英文电子邮件写作技巧
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英文电子邮件写作技巧

随着电脑走进千家万户,一张无形的巨网也悄然织起。这就是Internet (因特网,国际互联网)。一旦连接了Internet ,信息传递就成为一件非常轻松惬意的事情。在网上最常使用的服务就是E-mail (电子邮件,electronic mail,常缩略为E-mail ,e-mail 或email ),这是因为电子邮件不但使用方便、传播快捷、可以一信多发,而且价格十分低廉,特别适合国际间的交流。 那么e-mail 有什么写作要领呢?

首先,必须要标题(Heading )栏的“收件人(To )”框中输入收信人的E-mail 地址。“主题(Subject )”框的内容应简明地概括信的内容,短的可以是一个单词,如greetings ;长的可以是一个名词性短语,也可以是完整句,但长度一般不超过35个字母。“主题”框的内容切忌含糊不清。像News about the meeting 这样的表达,应改为Tomorrow ’s meeting canceled。一般来说,只要将位于句首的单词和专有名词的首字母大写即可。另外一种较为正规的格式可将除了少于5个字母的介词、连接词或冠词之外的每一个单词的首字母大写,如:New E-mail Address

Notification 。视信的内容是否重要,还可以开头加上URGENT 或者FYI (For Your Information,供参考),如:URGENT :Submit your report today!

E-mail 一般使用非正式的文体,因此正文(Body )前的称呼(Salutation )通常无须使用诸如“Dear Mr. John”之类的表达。在同辈的亲朋好友或同事间可以直呼其名,但对长辈或上级最好使用头衔加上姓。如:Tommy ,或者Mr. Smith。

E-mail 文体的另外一个特点是简单明了,便于阅读,太长的内容可以以附件的方式发出。一个段落大多仅由一到三个句子组成。信尾客套话(Complimentary close)通常也很简明。常常只须一个词,如:“Thanks ”,“Best ”,“Cheers ”,不需要用一般信函中的“Sincerely yours”或“Best regards ”。称呼和正文之间,段落之间,正文和信尾客套话之间一般空一行,开头无须空格。如: Jimmy,

I received your memo and will discuss it with Eric on Wednesday.

Best,

David

在电子邮件的使用者中还流行使用一些由首字母或读音组成的缩略词,如:

d u wnt 2 go out 2nite:Do you want to go out tonight?

lol :Laughing out loud

oic :Oh, I see.

mte :My thoughts exactly.

brb :I ’ll be right back.

c u 2morrow:See you tomorrow.

fanx 4 ur elp:Thanks for your help.

gr8:great

btw :By the way

imho :In my humble opinion

asap :As soon as possible.

另外,网友们为了给枯燥的文字加入感情色彩,还创造了一种表示感情的小符号,英语叫smiley. 如: :-)代表“I ’m smiling at this”, :-(代表“I ’m sad about this”。 上述缩略词和小符号要视具体情况而定,不宜滥用。

E-mail 的非正式的文体特点并不意味它的撰写可以马虎行事,特别是给长辈或上级写信,或者撰写业务信函更是如此。写完信后,一定要认真检查有无拼写、语法和标点符号的误。当然Outlook Express等软件的“拼写检查”功能可以助你一臂之力。

电邮(书信)英语写作技巧

日常要处理许多信件电邮, 因而运用英语上不得不留神, 以下有一些个人意见, 也参考了一些书本, 希望大家有所得益。

A. 文法上

1. 切忌主客不分或模糊. 例子: Deciding to rescind the earlier estimate, our report was updated to include $40,000 for new equipment.” 应改为 Deciding to rescind our earlier estimate, we have updated our report to include $40,000 for new equipment. (We决定呀, 不是report.)

2. 句子不要凌碎. 例子: He decided not to audit the last ten contracts. Because of our previous objections about compliance. 应该连在一起.

