Business English: Common Writing Mistakes

Do you make these common mistakes when writing business English letters and e-mails? Read today’s lesson and learn how to avoid the errors that can make your writing look unprofessional!

To learn common phrases for business English letters, e-mails, interviews, meetings, presentations, negotiations, and more – check out the Business English Course.

1. I am writing in respect of our recent purchase.

There are several correct ways to fix this mistake:

  • I am writing in reference to our recent purchase.
  • I am writing with regard to our recent purchase.
  • I am writing regarding/concerning our recent purchase.

2. We would like to regret the delay in shipping.

“Regret” means you feel bad about something you did wrong, so you need to say either:

  • We regret the delay in shipping.
  • We would like to apologize for the delay in shipping.

3. I ensure you that our products are of the highest quality.

To assure somebody means to help remove doubt from their mind. After the word “assure,” we usually have a person (assure you, assure him/her, assure them, etc.)

To ensure something means to guarantee a certain fact or condition. After the word “ensure” we often have “that” + a fact.

  • assure you that our products are of the highest quality.
  • We have a quality control process to ensure that every item is free from defects. 

4. Your order will be shipped until Wednesday at the latest.

When you want to say that a single, specific event will happen before a certain date in the future, use by.

Until is only used when a continuous event will continue up to a date in the future:

  • Your order will be shipped by Wednesday at the latest.
    (shipping the order is a single event)
  • We will be performing maintenance until the 25th.
    (the maintenance work is continuous until finishing on the 25th)

5. I would like to request some informations about your services.

The word information in English is an uncountable noun, meaning it cannot be plural.

  • I would like to request some information about your services.

6. We except all major credit cards as well as checks and money orders.

Accept means to receive willingly; except means to exclude.

  • We accept all major credit cards as well as checks and money orders.
  • We offer free shipping to every U.S. state except Alaska and Hawaii.
    (Alaska and Hawaii are not included in the free shipping offer)

7. We appreciate your cooperate.

It’s important to pay attention to the correct form of the word. After articles (a, an, the) and possessives (my, your, his, her, our, their) – always use a noun:

  • We appreciate your cooperation.

8. I want you to send me the files right now.

In professional communications – or when writing to somebody who isn’t a close friend – it’s important to be polite and respectful. Sometimes English learners accidentally write sentences that are “too direct” and can come across as a little bit rude. When making a request, it is good to use “Could you…?” and “Please…”

  • Could you please send me the files as soon as possible?

9. the conference begins on friday july 8 it will be held in los angeles california

When writing for business or in any sort of professional context, correct punctuation and capitalization are essential! If you write without capitalizing properly or using punctuation, it makes a very bad impression. This is important both in regular letters and in e-mails.

In English, we capitalize:

  • The first word of each new sentence
  • Proper names (people’s names, company names)
  • Names of cities, states, countries, and languages
  • Names of days of the week and months

The correct way to write this sentence would be:

  • The conference begins on Friday, July 8. It will be held in Los Angeles, California.

If you’re not sure that your letter or e-mail is correct, ask a native English speaker to check it for any mistakes.

10. I am looking forward to hear from you.

After the expression “look forward to,” always use a noun or the -ing form of the verb:

  • I am looking forward to hearing from you.
  • I am looking forward to our meeting.
  • I look forward to visiting your company.
  • I look forward to the visit.

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