Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll find out the correct way to begin and end your letters for IELTS General Task 1.

Thank you to subscriber Harpeet Singh for asking today’s question!

Harpeet asked about the correct way to begin a letter in IELTS General Training Task 1.

He wondered which way was correct:

  • Dear Mr. Franklin,
  • Dear Mr. Franklin:

Watch the video now!

Necessity of commas

The answer is to always use a comma after the salutation.

Also, another important thing to remember here is that IELTS always tells you how to begin the letter.

You will usually be instructed to write:

  • “Dear …,”

The importance of punctuation

Proper punctuation is an important element of your Grammar score in IELTS Writing.

You must know how to use commas correctly, and always use one after your salutation.

Likewise, you must also use a comma after your closing.

The word(s) you use to sign off the letter, though, must match the tone:

If you’re ever not sure, use “Sincerely,”, as that works in every situation.

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More closing options

Here are more options for closing the General Training Task 1 letter:


  • Sincerely,
  • Respectfully,


  • Sincerely,
  • Regards,


  • Love,
  • Best,
  • Cheers,

Signing your name

Also, you must sign your name under the closing.

Proper letter format is looked at for your Task Achievement score.

This includes:

  • Where the closing is
  • Where your name is located


You must provide an opening and closing for your General Task 1 letter.

A comma is necessary after both your salutation and closing.

Consider who the letter is being written to in determining how to open and close a letter.

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What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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