Lesson 9 - E-mail Communication and Business Letters

1.1.2022, , Izvor: Verlag Dashöfer

Lesson 9 – E-mail Communication and Business Letters


The Internet, e-mail communication, e-commerce – people who haven‘t heard these terms are today mere an exception. Especially the Internet and e-mails have become normal part of our lives, both working and private. Although they have made our lives easier, they still can become a reason of misunderstandings. Therefore this chapter should provide you useful hints, how to prevent and avoid such problem, (especially the E-mail communication section).

Yet, it is not only e-mail that is very helpful in written business communication, sometimes we need to rely on more traditional way of communication – writing letters. To write a good business letter is not such an easy task as it may seem at first sight. Therefore the Business letter section should provide you also some practical hints and a little bit of practice.

And last but not least this lesson is also paying attention to using commas in English, what is very useful in any type of written communication, and understanding comma rules helps to keep the structure of the sentence clear so that the text is easy to read and understand. And that is what we want to achieve.

So, take a deep breath…………………Let‘s start :-)

1.1. Objectives of the Lesson

To have the closer look on the Internet and e-mail usage (attitudes to e-mail usage, advantages and disadvantages, writing e-mails, email expressions, email abbreviations, length of e-mails, simplicity of e-mails, e-mail style, the Internet and e-commerce, B2B, B2C, B2G)

To learn and practice business letters writing in English (how to structure EB letters, salutations, paragraphs, greetings, numbers, English date and time, address, correcting a formal letter, writing letters of complaint and apology, enquiry, offer, order, order confirmation)

To learn and practice comma rules and punctuation

To learn or foster new and already known vocabulary and phrases

Reading Section

2.1. Internet and E-commerce

Read the following article about the Internet and E-commerce. Afterwards decide which sentences in the exercise below are true or false. Then answer the questions in the second part of exercise.

The Internet is a computer-based global information system. The Internet is composed of many interconnected computer networks. Each network may link tens, hundreds, or even thousands of computers, enabling them to share information and processing power. The Internet has made it possible for people all over the world to communicate with one another effectively and inexpensively. How was this possible? Unlike traditional broadcasting media, such as radio and television, the Internet does not have a centralized distribution system. Instead, an individual who has the Internet access can communicate directly with anyone else on the Internet, post information for general consumption, retrieve information, use distant applications and services, or buy and sell products.

The Internet has brought new opportunities to government, business, and education. Governments use the Internet for internal communication, distribution of information or automated tax processing. In addition to offering goods and services online to customers, businesses use the Internet to interact with other businesses. Many individuals use the Internet for communicating through electronic mail - e-mail, retrieving news, researching information, shopping, banking, paying bills, listening to music, playing games, and even making telephone calls.

Use of the Internet has grown tremendously since its inception. The Internet‘s success arises from its flexibility. Instead of restricting component networks to a particular manufacturer or particular type, Internet technology allows interconnection of any kind of computer network. No network is too large or too small, too fast or too slow to be interconnected. Thus, the Internet includes inexpensive networks that can only connect a few computers within a single room as well as expensive networks that can span a continent and connect thousands of computers.

Internet service providers (ISPs) provide Internet access to customers, usually for a monthly fee. A customer who subscribes to an ISP‘s service uses the ISP‘s network to access the Internet. Because ISPs offer their services to the general public, the networks they operate are known as public access networks. In most of the countries, ISPs are private companies; in countries where telephone service is a government-regulated monopoly, the government often controls ISPs.

Several technical challenges must be overcome if the Internet is to continue growing at the current phenomenal rate. The primary challenge is to create enough capacity to accommodate increases in traffic. Internet traffic is increasing as more people become Internet users and existing users send greater amounts of data. If the volume of traffic increases faster than the capacity of the network increases, congestion will occur; similar to the congestion that occurs when too many cars attempt to use a highway. To avoid congestion, researchers have to develop new technologies.

Electronic commerce, e-commerce or ecommerce primarily consists of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The information technology industry might see it as an electronic business application aimed at commercial transactions. It can involve electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, automated inventory management systems or automated data-collection systems. It typically uses electronic communications technology such as the Internet, extranets, e-mail, E-books, databases, and mobile phones. According to Forrester Research electronic commerce generated sales worth US $12.2 billion in 2003.

Note: When talking about the Internet, we usually use Capital I and definite article.

Exercise 1:

Decide which of these sentences are true or false:

  1. The Internet has a centralized distribution system.
  2. The Internet is very successful; the only disadvantage is that it is not flexible.
  3. If the Internet is to continue growing at the current enormous rate, several technical problems must be solved.

Answer these questions shortly:

  1. How is it possible that the Internet allowed effective communication to so many people worldwide?
  2. What does e-commerce primarily consist of?

Idioms and Phrases

  1. The Internet, Intranet and Extranet

Exercise 2:

Complete the beginnings of sentences below with the appropriate endings:

  1. An Intranet operates
  2. The Internet operates
  3. An Extranet operates
  4. outside the company or organization and is open to the public.
  5. inside the company or organization.
  6. outside the company or organization, but it‘s not open to the public.

  1. The Internet

ISP – Internet service provider – is the organization that provides the Internet access. After you are connected, you can surf to any site on the World Wide Web. When

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