One of the most common types of letters you may find in IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 is a formal letter that asks you to explain a situation. The phrase “Explain your situation” you often find as the second bullet point or sometimes as the first bullet point itself in some of the letters.

At first glance, you may feel it is quite unclear about what you have to actually explain here. To help you with your IELTS preparation, let us discuss this by taking some letter writing samples in this article.

IELTS Writing Task Question

You have recently purchased an item from a retail store. When you returned home, you found that it did not work. You called customer care about this problem but did not get any satisfactory response.

Write a letter to the retail manager and in your letter:

# Say who you are

# Explain your situation

# Say what action you want from the retail store

Clarity on Explain Your Situation

Now, what does “explain your situation” mean? It means that you can describe the current issue you are experiencing or the problem you are facing now, how it actually happened and what the whole story behind it was. The question puts you in a situation that you can imagine is real and then subsequently, you can write it in the form of a letter.

In order to explain the situation, you can relate it with something with which you are familiar. For example, you might have already found a service unsatisfactory in the past or your friend might have faced such an incident before.

IELTS Writing Task Complaint Letter

In case of writing a complaint letter, for example, about experiencing bad service at a restaurant, you often need to explain the situation as the 2nd point. The second point of explaining a situation is usually lengthy because this is where you have to describe a lot.

To write more, it is important to think of something extra surrounding the given situation only, for example, adding factual information, forming a story of the whole incident etc. to provide more detailed information.

Let’s write the letter now:

Also Read: What Sort of Vocabulary should be Used for IELTS? Six Techniques to Improve Your IELTS Writing Vocabulary Easily

Letter Writing Question

You have recently purchased an item from a retail store. When you returned home, you found that it did not work. You called customer care about this problem but did not get any satisfactory response.

Write a letter to the retail manager and in your letter:

# Say who you are

# Explain your situation

# Say what action you want from the retail store

Sample Answer

Dear Sir/Mam,

I am writing this letter to complain about the digital camera that I bought from your retail store last Monday on 26th September 2016.

I am a resident of Vishal Market, New Delhi and working as an Executive in a reputed firm near your retail store.

I have purchased the latest technology digital camera of the Nokia brand from your store which was working fine at the time I purchased it but when I reached my home, I found that it suddenly stopped working and there seemed to be a problem in the camera lens.

Moreover, the shutter mechanism was also faulty. After I found discrepancies, I immediately called customer care at your retail store. The concerned representative refused to replace the camera and was also not friendly enough to listen to anything.

Complimentary Closing

I, therefore, request you to kindly interfere in the matter and help me either getting a replacement of the digital camera or getting the full refund amount as soon as possible, and I also suggest you improve your customer care dispute resolution system.

Thank You!

Yours faithfully,

Ramesh Kumar

(183 words)

Following are some of the phrases that you may use while writing a letter (where you need to explain a situation):

Useful Phrases to Explain Situation

# It was working fine earlier…….

# It suddenly stopped working…

# There seems to be a problem in….

# I found discrepancies……….

# It was faulty………..

# It is broken from inside……………

# There is a scratch………………..

Following are some of the sentence connectors that you may use to make your writing cohesive:

Useful Connectives

# Moreover

# Apart from this

# On the other hand

# Other than this

# In addition to this

# However

Now, you can try attempting the letters below:

Also Read: Recent IELTS Writing Topics: Topics and Question for the Year 2021

Letter Writing Topics with Sample Answers for IELTS Preparation

Letter Writing Question 1

You live in a University dormitory and are bothered by the excessive levels of noise emanating from a new campus eatery that is open until midnight. Write a letter to the University’s chancellor.

Band 8 Sample Answer

Dear Mr Garcia,

This letter is in response to the constant noise emanating from a new cafeteria that was recently launched near my University apartment. Although I am grateful that we have this building that assists students so much, the restaurant is open all night, and as a result, there is a lot of talking, yelling, music, and the loud sound of motorbikes until approximately 12:30 a.m. every night.

This puts me and my neighbours in the house in a difficult situation because we are either attempting to sleep, study, or do an assignment at that time. It’s hard to sleep since the noise is so loud.

The noise and bustle wake us up at night, disrupting our sleep and leaving us exhausted in the mornings, as well as interfering with our studies or tasks. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a very concerning scenario for all of us.

Complimentary Closing

To avoid additional difficulties, I propose that the campus authorities limit the canteen’s hours of operation to 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. I recommend that we additionally post signs urging people to be courteous and reduce their noise to a bare minimum. I’m hoping you’ll take the effort to put them in place to save us from the annoyance.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this important message.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Blake

Letter Writing Question 2

You’re in another country taking a brief course. The course organisers provided for your lodging. However, there is a significant issue with the accommodation. Send a letter to the course’s instructor.