3. 结构对称, 令人容易理解. 例子: The owner questioned the occupant's lease intentions and the fact that the contract had been altered with ink markings. 应改为: The owner questioned the occupant's lease intentions and ink alterations of the contract.

4. 单众数不要搞乱, 不然会好刺眼, 看不舒服. 例如: An authorized person must show that they have security clearance.

5. 动词主词要呼应. 想想这两个分别: 1.This is one of the public-relations functions that is underbudgeted. 2. This is one of the public-relations functions, which are underbudgeted.

6. 时态和语气不要转变太多. 看商务英语已经是苦事, 不要浪费人家的精力啊.

7. 标点要准确. 例如: He did not make repairs, however, he continued to monitor the equipment. 改为: He did not make repairs; however, he continued to monitor the equipment.

8. 选词正确. 好像affect 和effect, operative和operational 等等就要弄清楚才好用啦.

9. 拼字正确. 有电脑拼字检查功能后, 就更加不能偷懒.

10. 大小写要注意. 非必要不要整个字都是大写, 除非要骂人,:,例如: MUST change to OS

immediately. 外国人就觉得不礼貌和喝令人一样. 要强调的话, 用底线, 斜字, 粗体就可以了.

B. 文体

1. 可读性. 对象是大学程度的话, 用高中的英文就行, 不要以为人人都是语言大师. 多用短句(15-20字吧), 技术性的字, 就更加要简单易明.

2. 注意段落的开头. 一般来说, 重要或强调的事情都放在信件或段落的开头, 而句子就放在最尾. 例如: 1.Because he was unable to attend the meeting personally, he forwarded his

congratulations on cassette tape. 2.He forwarded his congratulations on cassette tape because he was unable to attend the meeting personally. 两者强调的事情就有分别了.

3. 轻重有分. 同等重要的用and 来连接, 较轻放在次要的句子里.

4. 意思转接词要留神. 例如: but (相反), therefore (结论), also (增添), for example (阐明). 分不清furthermore 和moreover 就不要用啦.

5. 句子开头不要含糊不清的主词. 例子: These decisions have been a big disappointment to the committee members. They have delayed further action. They是指什么呀???? 开头少用this, that, it, they, 或 which.

6. 修饰词的位置要小心, 例如: He could only reimburse the cost after July 15. 应为 He could reimburse the cost only after July 15.

7. 用语要肯定准确. 切忌含糊. 例如:The figures show a significant increase.” 怎样significant 呀, 大哥? 改为: The figures show an increase of 19%.

8. 立场观点一致. 少用被动语. 例如: Partial data should be submitted by April. 改为: You should submit partial data by April.就很好了.

C. 格调

1. 式样和句子长度不要太单调. 千篇一律的subject-verb-object 会闷死人的. 有时短句跟着长句可以化解一下.

2. 弱软的词(e.g. was, were, is, are...)可以加强一点. 例如: Prunton products are highly effective in ... 改为: Prunton products excel in ...就有力很多了.

3. 亲切, 口语化是比较受欢迎! 用宾词和主动的词, 让人家受落. 例如: 1. This information will be sincerely appreciated.” 2. We sincerely appreciate your information. 明显地, 我们会喜欢第2句.

D. 写信提示

1. 人家的名字千万不要错. 老一辈的看到名字错就干脆撵去垃圾桶.

同样, 头衔都不要错. 头衔或学位, 任择其一吧. 以下是一样的:

Howard E. Wyatt, D.D.SPhD.

Dr. Howard E. Hyatt

2. 多过一个男人, 用Messrs, 就是Misters 的意思, 不过不要跟名字, 跟姓就行啦. 例如:

Messrs. Smith, Wyatt, and Fury

女人呢? 用Mesdames, Mmes., or Mses. 同样不要跟名字. 例子:

Mses. Farb, Lionel, and Gray

男女一齐呢? 弄清楚称呼就行. 例如:

Dr. and Mrs. Harold Wright

Mr. Harold Wright and Dr. Margaret Wright

Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Adams-Quinn

3. 有人有自己头衔就要跟紧, 例如有人有荣誉学位就不喜欢用一般的头衔啊~有时大头不知道对方头衔, 干脆用Ms. 算了.

