ABCs of Writing Personal Letters – (With Formats & Samples)

In this digital age of messaging apps and video conferencing, writing a letter may seem a little old fashioned to you. But, there can be certain situations where a personal letter can reflect your sincerity in the best way.

As the name suggests, personal letters are letters that are concerned with personal matters such as sending an apology, congratulations, expressing thanks, sympathy or complaints. They often create a feeling that the person had put efforts in creating the letter hence make a good impression of them on the receiver.

Now let us get back to this ancient yet thoughtful form of writing. Here are some useful personal letter writing tips for you:

                                                               . . .

Writing an Apology Letter

There might be times when you have felt regretful about your behavior, actions or words. Whether it is your personal life or professional life accepting your mistakes and hence correcting them conveys your genuineness.

Letter of Apology Format

1. Always begin your letter by stating the purpose of writing it. For example, you may write that “I am writing this letter to apologize for what I said yesterday”.
2. State your mistake clearly and explain the situation.
3. Acknowledge that you have hurt them. You may also show gratitude and express how nice they have been to you every time.
4. Mention that you did not intend to hurt them. Make them believe that you have understood you were wrong in a certain sense.
5. Give a solution to how you both can resolve this issue and maintain a healthy relationship in future.

Sample Apology Letter for Missing Class 

Miss Amanda Jacob
English Teacher,
St. Anthony’s School
Arthur Road

Date: 13th August. 2015

Sub: Apology letter for not attending the class.

Respected Miss Jacob,

The purpose of writing this sorry letter is to apologize for not being able to attend your English class on Tuesday. i.e. on 11th August. 2015. I am really sorry that I had to miss such an important lecture.

I really look up to you as my mentor as I want to tell you the reason because of which I could not attend the class on Tuesday. On Monday evening. my grandmother had a heart stroke and we had to take her to the hospital. Her condition was serious and doctors kept her under observation for 24 hours. During this time, I was there with my family at the hospital as I am the eldest of all my siblings and as a result. I had to miss the class because my family needed me there at the hospital.

I know I have missed one of the most important lectures for which you had asked everyone to be present without fail. I really hope that you will understand my situation and will forgive me for not being able to come for the class that day. Please accept my sincere apologies and I promise that I will cover up the topics that I have missed on in the previous class.

Thanks for considering my situation. Sincere apologies.

Thanking You.

Yours sincerely.

Adam Smith

                                                                 . . .

Writing a Condolence Letter

Sometimes you may need a medium to express your support and concern at the time of distress to your friends and family. A condolence letter from you can motivate them and make them believe that they are not alone.

Letter of Condolence Format

  1. Maintain a polite tone and be sympathetic
  2. Express your sadness about the loss. Do not try to explain the death as it could hurt someone’s sentiments.
  3. Remember that person by sharing any memory of them. You may also mention their qualities. If you did not know the person personally you may say that you can understand how painful it is to lose someone and you are praying for them.
  4. Do offer help if you can to the grieving. Do not to compare their experience to any similar experience of yours. Your focus should be on them not you.

Condolence Letter Sample

Martha Joseph,
A-34. William Brown Street,


Sherlin Johns
4/2. Near Sydney Jones Library,

Subject:  Condolences

Dear Sherlin,

I am deeply grieved to hear the sad news of the sad demise of your father. My family joins me to mourn the death of your dear father who was a source of continual inspiration and guidance not only to you but also to me. It was he who advised me to join the Management Course. It was only his advice that I am a manager for such a reputed firm.

Your loss is immense, and I don’t know how to express myself on such an occasion. May God give peace to the departed soul and strength to you to perform your duties and responsibilities. I am always there to help you Please do not hesitate in telling me your worries and difficulties. You shall find me with you at every step of life.

With deepest sympathy.

                                                                 . . .

Writing a Congratulations Letter

A letter of congratulations is a great way to express how happy you are on their achievements. You can bless them with good luck, boost their confidence and be a part in their happy moments.

