Model answer for complaining

Now read the model below to see how to write a full letter. WRITING TASK I You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. You were recently shopping in a local clothes store and the shop assistant was extremely rude to you. Write a letter to the shop owner about the incident. In your … Read more

Aggressive v assertive complaints

One of the most common errors in Task 1 complaint letters is when the candidate uses overly aggressive language which sounds overly rude or excessively argumentative.  For example: BAD EXAMPLE: Give me an answer immediately. BETTER REPHRASED AS: I trust that I will be hearing from you in the very near future. Being less direct … Read more


Now we will look at complaining, starting with this quick test. Click the link below to get started!

Video: The best letter

Narration: Now we will look at each of the letters from the previous exercise. Letter 1 was the most suitable response for a number of reasons. First, the register of the letter is appropriate – it is formal, which suits a letter of apology in a business context. Second, it covers all of the points … Read more

The best letter

This is the title of the Task 1 letter you saw in the previous presentation. You are writing an important report for your Managing Director who is based at your company’s head office. You are unable to meet the deadline and need an extension. Write a letter to your Director. In your letter • explain … Read more

Video: Apologising tips

Narration: Apologising tips. If you have to write a letter of apology in Task I, as with any writing for IELTS, you have to address all of the points given in the question. Sometimes it can be difficult to write enough words in a Task I letter. Here are some general points you could consider … Read more

Complaint or apology?

Before we continue with this lesson, let’s just make sure you can identify whether you are being asked to write a letter of complaint or a letter of apology. Click the link below to get started!

Essential vocabulary for this lesson

To complete this lesson, you will need to know the following vocabulary. When you are sure you know all the words, continue to the next page. SUITABLE CONFRONTATIONAL APOLOGY COMPLAINT AGGRESSIVE REPLY DAMAGE DEADLINE ACCUSING CONTEXT RECTIFY RESPONSE REPETITIVE AWARENESS

Summary of this lesson

In this lesson, you should have learned… the types of lessons where you need to complain or apologise in Task 1 the essential language you should use how to avoid being too direct or rude when complaining a model example of a letter of complaint Now take the end of lesson review