Ms. Sarah Gray

4. 地址要低日期至少两行. 处名时, 职衔短可以一行过, 长就下一行吧. 例如:

Ken Green, President

Ken Green

Vice President of International Operations

但这个就显得有点。。。:

Ken Green

Vice President of Unicom China

正确应为:

Ken Green

Vice President, Unicom China

5. 老外的名字有时有Jr. 或 Sr.,之前的逗点是随你喜欢的, 以下都是正确, 不要笑人:

Michael J. Smith, Jr.

Michael J. Smith Sr.

6. 外国国名尽量用大写. 是为尊重, 也方便邮差叔叔.

7. 地址上的数字直接用阿拉伯数字吧, 除了One, 例子:

127 Ninth Avenue, North

127 E. 15 Street

5 Park Avenue

One Wingren Plaza

556 - 91 Street

书信的结尾致意要留意, 弄清大家的关系才选择用词, 例子:

1. Very Formal非常正规的(例如给政府大老爷的)

Respectfully yours,

Yours respectfully,

2. Formal正规的(例如客户公司之间啦)

Very truly yours,

Yours very truly,

Yours truly,

3. Less Formal不太正规的(例如客户)

Sincerely yours,

Yours sincerely,

Sincerely,

Cordially yours,

Yours cordially,

Cordially,

4. Informal非正规的(例如猪朋狗友, 同事之类)

Regards,

Warm regards,

With kindest regards,

With my best regards,

My best,

Give my best to Mary,

Fondly,

Thanks,

See you next week!

有时在we, I, and you之间选择是很烦的事--

如果是公司代表联络生意之类, 可以用:

We will reimburse you for these legal expenses.

Sinopec will reimburse you for these legal expenses.

如果单纯说你自己, 可以用:

I found the brochure very informative.

有时可以一起用啦...:

We are pleased to offer you the position of sales director, and I am looking forward to our Tuesday morning meeting.

那么I 和you 呢? 好烦好烦. 一般来说, 收信人的利益比较重要, 名义上都要这样想. 给人尊重的语气就一般不会错了. 多用you 有时会有隔阂的感觉.

You will be pleased to learn that you have been selected to serve on our advisory board. Your prompt response will be appreciated. (好像欠你一样)

I'm pleased that our board has selected you as the best qualified candidate to serve on our advisory board. I hope you'll agree to serve. (这就友善多了)

Your book was well written and comprehensive. (不用你来判断我呀~~)

I thoroughly enjoyed your book and found an answer to every one of my questions about performance appraisals. (客气一点, 人家受落)

总之, 语气和宾词的运用得当能决定你的礼貌程度.

开头致意

用人家的名字总好过人家的头衔称呼. 如果没有名字, 或者是好正规信的信件, 可以考虑这些:

Dear Committee Membe:r:

Dear Meeting Planner:

Dear Colleagues:

To All Sales Reps:

To Whom It May Concern:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Dear Madam or Sir:

Dear Purchasing Agent:

如果是公司呢?

Gentlemen or Ladies:

Ladies or Gentlemen:

什么怪事都有, 如果那公司是全男班或全女班呢?

Dear Sirs:

Dear Ladies:

Dear Mesdames:

Gentlemen:

Ladies:

有时见到人家用冒号就说人家错, 其实也未必啊, 看:

Dear Mr. Jones: (非常正规)

Dear Joan:

Dear Jim,

Jim, (非正规)

签名

用笔亲自签名会比较受落, 免到过都不要电脑贴图或盖章啦.... 不要把Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr.之类一起签, 人家会笑你的...

