How to write an email for CELPIP Writing Task 1

CELPIP Writing Task 1

What is the difference between a formal and an informal email?

CELPIP Writing task 1 can be a formal or an informal email.


A formal email is the email you write to someone who is neither a friend nor a family member. The email should start with ‘Dear Sir’ and end with ‘Regards’ and your full name ‘Sam Bennet’.

In a formal email, you mustn’t use contractions. Write ‘it is’ not it’s, write ‘will not’ not ‘won’t’.

Use the formal form of words. Write ‘children’ not ‘kids’, write ‘delighted’ not ‘happy’.


An informal email is the email you write to a friend nor a family member. The email  should start with the person’s name, i.e.  ‘Dear Mike’ and end with ‘Thanks’ and your first name ‘Sam’.

In an informal email, you must use contractions. Write ‘it’s’ not ‘it is’, write ‘won’t’ not ‘will not’.

Use the informal form of words. Write ‘kids’ not ‘children’, write ‘happy’ not ‘delighted’.

How to write an email in celpip

How long should my response be?

As part of familiarizing yourself with how to write an email in CELPIP, you need to know how long your response should be and how long you have to write it. You have about 30 minutes to write your response, and it should be between 150 – 200 words.

You should try to keep your word count between those numbers. Being able to express yourself efficiently is part of the test, so you should be able to say everything you need to say in about 200 words. The examiner won’t penalize you if you need a few more words to make your point, but you may be penalized for writing 250 words because that shows your examiner that you don’t write efficiently.

“…When I started class with Angela, I was so confused. I understand much better now…”

To get an idea of your score, please paste your essay into the comments box below.

If you would like detailed feedback, please submit your response to our writing correction service.

How to write an email in CELPIP

When you prepare for CELPIP Writing task 1, your focus should be on writing well, expressing yourself efficiently, and ticking the examiners boxes.

Your examiner will be looking at your organization, vocabulary, phrasing, sentence variety, grammar, punctuation, and tenses.

Below, you’ll find some tips on how to write an email in CELPIP, but if you need more help please talk to us about tutoring.

Read and Understand the Question

To understand how to complete your CELPIP writing task 1 email, the first thing you need to do is read and internalize the question. The question tells you what to write about and identifies three things that you must include in your email. The question may ask you to complain, advise, request, or share.

A typical complaint question looks like this:

The heating in your apartment isn’t working and it has been cold all winter. Write to your building manager. In your email you should:

  • explain the problem
  • describe the impact
  • request remediation

How should I start my email?

When preparing for CELPIP Writing Task 1, it is important that you understand when to use a formal or an informal salutation and style. You should always start your email with a salutation.

If the email is formal, you should start with ‘Dear Sir’ or the person’s last name – ‘Dear Mr. Smith’. When the question identifies someone who is not your friend or family member, you should use a formal salutation.

If the email is informal, you should start with the person’s first name ‘Dear Mike’. When the question identifies someone who is your friend or family member, you should use an informal salutation.

How should I format my email?

Your email should have three paragraphs.

First Paragraph

In the first paragraph, identify the purpose of the email and give your reader an overview.

The first paragraph of a complaint letter, using the question above, might look like this:

Dear Sir,

I am writing to draw your attention to a heating issue in my apartment. Having mentioned the problem, in apartment 237, to your maintenance crew several times, and having received nothing but empty promises, my feelings of frustration are rapidly rising.

Second Paragraph

Leave a line space before your second paragraph.

In the second paragraph, elaborate on the problem beginning with a topic sentence that tells your reader what the paragraph is about.

Your second paragraph might look like this:

Our heating issues began in the late fall when chilly evenings set in, and our attempts to turn up the heat proved futile. Feeling sure that this was a temporary problem, we simply pulled on sweaters and added extra blankets to our beds. However, as the temperatures continued to drop, our concerns grew, and we asked a member of your maintenance crew to come and take a look at it.

Third Paragraph

Leave a line space before your third paragraph.

In the third paragraph, request remediation. In other words, tell the building manager what you want him to do about your problem.

Start with a topic sentence telling your building manager what the paragraph is about, and then elaborate on a possible solution.

Your third paragraph might look like this:

The temperature outside is now -30˚C and inside +5˚C thanks to an abundance of space heaters that our neighbours have been generous enough to lend to us. Obviously, this situation is unacceptable, and so we ask that you give the matter your prompt attention. Temporarily moving to a vacant apartment in the building while the heating is being fixed would be a welcome alternative.

Using the subjunctive in this paragraph highlights the urgency of your request.

we ask that you give the matter your prompt attention

How to write your salutation

Leave a line space before writing your salutation. Follow it with a comma.

Leave a line space before writing your first and last name.

Your salutation should look like this:


Mike Smith

For more CELPIP Writing Task 1 Email Samples, please check these pages:

15 thoughts on “How to write an email for CELPIP Writing Task 1”

  1. Dear Mr. Oviver

    I am writing to let you know that I am not able to perform my daily work and serve our clients as a receptionist simultaneously. I am really sorry that I can’t manage to do additional bucket of work.

