General Writing Sample Task 1 #74

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You arranged to visit a friend in Canada but an important event at home now means that you must change the dates of the visit.

Write a letter to your friend. In your letter

  • explain the important event
  • apologise for the situation
  • suggest a new arrangement

Write at least 150 words.

Plan Your Answer

Step 1) Analyse the task

  • Who will receive the letter?
    Organization or private individual
  • Relationship
    Someone you... know well, ...a little or ...don't know
  • Style and tone
    Formal or Personal - Friendly or Neutral

Step 2) Generate ideas

  • Explain the important event
    tennis competition / great honour to play
  • Apologise
    and give justification for cancellation (need to practise)
  • Suggest alternatives
    can take time off later / can use same airline ticket

Step 3) Think it through

  • Language needed?
    for apologising / explaining / suggesting new arrangements
  • Verb tenses
    present / past / present perfect / future
  • Use of modals
    Can / Could you...? / Would it be possible...?
  • Checking possibility
    Is it possible for you to...
  • How to start?
    (informal) How are you?
  • How to finish?
    Best wishes. / All the best.

Remember to indicate the need for a response (I'm looking forward to hearing from you)

Model answer

Using verb forms, complete this sample answer.

Dear Ana,

How are things with you? I'm afraid something come up here which probably my visit to Canada. Last week I to play tennis for my regional team in a national tournament. It was completely unexpected. I'm sorry but this probably means that I be able to visit you for the first week of January, as we planned. I must stay here and practise until the tournament , later that month.

I wonder if it possible for me to visit you later in the year. I can take some time off in early March and my air ticket can be with no problem. Is March a possibility for you?

Please and me know what your reaction . I'm sure you realise that it's an honour to be selected to represent your region and so I to miss this great opportunity. I hope you .

I'm forward to hearing from you,

Best wishes,

(174 words)


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