签名也看信件的语气. 给朋友或公司客户, 签Bill 也可以, 给陌生人就最好用Gates 或者Bill Gates啦.

General Rules for E-mail Writing

Due to the increase in the use of e-mail as a major form of communication at work and for personal use, ability to write effective e-mail messages is an important skill to acquire. The ability to write competent e-mail messages will help you in your professional career because e-mail is the fastest growing form of communication.

BENEFITS OF THE E-MAIL EXPLOSION

The benefits of e-mail are numerous and many businesses and organizations have

replaced desktop mailboxes with e-mail. The different benefits of e-mail include not wasting paper, the various electronic postal systems available on the Internet, and the ability to receive data directly into your computer.

THE CHANGING E-MAIL MESSAGE

At first, e-mail was often used only for short personal messages without any concern for writing style. With e-mail, now becoming such an important means of communication in the business world, however, the need for better e-mail writing is increasing. But some people oppose this trend and feel that making all the grammatical and stylistic changes will take too much time.

Since e-mail messages can have a turnaround time of minutes of even seconds, the idea of trying to improve the techniques of e-mail writing will take away the uniqueness of the e-mail medium. This should be noted as one of the major differences between conventional paper-based business communication and e-mail.

Form (TOPIC: Greeting) - Example

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To: gtanaka@mail.ubc.ac.ca (George Tanaka)

From: ec00123@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp

Cc: ec00123@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp

Bcc:

Subject: What's up?

Hello,

How's your term paper going? I imagine that you're finished with it by now. I hope so. I've just finished mine and I'm about to fly to Vancouver.

I will be with you tomorrow with a nice souvenir for you. Let's have a vacation together in Banff.

By for now. (^_^)

_/_/_/_/ YAMADA, Yoko

_/_/_/_/ 2nd year Student, International Economics Major

_/_/_/_/ College of Economics, Ritsumeikan University

_/_/_/_/ e-mail: ec00123@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp

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

Clues Features of an e-mail message:

To: --> The To line is the place to enter the e-mail addresses of the person you are writing to.

Cc: --> The Cc line (Cc stands for carbon or courtesy copy) is the place to enter e-mail addresses of people to whom you want to send a copy of the message.

Bcc: --> The Bcc line (Bcc stands for blind carbon copy) line lets you specify e-mail addresses of people to whom you want to send copies of a message without the original recipient's knowledge.

Subject: --> The Subject line is the place to enter a short description of the e-mail message. The subject line appears in the recipient's inbox listing of messages. Message: --> The message text area contains the body of your e-mail message.

Common text-editing : Text Area features such as cut, copy, and paste are usually available for writing messages.

E-mail Etiquette and Politics

E-mail etiquette has been a recent concern for many Internet users. The impersonal

computer screen makes it easy for people to be much more direct in their communication. This can be good for working together, but it can also cause hurt feelings and misunderstanding. People need to remember that there is a person with feelings who will be reading the messages that are sent, i.e., they feel they are not just talking to a computer screen. Etiquette should be a basic part of e-mail writing.

Respect E-mail confidentiality

Reading other people's e-mail without their permission is an intrusion of one's

privacy. Everyone should be considerate of other people's private business. Here are two simple ways to be sure to respect that privacy issue.

Don't read someone else's e-mail.

Be sure to get someone's permission before forwarding or posting someone else's e-mail. This is disrespectful to the author and may cause some problems.

Protect Yourself against E-mail Break-ins

Be careful to secure your e-mail program if you leave your computer for any amount of time. An unauthorized person can check your messages or make unwanted adjustments.

They can also send unintended messages, which can be found offensive and could lead to serious problems considering the content of the message.

Avoid Using All Capital Letters

Avoid using all capital letters when writing e-mail. For example, "HELLO. HOW ARE YOU?" This can be difficult to read and also may come across to the reader as though the writer is shouting.

