How to write a letter in Spanish - Lingoda (2024)

Modern correspondence is quite casual, but when you write a letter in Spanish, your tone and phrasing should match the recipient and occasion. This applies to formal and informal communication in the form of a letter (carta) as well as an email (correo electronico). In the following, we’ll show you how to write a letter in Spanish both formally and informally and introduce you to useful phrases for written communication.

  • How to address and format a letter in Spanish
  • How to write a formal letter in Spanish
  • How to write an informal letter in Spanish
  • Useful phrases for writing a letter in Spanish

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How to address and format a letter in Spanish

Begin your letter with a proper header and place your own address at the top, either in a single line or as a block in the top left corner. Follow with the recipient’s address.

Addressing your recipient

Don’t forget to include a person’s title, degree or position before their name:

  • Prof. Noelia Namaste– Professor Noelia Namaste
  • Ing. Jorge Pérez– Jorge Pérez, Engineer
  • Dr. Manuel Miranda– Doctor Manuel Miranda
  • Abg. Juan Tomasi– Juan Tomasi, Attorney

Adding the date

Next is the date, which is a single line aligned to the right:

  • Jueves, 2 de abril del 2020– Thursday April 2nd 2020

Take note of the European date format where the day precedes the month. The first letter of the day is capitalized because it’s the beginning of the line, but the month is written in all lowercase. You can follow the date with a subject line or you can summarise your business in the opening of your letter after the greetings.

How to write a formal letter in Spanish

Opening a formal letter

There are a couple of ways in which you can open a letter in Spanish with a formal greeting:

  • Distinguido Señor Rosario: / Distinguida Señora Rosario– Distinguished Mr./Mrs. Rosario
  • Estimado Sr. Roberto– Dear Mr. Roberto
  • Estimada Sra. Rosita– Dear Mrs./Ms. Rosita
  • Estimada Srta. GarridoDear Miss Garrido
  • Estimado señor / Estimada señora– Dear sir / Dear madam
  • Muy señor mío: / Muy señora mía – Dear sir / Dear madam
  • Estimados señores– Dear sirs/ madams
  • A quien pueda interesar: / A quien corresponda– To whom it may concern
  • Don Hector– Dear Hector

Take note to use the personal pronounsusted / ustedes,the formal version of you, to show your respect. Formal Spanish communication can sound over the top or “flowery” to the ears of an English speaker, but it’s normal for natives. When in doubt how to address a lady, useSeñoraoverSeñoritato not be disrespectful. The formal greeting is followed by a colon, not a comma as is common in English.

Closing a formal letter

An official closing to a letter in Spanish is equally formal:

  • Le(s) saluda atentamente, – Yours sincerely,
  • Cordialmente, / Atentamente,– Sincerely, / Sincerely yours, / Yours sincerely,
  • Saludos cordiales,– Best regards,
  • Se despide cordialmente,– Saying goodbye cordially,
  • Esperando su respuesta,– Waiting for your reply,
  • Quedo a la espera de sus noticias,– Looking forward to hearing from you,
  • Muchísimas gracias,– Thank you very much,
  • Sin otro particular, lo saludo.– Having nothing further to add, I send my regards.
  • Cordialmente, y a la espera de una respuesta, me despido.– Cordially, and awaiting an answer, I send my regards.
  • Desde ya, agradezco el recibimiento de mi solicitud y aguardo su respuesta.– I thank you for receiving my request and await your reply.

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How to write an informal letter in Spanish

Opening an informal letter

You can take more liberties when opening a Spanish letter with an informal greeting and express the various degrees of how close you are to the recipient:

  • Hola,– Hi, / Hi there, / Hey,
  • Querido Pablo,– Dear Pablo,
  • Querida Pilar,– Dear Pilar,
  • Queridos,– Dears,
  • Amado / Amada– Beloved

Closing an informal letter

Likewise, there are many different ways to say goodbye and include the best wishes for the recipient:

  • Un saludo, / Saludos,Cheers, / Greetings,
  • Seguimos en contacto,– Let’s keep in touch,
  • Espero saber de ti pronto,– Hope to hear from you soon,
  • Besos, / Abrazos,– Kisses, / Hugs,
  • Con todo mi cariño / afecto / amor,– With all my caring / affection / love,
  • Cuídate,– Take care,
  • Hasta pronto, / Hablamos pronto,– Until soon, / Talk soon,
  • Muchas gracias,–Many thanks
  • Afectuosamente,– affectionately
  • ¡Nos vemos!– See you!

Useful phrases for writing a letter in Spanish

For the content of your letter, these are words and phrases you can use to state your business in a formal context or address issues in an informal context when writing a letter in Spanish:

Le / les estoy contactando sobre…I am reaching out to you regarding…formal
Ante todo reciba un cordial saludo.First of all, receive a warm greeting.formal
Le / les informo mediante esta carta…I inform you through this letter..formal
Por medio de la presente quisiera formalizar…Through this, I would like to formalise…formal
La presente carta tiene por motivo…The purpose of this letter…formal
Adjunto encontrará(n)…Attached please find…formal
Gracias por su asistencia con este asunto.Thank you for your assistance in this matter.formal
Por favor no dude(n) en contactarme si necesita(n) más información.Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.formal
Quedo a la espera de recibir noticias suyas tan pronto le sea posible.I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.formal
Te escribo porque…I’m writing to you because…informal
Me quería comunicar contigo sobre…I wanted to touch base regarding…informal
Tanto tiempo sin hablar.Long time no talk.informal
¡Tanto tiempo!It’s been a while!informal
¿Cómo te va?How are you doing?informal
Espero que estés bien.Hope you’re doing well.informal
Quiero invitarte a…I want to invite you to…informal
Te escribo para contarte…I am writing to tell you…informal

If you want to include anything after you’ve already said your goodbyes, a postscript (PS) in Spanish ispostdata(PD).

