AEE 240: The Four Mistakes You’re Making with Your Emails in English

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Do you have trouble writing an email in English?

Do you worry about what kind of impression you’re making?

Today, Lindsay and Michelle share four common email mistakes made by non-native English speakers, and how to correct them!

 

Communication involves more than words.  But when you send an email, your poise and facial expression do not come through.  Only your words matter, and that can be stressful when you’re still learning the language.

Everybody emails these days.  The ability to write a good email  is as important as the ability to speak proper English.

Fortunately, the four most common email mistakes non-native speakers make are easy to fix.  They are:

  • Your greeting is inappropriate.  Who is the email for?  Sometimes ‘Hi’ is appropriate, but ‘Dear’ might be more appropriate if you are applying for a job.  ‘Dear’ implies formality and distance.  Using ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey’ is more for colleagues and friends.
  • You get to the point too quickly.  In American culture, you need to include some small talk.  Start your email with a ‘thank you’ for a previous message, or ask how their new project is going, or how their previous weekend was.  Jumping right into your point might feel aggressive or rude to Americans.
  • Your email is unorganized.  Keep your email short, sweet, and to the point.  Nobody likes to read a long and unfocused email.
  • You don’t tell people what you expect them to do.  Be clear so your reader knows why you are writing them and what you expect from them.

 

Have you made any of these mistakes when writing emails in English?

Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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