Band 8 Sample Answer

Dear Sir/Madam,

I’m Graham Neelam, and I’m a participant in your school’s Effective Hiring Training Course. I’m writing to express my dissatisfaction with some of the problems I’m having with the room where I’ll be staying throughout my course.

I requested for single-room accommodation in writing before starting the course. I also stated that I would want to reside close to the institution rather than far away. However, I was assigned to a shared room, which I have been sharing for the past few weeks with another student. Furthermore, it is at least a 3o-minute walk from the facility where our lessons are held.

Letter Body Section

The room is too small for two people to live comfortably, and the ventilation system is inadequate. Fresh air and sunlight are unable to enter. The room is cramped, with two beds and two tables, and there isn’t enough space.

I assumed I’d be receiving a single room with plenty of light and circulation, as well as a location close to school. Instead, a shared room with a terrible ventilation system was assigned for me. As a result, I would be really grateful if you could find me a single, spacious room with adequate ventilation and airflow. I require a space that is suitable for both healthy living and diligent study.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this important message.

Yours faithfully,

Ryan Garcia

Letter Writing Question 3

There is no cafeteria for employees at the workplace where you work. Write a letter to your supervisor requesting that a cafeteria be put up for the employees.

Band 8 Sample Answer

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hope I didn’t catch you at a busy moment because I’m sure you have a lot of other things on your plate at work. However, the issue I’d want to bring up here is just as essential for our office employees.

The reason I’m writing this letter is that our work does not have a cafeteria where our employees may sit and enjoy snacks, beverages, and meals. This would not be such a big deal if they didn’t have to go 10-12 minutes to get anything to eat or drink during their brief breaks, wasting a lot of valuable work time in the process. Furthermore, travelling out like this merely to grab some snacks or a cup of coffee is difficult for us, especially if the weather isn’t cooperating.

Complimentary Closing

As a result, I’d like to suggest that you set up a staff cafeteria in the huge vacant space at the corner of our office, which is mostly underused. That way, our employees will have one less thing to worry about while they strive to be more efficient and productive at work.

I hope you will think about it and make plans to open a cafeteria soon. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude.

Yours faithfully,

Ryan Garcia

Also Read: Life Cycle of Silkworm Diagram: IELTS Diagram Writing Task 1

Letter Writing Question 4

A museum near your house is searching for volunteers to work part-time for free. You’d want to volunteer or perform some unpaid work at the museum.

To apply for volunteer/ unpaid labour, write a letter to the museum administrator.

Band 8 Sample Answer

Dear Sir/Madam,

I’m writing this letter in response to a recent job posting at your museum, where you’re looking for someone to undertake part-time volunteer or unpaid labour. I’d like to volunteer at your museum, and I’m hoping you’ll give me the chance.

Letter Body Section

I’m interested in taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity because I believe it will allow me to gain valuable skills that will help me advance in my profession. Furthermore, it would assist me in comprehending many key aspects of my country’s history that I would otherwise be unaware of.

In terms of my qualifications, I am computer literate and know how to operate well in a group setting. In addition, in high school, I took an art history class to help me comprehend and appreciate the worth of artworks. Furthermore, I live near to your museum, which would make commuting a breeze for me.

So, if you choose to employ me for this volunteer role, I will do my best to contribute to your team’s success. I am willing to work every day except Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and if you choose to hire me, I can begin immediately.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Ryan Garcia

IELTS Preparation Tips for Letter Writing

State the Purpose

Begin your letter by expressing the reason for your writing, or the purpose. The purpose for drafting your letter should be stated clearly in the first paragraph. Make sure the letter’s goal is to respond directly to the issue described in the inquiry.

Use the Right Tone

Let’s carry on to the next aspect of your letter that the assessor is searching for: its tone. The tone of the letter relates to the professional or casual style in which it is written. You’ll get a hint from the question’s guidelines.

Include Bullet Points

It is critical to include the bullet points provided in the question while writing a letter for the IELTS Writing Task 1.

Structure Your Letter

The structure of your letter is the final aspect to consider in IELTS Writing Task 1. A letter must follow a certain format, which includes the following:

# A greeting (For example, Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Garcia, Dear Mr. Garcia)

# The main body

# A closing (Yours faithfully, Yours sincerely, Best wishes)


Check for misspellings and grammatical mistakes in your letter. While your IELTS preparation, you may also have a trustworthy friend or coworker proofread it and point out places where it could be improved. Both of these procedures will guarantee that your message is both clearly readable, as well as polished.

We hope that you have learnt how to write a proper letter for the IELTS Writing Task.

Get better in IELTS preparation with courses from IELTS Ninja. Click here to check them out now.

Also Read: How to Describe Pie Chart in IELTS Writing Task 1? Learn the Best Way

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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