stay at my place after the party. I’ve got a sofa in the living room that you can use and you can get the train back to Syracuse in the morning. If you want to stay over the whole weekend, that would be no problem either.

Really hope to hear from you!

Jim

Analysis

1. Hey Sally,

  1. Say ‘hello’ or ‘hi’ because this is an informal letter.

1. It’s been a while since we were last talked and I wanted to touch base with you. 2. Actually, I’m writing to brag because I just got that big promotion I’ve been gunning for! 3. It’s not actually a promotion, more of a new job offer to head up the marketing department for a rival company. 4. It will mean a lot of responsibility and, more importantly, a better salary!

  1. Begin to discuss the first point by saying your purpose for writing.
  2. Add more detail.
  3. Keep adding detail for 2 – 3 sentences.
  4. The more detail on each point, the better task achievement score!

1. I’m having a dinner with some friends and co-workers who I’ll be leaving behind to celebrate this pivotal moment in my life. 2. It’s going to be at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan called Elio’s, which is well-known for its authentic dishes and how hard it is to get a reservation. 3. They make some of the best ravioli I’ve ever had!

  1. Start writing about the second point.
  2. Develop it with specific detail.
  3. Add as much as possible!

1. If you are free on the 23rd for dinner you can stay at my place after the party. 2. I’ve got a sofa in the living room that you can use and you can get the train back to Syracuse in the morning. 3. If you want to stay over the whole weekend, that would be no problem either.

  1. Write about the third point.
  2. Make sure it is fully covered…
  3. and detailed or you will get a low task achievement score!

1. Really hope to hear from you!

2. Jim

  1. Write ‘Best Regards’ or a similar informal phrase to end the letter.
  2. Sign/write your name at the end.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Hey Sally,

It’s been a while since we were last talked and I wanted to touch base with you. Actually, I’m writing to brag because I just got that big promotion I’ve been gunning for! It’s not actually a promotion, more of a new job offer to head up the marketing department for a rival company. It will mean a lot of responsibility and, more importantly, a better salary!

I’m having a dinner with some friends and co-workers who I’ll be leaving behind to celebrate this pivotal moment in my life. It’s going to be at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan called Elio’s, which is well-known for its authentic dishes and how hard it is to get a reservation. They make some of the best ravioli I’ve ever had!

If you are free on the 23rd for dinner you can stay at my place after the party. I’ve got a sofa in the living room that you can use and you can get the train back to Syracuse in the morning. If you want to stay over the whole weekend, that would be no problem either.

Really hope to hear from you!

Jim

Answers

been a while taken some time

touch base with reconnect with

brag show off

big promotion moving up the ladder

gunning for trying to get

new job offer new employment opportunity

head up be in charge of

marketing department advertising

rival company competitor

salary wages

pivotal moment key point

well-known famous

authentic dishes real food

reservation get a table/seat

some of the best ravioli among the best pasta around

free not busy

stay at my place sleepover at my home

get the train back take the train to your home afterwards

whole weekend saturday and sunday

no problem either also fine

really hope to hear from you looking forward to your response

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

biːn ə waɪl 
tʌʧ beɪs wɪð 
bræg 
bɪg prəˈməʊʃən 
ˈgʌnɪŋ fɔː
njuː ʤɒb ˈɒfə 
hɛd ʌp 
ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ dɪˈpɑːtmənt 
ˈraɪvəl ˈkʌmpəni
ˈsæləri
ˈpɪvətl ˈməʊmənt 
wɛl-nəʊn 
ɔːˈθɛntɪk ˈdɪʃɪz 
ˌrɛzəˈveɪʃən
sʌm ɒv ðə bɛst ˌrævɪˈəʊli 
friː 
steɪ æt maɪ pleɪs 
gɛt ðə treɪn bæk 
həʊl ˈwiːkˈɛnd
nəʊ ˈprɒbləm ˈaɪðə
ˈrɪəli həʊp tuː hɪə frɒm juː

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Hey Sally,

It’s b______________e since we were last talked and I wanted to t______________h you. Actually, I’m writing to b______g because I just got that b________________n I’ve been g_____________r! It’s not actually a promotion, more of a n_________________r to h___________p the m_________________t for a r_________________y. It will mean a lot of responsibility and, more importantly, a better s___________y!

I’m having a dinner with some friends and co-workers who I’ll be leaving behind to celebrate this p_________________t in my life. It’s going to be at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan called Elio’s, which is w_____________n for its a_________________s and how hard it is to get a r______________n. They make s____________________________i I’ve ever had!

If you are f______e on the 23rd for dinner you can s_________________e after the party. I’ve got a sofa in the living room that you can use and you can g_____________________k to Syracuse in the morning. If you want to stay over the w_________________d, that would be n__________________r.

R________________________________u!

Jim

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Learn about writing to a penpal below:

Reading Practice

Read some amazing letters below!

Speaking Practice

Answer the speaking questions below from the real exam:

Emails 

  1. Do you communicate via emails?
  2. Do you prefer getting texts or emails?
  3. Have you ever received an email that made you happy?
  4. Is email popular in your country?

Writing Practice

Write about the related topic below and check with my sample answer:

Write a letter to a friend who just moved into a new house that you are sending a gift to. Include

What the gift is

Why you chose it

How it will be delivered

Real IELTS Past Exam

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