TYPES OF commercial
correspondence IN
SPANISH AND ENGLISH
Many Pennies:
Marina Laveda Ríos
Mª Reyes Díaz Salcedo
Lorena Montoya Martínez
Irene Cortijo Méndez
INDEX

Definition

Layout

Style and language

E-mails

Faxes
WHAT IS A commercial LETTER?
It is a letter written in formal language used when
writing from one business organization to another, or
for correspondance between such organizations and
their costumers, clients and other external parties.
LAYOUT

Many types of business letters:
Orders
 Enquiries
 Advices
 Etc.
All of them have the same structure
and language with some differences
between languages and countries.


Parts
 Letterhead
(membrete)
 Reference line
(referencia)
 Date
(fecha)
 Inside address
(dirección del
destinatario)
 Salutation
(saludo)
 Body of the letter (texto de la carta)
 Complimentary
close (despedida)
 Name and signature
(nombre y firma)
 Enclosures
(anexos)
 Postscript
(posdata)
INSIDE
BODY
COMPLEMENTARY
SALUTATION
OF
ADDRESS
THE LETTER
CLOSE
LETTERHEAD
DATE
SIGNATURE
format
 Full block:
 Every text line starts from the same place in the left margin.
 There is no paragraph indentation.
 Block:
 The date, the complementary close and the signature are written in the right margin.
 Semiblock:
 The date is written in the left margin.
 The inside address and the salutation are written in the right margin.
 It is used the paragraph indentation.
 The complementary close and the signature are written in the centre.
 Simplified:
 There are no salutation and complementary close.
 Every text line starts from the left margin.
 The subject line and the sender’s name and title are completely written in capital
letters.
STRUCTUREs
 Inverted pyramid:
MAIN ISSUE
EXAMPLES
FINAL
ACTION
INTRODUCCTION
 Diamond sequence:
 Problem-solving
 Chronological
 Question-and-answer
MAIN ISSUE
CONCLUSION
STYLE AND
LANGUAGE
 It is not an idiolect.
 It is a commercial figure of speech
characteristic of a commercial exchange.
features
1. Clarity:
 Who receives the letter may not doubt of its
mean.
 Abbreviations and initials:
o Abbreviations can be useful because they are quick
to write and easy to read…
BUT, does our correspondent know all the
abbreviatons?
NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
INCOTERMS
ENGLISH
SPANISH
Abbrev.
Meaning
Abbrev.
Meaning
EU
European Union
UE
Unión Europea
UN
United Nations
ONU
CIF
Cost, Insurance
and Freight
CSF
FOB
Free On Board
LAB
Organización de
las Naciones
Unidas
Coste, Seguro y
Flete
Libre A Bordo
ENGLISH
Abbrev.
Meaning
POX
Post Office Box
International
Chamber of
ICC
Commerce
ACC
Accept
Gross National
GNP
Product
Public Limited
PLC
Company
PO
Postal Order
VAT
Value Added
SPANISH
Abbrev.
Meaning
APDO.
Apartado
Cámara de
Comercio
CCI
Internacional
Acept.
Aceptación
Producto
PNB
Nacional Bruto
Sociedad
S.A.
Anónima
C.P.
Código Postal
Impuesto sobre
el Valor
IVA
Añadido
 Numbers:
o Numerical expressions can also cause confusion:
• Decimal point in British and American usage is a dot.
• In Spanish, as in most European continental countries,
is a comma.
4,255
4.255
ENGLISH
Four thousand two hundred
and fifty-five
Four point two five five
SPANISH
Cuatro coma doscientos
cincuenta y cinco
Cuatro mil doscientos
cincuenta y cinco
2. Brevity:
 Letters can be as short as possible.
3. Relevance:
 Accuracy in expressions avoiding unnecessary
words.
Here, the writer is trying to
explain why he delayed
paying his account but, this
letter is too long and
difficult to understand.
Here is a simpler
version of the same
letter
4. Courtesy:

