Parts of a Letter

 A letter is a properly  ordered combination of different parts. Each part has its own importance, but different types of letters have different parts. All the parts are not equally important and necessary for all the letters. The common parts required for common personal and official letters are given below:

1 The letterhead :- It is a common part required for official letters. It is written at the top of the page between the left and the right margins. In the place of the letterhead, the name of the office or firm along with short address should be mentioned. For example:


                 Lazimpat, Kathmandu.

      So far as the style concerns, we can make as our choice but the common style is to mention it in block letters.

2 The Heading:- The address of the sender and the date when the letter  is written are traditionally mentioned at the right top corner of the page. The combined form of the address of the sender and the date is called  heading and is written as a forementioned. The short address is normally written but if we are sending the letter to the strangers, full address is better than shorter one. This part is equally important for both types of letters, i.e. formal and informal or personal and official letters. Nowadays the heading is also written at the top left corner of the page. The commas and full stops are optional. Look at the following examples and try to find out how to write the heading.

     New trend                                                                          Traditional

5, Mahatma Gandhi road,                                                   5, Mahatma Gandhi Road, 

   Adayar,                                                                                  Adayar,

Madras 600 020.                                                                  Madras 600  020.

September 12th 1978.                                                         September 12th 1978.

3 The Superscription:-  The superscription is also called the inside address. It is the full address of the receiver. It is written on the left two or three lines below the line of the date which is written on the right. Each line of the address begins from the left margin. It is not required in a personal letter but basically required in an official letter. For example:

 The Principal,

 Nawa Jivan Secondary school,



Dr. Shree raj Panday, 




The Divisional Superintendent,

Central Railway, 

Vijayawada 420006.

4 The Salutation:- It is also called the letter opening or the greeting. Salutation differs from situation to situation. It is the greeting of the sender to the receiver. The relation between the sender and the receiver is the most important factor to decide how to write and what to write. The common salutations are;

In Official letters                                                                     In Personal lestter

Dear Sir,                                                                                     Dear Raju,                                                  

Dear Sirs,                                                                                   My Dear Ramu,

Dear Madam,                                                                             My Dear Father,

Dear Madams,                                                                            My Dear Sister,

Dear Mr. Rai,                                                                              My dear Brother,

If the person who will read the letter is known to the sender, the salutation in an official letter can be written as below:

Dear Mr. Reddy

Note-1: but don't write: 'Dear friend Raju' in personal letters.

Note-2: If we are addressing more than two receivers,(Friends), We have to address as 'Dear friends'.

5 The Body:- This is known as the most important part of a letter. This prime part contains the actual message to be conveyed to the receiver. The language style of the body should be clear, pleasant and courteous. While writing a personal letter, colloquialisms, Slangs and, to some extent, dialects can be introduced. The language used in personal letters can be informal, but in the official letters the language should be formal. whatever type the letter is, the tone of the language used in the letter should be polite and civilized.The expressions that carry the sense of inferiority complex and superiority complex should not be introduced in any letters.

6 The Ending:- The phrase or  the sentence used at the last of the body of the letter is known as the ending. It is written for the formalityto end or close the letter. It doesnot necessarily convey the actual message but it aims at providing happy ending of the letter. This part is optional. It can be written as:

Thanking you.

With love.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Hoping so.

7 The Subscription:- It is also called the complementary close. It is normally written two spaces or lines below the body of the letter in the right margin. The subscription varies from letter to letter. For example the subscription used in the personal letters differs from that of the official letters. the complementary close should match the tone of the salutation. The first letter of it is capitalized. Look at the examples and try to generalize how to mention it.

Official letters:-  Yours sincerely,                                                            Personal letters :- 

                           sincerely yours,                                                                 Affectionaltely yours,

                           Truely yours,                                                                       With love

                           Yours truely,                                                                       Best regards,

                           Yours faithfully,                                                                 Yours truely,

                           Faithfully yours,                                                                 Yours ever,

                          Cordially yours,

                          Yours cordially,

Nowadays it is also mentioned on the left margin or between the left and the right margins.

8The Signature:- The  full name or full signature of the sender is not required in the personal letters but it is entirely required in the official letters. In the personal letters, only the first name is mentioned. It appears just below complementary close. In the official; letters, the name along with the signature of the sender is required. For example:

Official letter                                  Personal letters

Sincerely yours,                                 Best regards 

(signature)                                               Ritu

(Raju Thapa)

Nowadays it is also written on left margin as it appears just below the complementary close.

9 The Postscript(P.S):- After ending the letter, if something important has been left to mention in the body of the letter, It is written after the signature of the sender. It is written P.S. for short and known as the postscript. It is not always required because it is written only if something important has been left to write in the body of the letter. The extra message added at the end of a letter after the signature is referred to as post script. Furthermore, it is written to highlight the important points previously mentioned in the body of the letter.

10 The Enclosures:- The enclosure refer to the additional materials included with the letter written. The enclosures should be placed just below the sender's name on the left-hand margin of the paper. This system is usual in the business or official letters. The main purpose of this sysstem is to inform the receiver what have been attached as the additional documents. It is the list of paqpers or documents enclosed with the letters.

   For example:

  Encl.1Photocopy of the academic qualification (8)

  Encl.2 Photocopy of the experience letter (1)

  Encl. 3Photocopy of the citizenchip card(1)

  Encl.4Photocopy of the driving license(1)

11The Typist's  initial:- In the official or business letters, the typist can mention his/her initial name at the last of the paper (on the left-hand margin). It is known as the typist's  initial. It is not required in the personal letters. It informs the main person of the institution who has prepared it, and it also facilitates correction if there are any mistakes. it is usual in the official or business letters.

12The Envelope:- The envelope is an essential part of a letter. The sender's complete name and address are written on left hand side of the envelope, and the receiver's on the right.

For example:   Sender/from                              Receiver/to             (  Stamp)

                         ------------                                      ------------

                         -------------                                     ------------

                         --------------                                   --------------

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