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英文商务电子邮件的开头和结尾如何写?

2020-01-01  江上向东...

 邮件开头

为保持结构上的清晰、简洁,方便收件人快速获取邮件的主要信息,商务电子邮件的开头部分不宜过长,以3~4行为宜。写开头部分时,可参照以下三种形式。

1. 直接点出邮件主旨。

一般而言,西方人喜欢开门见山的表达方式,因此他们常在邮件的开头部分直接点出邮件主旨。常见的直接表达邮件主旨的句型如下。

● With reference to the proposal, I would like to ...

● I am writing because …

● I am writing about …

● I wish to apologize/invite/complain

● I am very pleased/delighted to recommend …

2. 先提及与收件人之前的沟通情况(包括发邮件、发传真、打电话或见面等),然后再点出邮件主旨。

这种形式在商务电子邮件的开头部分比较常见,常用的句型如下。

● Further to our telephone call/meeting this morning, I am attaching/sending

● Thank you for your fax/email/letter/inquiry/order … Now I am pleased to confirm …

● It was a/my great pleasure to talk to you/meet you/receive … Now I am pleased to inform you that …

3. 先简要介绍写信人自身的情况或与邮件主旨相关的信息,然后再点出邮件主旨。

这种形式通常适用于首次进行商务沟通的人之间。具体来说,写信人需要介绍的内容大体分为三类:①介绍自身的情况(如姓名、工作地点、职位等);②说明自己是如何获取收信人的信息(如姓名、邮件地址等)的;③介绍与邮件主旨相关的信息。下面举例说明这一形式常用的句型。

● I would like to introduce myself. My name is Michael Lee, and I work as an engineer at HDC. I have been appointed to be your service engineer with immediate effect (即时生效).

● We have learnt from our factory in Ningbo City that you are looking for a supplier of paint brushes (油漆刷). As we have been dealing in (经营) this line for more than 30 years, we would like to enter into a business relationship with you.

● On Saturday, 3rd March, I bought a BX Mountain bike from your shop. Since then I have had to return it eight times for repairs. I wish to apply for a replacement from you.

上述三种形式在商务电子邮件中都比较常见。无论采用哪种形式开篇,写信人都应尽量言简意赅地点出邮件主旨。

 邮件结尾

商务电子邮件的结尾部分应力求简练,避免与上文的内容出现重复。在写这一部分内容时,写信人应注意措辞礼貌得体,语调积极乐观,尽量给收件人留下良好的印象。商务电子邮件常见的结尾方式有三种:①要求对方采取行动;②表示自己可以为对方提供帮助或反馈意见等;③感谢对方提供的帮助,或期待与对方开展合作。下面笔者一一介绍。

1. 要求对方采取行动。

这是商务电子邮件比较常见的结尾方式,通常要求收件人尽早采取行动,包括答复写信人的邮件、确认相关信息(如交货、付款等内容信息)等。以下为要求对方采取行动的常用句型。

● I am looking forward to your early reply.

● I am looking forward to meeting you soon.

● I would appreciate it very much if you could confirm the order ...

● I would be grateful if you could make the payment by the end of ...

2. 表示自己可以为对方提供帮助或反馈意见等。

为了保持与收件人更为顺畅的沟通和合作,写信人有时会在邮件结尾表明自己愿意为对方提供帮助,或声明自己会针对某一问题及时作出反馈。以这种方式结尾的常用句型如下。

● If you need any more information, please feel free to contact me. You can reach me on my direct line: 86-21-53456677.

● I will call you next Tuesday to discuss this matter.

● We will give you a reply immediately after reviewing your proposal.

3. 感谢对方提供的帮助,或期待与对方开展合作。

在商务邮件的结尾,若无其他需要强调的实质性内容,写信人通常会采用这种方式来对对方提供的帮助表示感谢,或表示期待与对方开展进一步的合作。以这种方式结尾的常用句型如下。

● I really appreciate your cooperation in solving this problem.

● We would be extremely pleased to have you as a regular customer.

● I am looking forward to cooperating with you.

● We are looking forward to providing our service for you at an early date.

 案例分析

下面我们以一封英文商务电子邮件为例,来具体分析撰写英文商务电子邮件常出现的问题和应注意的事项。

Dear Peter,

Mr. Jackson, our eBusiness Department head, will visit the Beijing subsidiary of ABC on April 12. He will hold a meeting regarding eBusiness communication and coordination between all ABC subsidiary companies. The estimated time for this meeting is two hours. I would like to set up this meeting with you: please confirm your availability for this date and time. Please also give me the names and phone numbers of anyone from your staff who you feel will benefit from this meeting.

Your prompt reply would be appreciated.

Best regards,

Jack Lee

ABC Building Shanghai

这封邮件的作者是某外企总公司商务部的一名助理。他写信的目的是通知北京分部的相关人士与他一起安排在北京分部召开的一次关于电子商务沟通的会议。上海总公司的电子商务部经理将出任会议主持人,并作一个主题演讲。写信人希望收件人确认会议的具体时间以及参会人员名单。这封邮件主要存在以下两个问题。

1. 没有在开头点出邮件主旨。

通过上述的介绍可知,这封邮件的核心内容是想通知北京分部的相关人士与写信人一起安排会议。但该邮件并没有在开头部分将这一主旨点出来,而是先介绍了一些次要信息。这一写法也体现了中西方的思维差异。根据美国学者Kaplan的调查,西方人的思维呈直线型,在进行语言表达时,他们喜欢直截了当、直奔主题,常采用先总后分、先重要后次要的表达方式;而东方人的思维呈螺旋型,在进行语言表达时,他们则比较委婉、含蓄,一般不直入主题,多采用先分后总、先次要后重要的表达方式。认识到中西方的这种思维和表达差异,我们在写英文邮件时就应该克服中式思维的影响,努力使自己的表达符合英文习惯。具体到这篇邮件中,写信人应该在邮件开头直接点出主旨。

2. 开头段落囊括了所有的信息点,层次混乱。

这封邮件的层次比较混乱,全文没有区分开头、主体和结尾段,而是将所有的信息都堆在了第一段中,容易给收件人造成阅读和理解障碍。另外,这篇邮件除了交代上文提到的核心内容外,还介绍了几点与会议相关的其他信息,包括会议的目的、主持人等。写信人在开头点明主旨后,应将这些相关信息放在主体段进行分段论述,以使邮件的结构更清晰,意思更明了。

邮件修改

Subject: Scheduling a Meeting in Beijing

Dear Peter,

I’m writing to set up a two-hour meeting with you in Beijing from 9:00 to 11:00 am on April 12.

The purpose of the meeting is better e-business communication and coordination between all ABC subsidiaries. Mr. Jackson, our E-business Department head, will come to Beijing to host the meeting and also make a presentation on the subject.

If you feel any of your staff will benefit from the presentation and would like to attend, please send me their names and phone numbers.

Please confirm whether you are available at the suggested date and time. I am looking forward to your prompt reply.

Best regards,

Jack Lee

ABC Building Shanghai


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