Avoid Using All Lower-case Letters

Avoid using all lower-case letters when writing e-mail. For example, "hello. how are you?" This can also be difficult to read and the reader may misunderstand the context.

Form (TOPIC: Business) - Example

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 4 May 2001 22:43:19 JST

To: customers@llbeans.com

From: ec00123@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp

Subject: Wrong merchandise received!

Dear Sir/Madam

Last month I ordered a pair of brown suede loafers (LOAFER, 3H123-261 $80) from your new autumn catalogue. But the color of the loafers I received today are "purple," and I want to exchange them for brown ones.

Here 's the information you need to process my exchange:

Date of Purchase: April 4, 2001

Method of Payment: Visa 4980-0357-1234-5678, issued by Sumitomo Credit Service Amount of check: $89.95

I have already filled in the form "Easy Returns" and sent the wrong merchandise

received to your Customers Service Office. I'd appreciate your prompt acknowledgement and processing of this exchange.

Sincerely,

Yoko

_/_/_/_/ YAMADA, Yoko

_/_/_/_/ 2nd year Student, International Economics Major

_/_/_/_/ College of Economics, Ritsumeikan University

_/_/_/_/ e-mail: ec00123@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp

Checklist for Effective E-Mail

By The Writing Center, Inc.

The Writing Center specializes in customized corporate business and technical writing programs.

Use our checklist to ensure that your e-mail reflects a high level of professionalism and increases your credibility within your company.

Company e-mail is the appropriate choice for this document. The e-mail, which may reside in your system's memory and be accessible to people other than the intended reader, should:

Contain information that pertains only to your job responsibilities or to company-approved functions. You followed company guidelines for using e-mail for personal communications.

Not contain confidential or sensitive information. It could be made public or subpoenaed without embarrassment to your company or you, the writer.

Not be a way of avoiding talking to someone in person or by telephone. Don't let e-mail replace human interaction that builds relationships and allows you to observe or hear people's reactions to what you are saying.

Not contain reprimanding or emotional wording. Constructive criticism is received best in one-to-one, in-person coaching sessions.

Require an immediate response.

Not be information required by the reader for long-term reference.

The distribution list is appropriate:

All those who should receive the information have been copied. For example, you have not relied upon the primary reader to distribute the information to his/her direct reports if you require them to have the information.

Those who do not need to know the information have not been copied.

You have respected your reader's time and edited the e-mail for clarity. You: Eliminated wordiness; eliminated any "streams of consciousness."

Used short words, sentences, and paragraphs.

Used precise, factual wording.

Translated technical jargon and acronyms as appropriate for the distribution list. Deleted any unnecessary "document trail."

You have used professional presentation, tone, and courtesy. You:

Used simple format that will convert well to all computer systems/programs.

Used upper and lower case letters rather than all capitals. Upper and lower case

letters are easier to read; using all capitals comes across like YELLING. The rule of thumb is to put no more than eight words in all capitals; you have saved all capitals for emphasis or headings.

Have written the e-mail from your reader's point of view. Your wording is considerate and polite; it is objective and direct without being abrupt.

Used words that are appropriate for a business environment.

You have organized the e-mail strategically. You ensured accurate and complete content. You:

Provided a subject heading and opening purpose statement that predict the document's content.

Anticipated and answered your reader's questions, providing background information when it helps your reader understand your message.

Double-checked the accuracy of facts and figures.

Clearly and explicitly asked for action or described what you will do next.

You have proofread the e-mail. You:

Used correct, consistent punctuation.

Used your spell checker. Double-checked the spelling of people's names and of company products and services.

Replaced "brief hand" abbreviations such as "w/" and "info" with standard spellings. Ensured your precise use of all vocabulary, especially of any unfamiliar vocabulary gleaned from your computer's thesaurus.

Checked grammar (especially subject-verb agreement) and usage (for example, commonly confused words such as "there" and "their").

Checked sentence structure (especially to correct any fragments or run-on sentences).