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common mistakes to avoid in business writing:

1. I vs. me
These types of sentences are often seen in business e-mails, but theyre wrong:

Thanks for meeting Steven and I for lunch yesterday.

Please send the latest files to John and I.

Heres a fast, simple trick to always get it right: just take out the other person in the sentence and
see how it sounds. Would you ever say, Thanks for meeting I for lunch yesterday? Nope!
Youd say, Thanks for meeting me for lunch yesterday, so you should use me.
Correct sentences:

Thanks for meeting Steven and me for lunch yesterday.

Please send the latest files to John and me.

2. i.e. vs. e.g.


i.e. and e.g. are both abbreviations for Latin terms that are confused with each other. Many
people think they mean the same thing and are interchangeable, but theyre actually different.
i.e. is Latin for id est, which means that is. You can think of it as meaning in essence, or in
other words. It either offers more information or paraphrases the idea in a clearer way.
On the other hand, e.g. stands for exempli gratia, which means for example in Latin. Use this
when you want to provide a list of examples.

3. Use vs. utilize


Good writing means that you shouldnt use a long word where a short, simple one will do. Many
people write utilize in business emails and memos because they think it sounds fancy,
impressive, and intelligent. But its actually needless, overblown jargon. Use is a perfectly
good word and works just as well.

4. Its and Its are two different words.

The former is a possessive, meaning it shows that one


thing belongs to another.
The latter is a shortened form of it is. Incidentally,
contractions, such as its, theyre, and Id, are perfectly
fine for informal writing and are becoming more
acceptable in formal writing.
To be cautious, however, you may want to write out the
longer form of what you want to say.

5. Simple plurals do not require an apostrophe.

This rule is basic but frequently broken. How often do you


see a sign on a house that says, The Browns? If the
Browns live there, it should either read The Browns (a
label) or The Browns' (short for The Browns house).
Products for sale often violate this apostrophe rule, so an
apostrophe within a plural is sometimes called the
greengrocers apostrophe. Apples for sale is
grammatically incorrect. The phrase needs to lose an
apostrophe or gain a possession: Apples for sale or
Apples core for sale.

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.

I 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.


Its 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 isnt a close friend its
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 (peoples 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 youre 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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