Alternatively, use a service or a .

The most popular service is: .





Internet services such as MSN (Microsoft), Yahoo and AOL provide a service called an Instant Messenger.

A basic blog can be created for free, and is very easy to update.

This sort of friend is known as a penfriend (American English: penpal).

Just type a message and press the return key to send it.

Five plain declarative sentences that get the story started at full speed—WHAP! You’re right in that room at the Shanghai Conservatory on that June afternoon in 1981.

Chatting in this way is a good way of improving your writing skills.

Jazz came to China for the first time on the afternoon of June 2, 1981, when the American bassist and French-horn player Willie Ruff introduced himself and his partner, the pianist Dwike Mitchell, to several hundred students and professors who were crowded into a large room at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The students and the professors were all expectant, without quite knowing what to expect. They only knew that they were about to hear the first American jazz concert ever presented to the Chinese. Probably they were not surprised to find that the two musicians were black, though black Americans are a rarity in the People’s Republic. What they undoubtedly didn’t expect was that Ruff would talk to them in Chinese, and when he began they murmured with delight.

For example, you should write Mr Smith (short for Mister) or Dr Smith (short for Doctor), but Prof.

We ask our favorite writers about their favorite titles

For details, see:
The most common languages learnt by British people are French, German, Spanish and Italian (in that order), so it may be easier for people speaking these languages to find an English language partner.

Another useful website is My Language Exchange:

For languages which are less commonly taught in the UK, you may be able to find an exchange partner by attending a social event attended by British people who are interested in your culture (see: ), visiting a website for people who are interested in your culture, or by contacting a place (in your country or in the UK) where your language is taught to British people.





Many people enjoy sending an receiving e-mail, especially if they share a common interest.

Adam Nicolson’s look at the great avian ocean voyagers

If you are paying for each minute that you are connected to the internet, you may want to write e-mails while you are not connected and then connect just to type the message and send it.

E-mails are usually written in a less formal style than letters.

Your signature proves that you wrote the letter, and also makes it a little bit more personal.

Now let me turn that sentence into the passive:

Some people prefer to correspond using letters (sometimes called "snail mail" because it is slower), while others prefer to use e-mail (sometimes this kind of penfriend is also called a key pal or an e-pal)

To find a penfriend website, you can type penfriend, pen friend, penpal, pen pal, key pal or e-pal into a search engine such as Google: .

If you want to find a penfriend from a particular part of the UK, you could try the following links:
English friends:
Welsh friends:
Scottish friends:
Irish friends:

International Penpals is one of the larger penpal organisations:
Europa Pages have a penpal site for international students:

For your security, you should not give out your personal address or phone number to someone until you are sure you can trust the person.

A less formal ending would be just "Yours", or something like "Regards" or "Best wishes".

Rewrite the following in a more direct style:

For example, the way of writing dates is different (the order is day, month, year in Britain, eg 1/2/2002 or 1 Feb 2002 or 1st February 2002; month, day, year in the US, eg 2/1/2002 or Feb 1 2002 or February 1st 2002), and the way of starting and ending the letter may also be different.

You should normally type a business letter, but a letter which is written neatly by hand is also acceptable.

First, Clarity. If it’s not clear you might as well not write it. You might as well stay in bed.

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You may use any media to do this, but if you are living in different places, an exchange using e-mail or a Messenger service is the most common.

One way to find a language exchange partner is to use the eTandem service.