Congratulations Letter Format

  1. Write the letter promptly as you get the information about their success.
  2. Your tone should be positive and motivating. You don’t require to include a lot of details here just make sure you are mentioning the reason for appreciating them clearly.
  3. Do not go over the line while praising them. Your letter should sound genuine. It should not sound sarcastic or out of jealousy in any way.
  4. Say that you always believed in their capabilities and refer to the good qualities that you have noticed in them.

 Congratulations Letter Sample to a Friend for Succeeding in Examination

Elizabeth Hanson
12 First Avenue
New York, NY

Dear Tom,

The ‘NY Herald’ of today brought the good news of your excellent success in your Intermediate Examination. Your name figuring in the list of candidates passed with merit goes to add to the appreciation for your school teachers and parents. The way is now clear for you to join the best university anywhere in the nation.

What kind of university do you intend to join and which subjects do you propose to choose in your further studies? I would suggest that you should go in for commercial subjects as they would fit you for a managerial post in your family-run business. This way, it will be a double benefit for you and your family. Not only would you be getting an executive position suited to your abilities and capabilities, but it will also make it very convenient for your father to have his own son as the manager of his firm, thereby saving him a handsome amount of salary, which he will otherwise have to pay to an outsider, besides the trust aspect.

This is only a suggestion from my part. You are perfectly free in your choice in the end and should be doing something of your own interest.

Please accept my heartiest congratulations on your well-deserved success.

Yours sincerely,

                                                                 . . .

Writing a Grievance Letter

There can be situations when you are not satisfied with any services or have a complaint against the working of certain authorities. Your grievance letter in this situation can make or break the situation.

Grievance Letter Format

  1. Always maintain the right tone. If you are writing this letter to a higher authority say the school’s principal or your employer always maintain a formal tone.
  2. You don’t have to command them or sound emotive. Just mention what is bothering you and why.
  3. Mention facts if you can. You may mention the date and time of the incident or include opinions of certain witnesses.
  4. After mentioning your problems you may also provide what you think a solution could be or if you need compensation.

 Grievance Letter Sample for a Defective Smart Phone

8, Camberwell
5 March 20XX

The Owner
Ultra Modem Electronic House

Sub: Complaint against Smart Phone


I purchased a Samsung — Galaxy Smart Phone from your showroom vide Invoice no 2675 dated 3 Jan., 20XX. May I mention that this phone functioned well for about a month or so, but thereafter it has started giving trouble. It has only been used a few times since its purchase. However, each time it has stopped working after 30-40 seconds. It does not work longer at a stretch. After some time it does begin again but stops functioning in a few seconds. It seems that some technical defect has marred the working of this piece.

Since there is a warranty of 1 year against any technical defect, I would request you to replace this piece with another one at the earliest.

Looking forward to an early response.

Yours sincerely,

                                                               . . .

Writing a Thank You Letter

Our friends and family members are an immense support system for us. Sometimes they do things for us out of their way and we feel like expressing our gratitude towards them. A thank you letter can perfectly explain our overwhelming emotions in this case.

  1. Appreciate them for their benevolence and express that you feel honored because of what they did for you. Express yourself generously but be honest and sincere. You can say how their action has benefited you in your life.
  2. You may also ask them about their well being or share some other news to reflect how special your bond is with them.

Thank you Letter Template to a friend for Invitation

Sub: Expressing gratitude for your invitation

Dear Paul,
I am pleased to know that you have still remembered me after all these years and took the time to invite me over to your sister’s wedding. I feel obliged for the same. You have always held a special place in my heart and I would Like to express, my gratitude towards you for inviting me to the wedding. I still remember those days when you helped me in completing my physics project when I was unwell Your help at the time was commendable.

I am fortunate to have had a friend like you who is trustworthy and helpful. I assure you that I will come and be a part of your special moment. If you need any help from me at any time. please feel free to call me for the same. It would be a privilege for me if I could be of any help to you in some capacity.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With regards,

                                                                . . .

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February 5, 2019
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