There are several preestablished polite expressions:
Here is an example of a
too short and simple
letter.
On this version of the
same letter, you can see
the stylistic devices used
to make it more polite
5. Elegancy:
 Two factors:
 Pertinent vocabulary without ambiguity.
 Fixed standard expressions.
6. Cleanliness in presentation:
 Neither blotches nor crossing-outs.
FIXED EXPRESSIONS
Courtesy titles
Salutations
Complementary
close
ENGLISH
SPANISH
Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms./Messrs.
Sr./Sra./Srta./Sra./Sres.
Dear Mr./Miss/Sir/Madam
Estimado/a Sr./Sra…
Dear Sir/Madam
Muy señor(es) mío(s)…
Ladies/Gentelment (US)
Señor/a(s)
Yours faithfully
(if begins with Dear X)
(Muy) atentamente/cordialmente
Yours sincerely
(if begins with a personal name)
En espera de sus noticias
quedo/quedamos atentamente
Sincerely, cordially, kind/best
regards…
Sin otro particular, le(s) saluda(n)
ORTHOTYPOGRAPHY
 Open: any punctuation sign in any part. Very
common.
 Close: punctuation signs in several parts or in
all of them.
 Mixed: both styles together.
 After the salutation, the great majority of times
dispense with commas or dots:
 Mr./Mrs./Ms. (US)
 Mr/Mrs/Ms (GB)
E-mails
LAYOUT
1.Header information (cabecera):
2. Message text (mensaje de texto):
3. Signature (firma):
HEADER
MESSAGE TEXT
SIGNATURE
STYLE
 The same principles and rules as any other
form of business correspondance.
 Correct grammar, spelling, etc.
 Do not write capital letters.
 Short message.
 One topic per message.
 Check it before sending it.
Useful prhases
Greetings
Starting
sentences
Intermediate
sentences
Finishing
sentences
Endings
ENGLISH
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss…
Dear Sir / Madame
Dear + Name
I am writing to you regarding…
Thank for your reply…
I have attached the following
documents…
Please, treat this information as
confidential…
Please, do not hesitate to contact me
if…
Yours sincerely
Yours faitfully
SPANISH
ADVANTAGES AND
DISADVANTAGES
Advantages
Disadvantages
Effective way to
Thecnical problems.
communicate quickly
and easily.
Useful for short
Large amounts of “junk”
messages and for
and unnecessary
everyday
communication.
correspondence.
Money and time saved.
Lack of privacy and
security.
FAXES
WHAT ARE THEY?
 Short for facsimile.
 Faxes are telecommunications technologies
used to transfer copies (facsimiles) of
documents, especially using affordable devices
operating over the telephone network.
features
Open system.
 They are not original documents but COPIES.
 Prepare them when sending: write them in a
clear legible way.
Similar to…
 Letters in:
 Style
 Formality level
 Use of conventions
 E-mails in:
 Lenght
 Language
 Time element
What is a fax like?
Para:
De:
Fax:
Fax:
(Sender’s address)
Telephone:
(E-mail).website
Empresa:
Teléfono:
Asunto:
Fecha:
CC:
Número de hojas
incluyendo esta:
To:
From:
Fax no.:
Subject:
Date:
Page/s:
(Texto del fax)
(Body of the fax)
(Firma)
(Signature)
(Nombre)
(Name)
EXAMPLES
iN CoNClUSioN…
 Commercial correspondence has got a very similar layout in
both American and British English and also in Spanish.
 The used language has to be formal.
 There are several fixed expressions for this type of
correspondance.
 If we want to send an e-mail, a letter also has to be sent
because of its legal connotations.
 Faxes are also another way to send commercial documents
but, as well as e-mails, they have not the legal weight that
letters have.
THANK YOU
VERY MUCH
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TYPES OF COMMERCIAL LETTERS IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH