Writing a proper email in French

7 June 2018
door Regina Coeli

If your job involves being in touch with French speakers, odds are you will need to write emails at one point or another—in French: courrier électronique, message électronique or simply mail, It is, after all, a great way to send a message quickly. Other advantages to writing emails include being able to find the right words and think about the grammar, and being able to check your message again before sending it. Use the tips and standard sentences below to make it that much easier!

Tips for writing an email in French:

  1. Always address the recipient formally. Bear in mind that in France, people address each other more formally than many other cultures do. If your contact person switches to a more informal tone, feel free to follow their lead.
  2. Make sure your message is well-structured. This makes it clear for both you and for the reader.
  3. Use simple sentences and get right down to business.
  4. Always read through your emails again before sending them.


Standard sentences

Salutations

Formal:
Madame/ Monsieur (surname),

Neutral:
Chère Madame / Cher Monsieur (surname),
Bonjour (name),

Reasons for writing
I am writing (literally: addressing) you to…
Je m’adresse à vous pour…

I am writing (literally: addressing) you with the following question:
Je m’adresse à vous avec la question suivante:

I would like to ask you the following questions:
Je voudrais vous poser les questions suivantes:

I have taken the liberty of writing you to…
Je prends la liberté de vous écrire pour…

Thank you for your letter of (+date)…
Je vous remercie pour votre lettre du…

Objectives
I would like to ask you for some information…
J’aimerais vous demander quelques renseignements…

Would it be possible for you to send me…?
Vous serait-il possible de m’envoyer…?

Could you (please) give me an indication of the price?
Pourriez-vous m’indiquer le prix?

I would like to participate in...
J’aimerais participer à…

Could you please contact me on (telephone number)?
Pourriez-vous nous contacter au… (numéro de téléphone)?

Conclusions
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. (literally: We are at your disposal for any questions.)
Nous nous tenons à votre disposition pour toute question.

We hope that we were able to provide you with all the necessary information.
Nous espérons avoir pu vous fournir toutes les informations nécessaires.

We thank you for your request for proposal.
Nous vous remercions pour votre demande d’offre.

We will contact you as soon as possible.
Nous vous contacterons dans les plus brefs délais.

We would be grateful if you could send us your reply before (date).
Nous vous serions reconnaissant de bien vouloir nous faire parvenir votre réponse avant le (date).

We look forward to hearing from you and ask you, Sir, Madam, to accept our best regards.
Dans l’attente de votre réponse, nous vous prions d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, nos salutations les meilleures.

We would like to make an appointment with you to discuss the possibilities.
Nous aimerions prendre rendez-vous avec vous pour discuter des possibilités.

Complimentary closes

Yours faithfully,
Salutations distinguées,

Sincerely yours,
Sincères salutations,
Meilleurs sentiments,
Bien à vous/toi,

Cordially,
(Bien) cordialement,
Best regards,
Meilleures salutations,


A proper email… and then?

We hope these tips and standard sentences will help you to write a good email in French. If you would really like to write a proper email, then, of course, more than a series of sentences is required. And what will you do if you suddenly meet your French connection in person? Will the person who always writes such good emails still be able to find the right words?

If you use the French language for business purposes, it’s wise to invest in gaining a better understanding of the language. This will not only allow you to write your French emails faster, but will also make it easier to pick up the phone for a quick check-in, and you will be just as fluent and at ease when your contact person invites you to a business lunch.

At Regina Coeli, you practice one-on-one with native speakers, working on precisely the situations you also encounter in daily business, using the grammar you need. That makes learning extremely efficient and definitely enjoyable as well.

Contact us to schedule an intake with one of our French language trainers. Fill in the contact form and we will contact you or call us directly on 073-6848790.


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