Spanish letter writing formats are somewhat similar to those of English-language letters. However, variations do exist, and while informal letters between friends and family don’t need to adhere so strictly to convention, business and other formal letters should follow the rules.
- Skill level:
Place your (the sender’s) address in either the upper left or right corner. In some areas of South America, the sender’s address goes underneath the signature at the end of the letter.
Write the date in the upper right corner, under the address if this is where you decided to place it.
Add any reference lines and the recipient’s name and address on the left. Separate the two with a blank line, and add a blank line underneath the recipient’s address. Reference lines start with either “s/ref:” (“su referencia,” or “your reference”) or “n/ref:” (“nuestra referencia,” or “our reference”).
Add your greeting, followed by a colon (some countries might not require a colon). Place another blank line after the greeting and start your text. Do not indent paragraphs, and place a blank line between each paragraph. Place a blank line after the last paragraph.
Place the closing at the bottom right underneath the body of the letter, followed by a comma, and print and sign your name underneath that. If adding a title, print first, then sign and add the title under that; alternatively, you can reverse the positions of the title and the printed name.
Tips and warnings
- Envelope addressing conventions vary by country and can change over time. For example, the postcode might have its own line one year, and then a few years later the convention changes so that the code is on the same line with other information. Check with the country’s postal system if your correspondent has not provided you with the proper form, or if the address is old. Note that the site might not provide an English translation.
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