English Writing Exercises for B1 – An email


1. Read the task and the model email. In what order does Lisa cover the four points? Number them.

You are moving in with relatives next week. Write an email to a friend. Include the following:

–  Explain the reasons for the arrangement. ……

–  Describe your relatives’ house. ……

–  Describe the relatives. ……

–  Ask permission to borrow something from your friend. ……

To: madison@email.com

Hi Madison,

I hope all is well with you. Did I tell you I’m moving house soon? We need to move out of our flat because the landlord is selling it, so we’re going to live with cousins for a few months. They don’t live far away – in a small village about twenty miles from here. cousin Joe is a really nice guy. He’s the same age as me and he’s got dark hair and brown eyes. cousin Samantha looks a bit like you. She is tall, with curly hair and green eyes. She’s great fun. You’d like them.

cousins’ house is quite large and includes a new extension, but it will still be a bit crowded. There are four bedrooms in the house and two in the extension, I think, but I’m going to sleep in the conservatory!

Better get back to homework. Would it be OK if I borrowed your tennis racket this weekend? I’ve got one, but I can’t find it. I think Mum might have already packed it!

Bye for now.


Show answers

Explain the reasons for the arrangement 1

Describe your relatives’ house 3

Say who will be living in the house 2

Ask permission to borrow something 4

Writing Strategy

When you write an informal email or letter:

–  you should avoid formal language.

–  you can use contractions (you’re, it’s, etc.).

–  you sometimes omit words like I, I’m or I’ve at the start of a sentence (Hope you’re well, Got to go now, etc.).

2. Read the Writing Strategy. Circle five different contractions in the model email. Then underline one sentence with a word omitted at the start.

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I’m, we’re, don’t, He’s, She’s, You’d, I’ve, can’t; Better get back to homework.

3. Rewrite the sentences using would rather with the base form or past simple.

1) I want you to help me.

   I’d rather you helped me.

2) I don’t want sister to find out.


3) I want to be outside.


4) I don’t want to go to bed yet.


5) I want us to spend more time together.


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2) I’d rather sister didn’t find out.

3) I’d rather be outside.

4) I’d rather not go to bed yet.

5) I’d rather we spent more time together.

4. Complete the second sentence in each pair with had better (not) and the verb in brackets.

1) This milk smells bad. We had better not drink (drink) it.

2) The roads are icy. You ________. (drive) too fast.

3) This is dad’s laptop. We ________. (ask) before we use it.

4) It isn’t safe to walk home at night. You ________. (get) a taxi.

5) That dog doesn’t look friendly. We ________. (go) near it.

6) This is sister’s favourite chocolate. I ________. (save) some for her.

7) I haven’t got any lights for bike. I ________. (cycle) home before it gets dark.

Show answers

2) had better not drive   3) had better ask   4) had better get

5) had better not go   6) had better save   7) had better cycle

Writing Guide

5. Read the task. Then make notes under headings 1-4 below.

Imagine that you are moving house next week. Write an email to a friend. Include the following:

–  Describe your new home.

–  Give information about your plans for moving.

–  Describe someone you will miss after you move.

–  Ask permission to leave something at your friend’s house.

1) What is your new home like?



2) What are the arrangements for moving?



3) Who will you miss?



4) What do you want to leave with your friend?



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your own answers

6. Now do the task. Write your email using your notes from exercise 5.

Extra exercises


Learn a range of formal expressions to use in opinion essays.

1. Read the Strategy. Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first. Use two or three words, including the word in brackets.

1) I think it’s very helpful

 ________, it’s very helpful. (view)

2) Lots of people think that it’s difficult.

 It is ________. belief that it’s difficult. (widely)

3) It also helps people sleep better.

 ________, it helps people sleep better. (more)

4) It’s important to check your work

     It’s ________. you check your work. (vital)

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1) In view   2) a widely held   3) What is more   4) vital that

2. Read the task and write an opinion essay.

Some people say that giving young people jobs to do around the home is good for them. Write an essay giving your own view, using examples to support your opinions.

–  Describe some typical jobs around the house.

–  Say how they might have a positive or a negative effect.

–  Describe your own experiences.

–  Make your opinion clear.

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your own answers