    On January 31, 2023 our company signed a contract with Goji, Ltd and I am assigned as a project coordinator. Although we’ve been working with Gojo, Ltd, the current contract is totally new and has unknown for our company scope for which we have to find a good solution. That’s why I am deeply involved in this activity. Honestly, I have a lot on my plate.

    Tomorrow, our volunteer Sabrin will be back from her short vacation and I am pretty sure she will be grateful if you put her in charge of answering phone calls and navigating clients who come in. As a second option, Ramil, a sales manager from my team, is working under new research related to communication with clients and was searching for any additional possibilities to communicate with clients.

    Hope my suggestions are useful and will help you to find a proper person.

    Best regards,

  2. Dear Principal,

    I am writing to express my dissatisfaction of school studying criteria.
    Three week ago I purchased English language course from your school that’s highly paid course for me .When I was started class, I was so confused. I was trying to learn this course content but I was unable to desire understanding.
    Moreover, I written some writing task for correction. I have tried waiting to my score, but no-one seems to be able to tell me anything about my mistakes. Even, Instructor response is very insufficient no one available for speaking practice. I would like to suggest to make committee for teacher supervision. Mark your teacher attendance on regular bases and course material should be recommended by higher authorities.
    I have been a student of ABC Company for many years, and I hope to have this resolved so that I can continue to course in your school.
    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Your sincerely
    Sobia Asher

  3. Dear John,

    Hopefully, you are in great spirits! My apologies for not being present at your birthday party, but I am making up for it via this letter at least I hope so!

    A few days before the celebration, I went to take an abrupt business trip to Greenland. Sadly, severe weather conditions resulted in the cancelation off all outbound flights along with power shortage and network outrage; thereby, I was unable to reach you.

    To keep the streak alive of being present at your anniversary, I want to organize a small gathering on Friday evening around six, or is it too close to working hours? Recently I am falling in love with royal pub, and I mentally cannot picture a better spot!

    I am hoping this letter finds you well. Do get back to me whenever you get a chance. Can’t wait to see you soon!

    Best regards,

  4. Dear Sir,

    The purpose of my writing today is to draw your attention to our “Catsafer” charity. We are dedicated to rescuing cats from the streets to give them a home. Firstly, we take them to our facilities to feed, sterilize, and get vaccinated. Secondly, we post pictures of each cat on social media to find someone eager to adopt them.

    As we are running out of the budget since we rescued more than two hundred cats last weekend, which made us buy more cat food, get more vaccines, and do more surgeries than we usually do. Therefore, we are organizing a huge event in Market Square, where our facility is located, to cover the negative cash flow that we have now. We are planning to sell coffee, muffins, and donuts. People will be allowed to share time with the cats while they are in the event, and of course, they can adopt any cat if they desire after complying with the requirements.

    Moreover, we would like your company to be part of this event as one of our sponsors. It could be economic support or supplying us with coffee from your company. Either option you choose to help us will be fantastic and greatly helpful for our animals.

    I am looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

    Yours truly,

    Juana de Arco

  5. Dear Mr. Carol,

    I would like to regret for the situation and I want to inform you that I am unable to help in the reception area due to my current work. As you already know about my experience that I am working in the sales and marketing area, I am dealing with my clients most of the time without any break time.

    Before all else, the promotion as Team Leader which I got on last quarter makes me very busy and I got 5 team members. So, I have to guide and align them based on the market requirement. Moreover, the clients expects us to meet them when they get time, that is conspicuously our lunch time.

    Giving advice on this scenario is senseless, nevertheless, I would like to suggest you to hire a part-time employee who can replace the receptionist on her lunch time which helps her and other employees to have their lunch peacefully. I know lots of my friends who are college students and seeking their part time job. Kindly let me know whether I can refer my friends.

    Hope, you will consider my apology and convince the higher officials for the new job opening.

    Peter Paul

  6. Your manager asked you to work at the reception desk while the receptionist is getting lunch. This involves answering telephones and helping clients who come in. However, you are unable to help out because you have other work.

    Write an email to your manager in about 150-200 words. Your email should do the following things:
    • Apologize.
    • Explain why you don’t have time to help out.
    • Suggest a way to solve the problem.

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I am writing to inform you that I cannot be able to support the receptionist work temporarily until she is back form lunch. In addition, I do not have experience in answering calls and helping clients. Therefore, I sincerely apologize for not helping you here, as I have another work to complete it in the meantime.

    Unfortunately, I must wind up the project work which is supposed to present it in the upcoming meeting which will be held in our conference hall. So, I have to finish the work and deliver to our management by tomorrow without any delay. Moreover, our senior management will not tolerate if the work is not finished within the required time.

    However, I would like to suggest a solution. One of my friend’s, Gaurav, who is working in the sales department, has experience in customer service as well. If you agree with it, I can ask him to help you and I can ensure you that, he will not dismay you.

    I am optimistic that you will take this into consideration. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Yours sincerely,
    Peter Parker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.