E-mails are less formal than letters, we know that all too well. nevertheless, it is necessary to draft your e-mails professionally. And that you follow well-defined rules. Even in French! Here we give you a crash course in e-mailing in French.
1. Make sure you have a clear subject line.
«Confirmation de votre commande N°23589»
«Invitation aux Portes Ouvertes du 20 avril»
«Absence à la session du 18/04»
A short and concise subject line often determines whether or not the recipient opens your e-mail.
2. Choose the right form of address.
E-mail communication from a good colleague is obviously very different from that with a customer or with a manager. So be wary of this and therefore effectively adapt your tone to your correspondent, starting with the opening sentence of your e-mail.
|Madame la Directrice,||retake the title of your correspondent if you know it|
|Madame, Monsieur,||use this if you do not know to whom your e-mail is addressed|
|Chère cliente, Cher client,
|use this if you do not know to whom your e-mail is addressed|
Be sure not to forget capital letters and commas when addressing them. If you do not know whether your contact is a man or a woman, mention both addresses starting with the feminine form: Honneur aux dames :).
3. Get straight to the point!
4. Be polite.
Serait-il possible de…?
Je voudrais …
5. Stick to the use of 'tu' and 'vous'.
6. Leave a good impression.
Don't forget to show your willingness by mentioning the following in your e-mail, for example: En cas de doute, n'hésitez pas à me contacter. And as for addressing, always end your emails with the appropriate form of politeness. Here are some examples, from most to least formal:
- Salutations distinguées,
- Sincères salutations,
- Bien à vous,
- Bonne journée,
Avoid abbreviations such as cdlt, bàv, slt; these are often too familiar and best used when writing to someone you already know well.
7. Write your own e-mails.
Nowadays, there are many free and effective translation apps on the Internet. Like DeepL, for example. Nevertheless, it is better to write your e-mails yourself. That way you will make progress in French and give your e-mails a personal touch!
Would you also like to learn to write smooth and effective texts and e-mails in French? Or would you like to boost your French with a flexible language course tailored to your needs? Quickly discover our range of French language courses or get in touch with us.