Test your email vocabulary to see how professional you sound

Die Korrespondenz per E-Mail hat einen so wichtigen Stellenwert, dass Sie die dafür typischen englischen Vokabeln und Standardsätze aus dem Effeff beherrschen sollten. Machen Sie den Test!

Here is a short exercise to see if you have all the English vocabulary you need to talk about or write emails. As a regular reader of Secretary Today you’ll have no problem getting everything right! So why don’t you try?

Und wenn Sie noch kein regelmäßiger Leser von Secretary Today sind, sollten Sie hier klicken … und das am besten jetzt gleich ändern. Denn Secretary Today steht für perfekte britische und amerikanische Korrespondenz, Gespräche, Telefonate, Geschäftsbesuche und sicheren Small Talk. Fordern Sie Ihren persönlichen Business English Trainer jetzt zum kostenlosen 30-Tage-Test an – klicken Sie hier!

1) There are many ways of saying, “Bitte setzen Sie mich in cc wenn Sie ihm schreiben.” Which two of these four alternatives are possible?

a) Please copy me in when you write to him.

b) Please set me in cc when you write to him.

c) Please put me in copy when you write to him.

d) Please cc me when you write to him.

2) An automated message telling others when you are away is always a good idea – if it is correct. But only one of these three sentences is correct. Which one is it?

a) I am out of office until January 5, 2012.

b) I am not in office until January 5, 2012.

c) I am out of the office until January 5, 2012.

3) Which is the correct form of address in an email when you don’t know the name of the recipient?

a) Ladies and Gentlemen:

b) Dear Sirs,

c) Dear Sir or Madam

4) You need an answer quickly. Which of these alternatives is best in a business email?

a) Please reply immediately.

b) I look forward to hearing from you soon.

c) I can’t wait to hear from you.

5) You have already exchanged some emails with a British customer. What is the most appropriate closing?

a) Yours sincerely

b) Best regards

c) Regards

6) You are sending someone a pdf file. What do you write?

a) Please find enclosed a pdf.

b) I am attaching a pdf.

c) In the enclosure you will find a pdf.

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Here are the answers to the email exercise

As well as the answers, there are also some detailed explanations about why these answers, and not others, were correct. You’ll find these explanations helpful if you made any mistakes. After reading them, you won’t make the same mistake again!

1) a and d – “copy me in” and “cc me”.

2) c – out of the office. Please don’t write “I am out of office until…”. A lot of non-native speakers do this, but it is wrong. You can say “I have written an out of office email,” but you have to say “I am out of the office until…”

out of office email: Abwesenheits-E-Mail

I am out of the office / Ich bin nicht im Büro/Ich bin abwesend.

3) c – Dear Sir or Madam. The other answers are not exactly wrong, but “Ladies and Gentlemen” sounds like the beginning of a formal speech, and “Dear Sirs,” is old-fashioned and also very formal and sexist.

4) b – This is the standard polite ending for an email. “Please reply immediately” is too impolite, “I can’t wait to hear from you” is something you could write in a personal email to a good friend, but not to a business partner.

5) b – Answer a (yours sincerely) is too formal for an email to someone you have already written to. Answer c (Regards) could sound a little short or even impolite.

6) b – I am attaching a pdf. Answers a and c are both incorrect because you can’t enclose something in an email, only attach it.