How to post a letter in Spain

Here is some additional useful vocabulary for posting a letter in Spain:

  • dirección– address
  • remitente– sender
  • destinatario– recipient
  • códigopostal– ZIP code
  • sobre– envelope
  • estampillas– stamps
  • firma– signature

Send that letter now!

In Spain, the tobacconists (tabaqueriás) usually sell stamps as well and you can even ask them for the correct postage for a national or international destination. You can post your stamped and addressed letter in one of the official mailboxes or go to a post office,oficina postaloroficina de correos– private postal companies exist, but in many parts of the county, the royal mail will be what’s available.

You are now more than equipped to draft and send both formal and informal letters in Spanish. Get to writing now!

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How to write a letter in Spanish - Lingoda (1)

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How to write a letter in Spanish - Lingoda (2024)


How to start a letter in Spanish formally? ›

There are a couple of ways in which you can open a letter in Spanish with a formal greeting:
  1. Distinguido Señor Rosario: / Distinguida Señora Rosario – Distinguished Mr./Mrs. ...
  2. Estimado Sr. ...
  3. Estimada Sra. ...
  4. Estimada Srta. ...
  5. Estimado señor / Estimada señora – Dear sir / Dear madam.
Apr 14, 2020

How do you write a formal letter answer? ›

To write a formal letter, there are some points to be remembered.
  1. Always start with the sender's address.
  2. This is followed by the date.
  3. The receiver's address comes next. ...
  4. The subject of the letter is very important. ...
  5. The salutation can be Dear Sir/Ma'am. ...
  6. The body of the letter can be written in 3 paragraphs.

How do you end a friendly letter in Spanish? ›

as "sincerely" in English, is atentamente. That can also be expanded to le saluda atentamente or les saluda atentamente, depending on whether you're writing to one or to more persons, respectively. A more casual ending that can be used in business letters is cordialmente.

What is the difference between formal and informal Spanish? ›

To review, Spanish has two ways of saying you: tú, which is informal, and usted, which is formal. We use the informal style when speaking to a friend, a family member or a child. We use the formal style when speaking to someone in a position of power or someone we are meeting for the first time.

What is the best starting sentence in a formal letter? ›

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to complain about……./to request information about…./to apply for…/to enquiry after…../to inform you…../to thank you…. There are plenty of templates for writing formal letters in WORD.

What is the correct way to start a letter? ›

If you are on first-name terms with the reader, use 'Dear Jane'. Otherwise use 'Dear Mr Smith', 'Dear Miss Smith' or, if you are writing to a woman and don't know which title she prefers, use 'Dear Ms Smith'. If you don't know the person's name, use 'Dear Sir', 'Dear Madam' or occasionally 'Dear Sir or Madam'.

What is the most respectful way to end a letter? ›

Sincerely (or sincerely yours) is often the go-to sign off for formal letters, and with good reason.

How do you say "dear" in a letter in Spanish? ›

To start an informal letter, you'd normally use the form of address, Querido (dear). For example: Querido Juan: (Dear Juan) Querida Ana: (Dear Ana)

What do you reply when someone says "cómo estás?"? ›

When someone asks you ¿Cómo estás? If you feel alright, you say estoy bien; you could also say, estoy muy bien, to give more emphasis, which means “very good” or “very well.” You can also add one extra word, gracias, meaning “thanks”, and estoy bien, gracias; it means “I'm fine, thank you.”

What to say instead of "y tu"? ›

Synonyms for ¿Y tú? ¿Y usted? And you? ¿Y vos?

Is qué pasa formal or informal? ›

Secondary Greeting / Checking In
SpanishEnglish equivalentFormality
¿Qué pasa?What's happening?Informal
¿Cómo va tu día?How is your day going?Informal
¿Qué tal?What's up?Informal
¿Dónde has estado?Where have you been?Informal
6 more rows

How do you start a formal letter respectfully? ›

Open with a respectful greeting

Regardless of the content of your letter, try to begin with a friendly and respectful greeting. Use the recipient's full name and open with a salutation such as “dear Miss. Adkins”, followed by “I hope this letter finds you well.”

How do you start an email in Spanish politely? ›

Email greetings in Spanish
  1. Querido Juan – Dear Juan.
  2. Querida Angela – Dear Angela.
  3. Queridos Juan y Angela – Dear Juan and Angela (In Spanish, the masculine form queridos is used for both sexes.)
Sep 16, 2019

How do you start a formal letter greeting? ›

You can address the recipient by starting with "Dear" followed by a personal title, such as "Mr." or "Ms." If you have the full name of the recipient of your business letter, you can enhance the formal nature of the letter by starting with "Dear" followed by a personal salutation, such as "Dear Ms.

How might you begin a formal letter? ›

After writing the date and the recipient's contact information, open with a greeting. Formal letters begin with “Dear” and the name of the person receiving your letter. If you don't know the name, write the job title or department. Only use “To Whom It May Concern” as a last resort.


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