How to Write A Formal Email in French

How To Write A Formal Email In French

1. Use the proper greeting

Being polite is important. 

If you don’t know the name nor the gender of the recipient (le destinataire), use:

  • Madame, Monsieur,
  • Mesdames, Messieurs,

If you know the gender but not the name, then only Madame or Monsieur should be used.

Even if you know the recipient’s name, then Madame or Monsieur is still appropriate.

A formal relationship with someone whose title you know:

  • Madame la directrice,
  • Monsieur le Président,

A formal relationship with someone whose name you know:

  • Monsieur Untel,
  • Madame Dupont

2. Introduce yourself

You have to explain the purpose of your email at first.

After the greetings, introduce your reason for writing. For instance, you can refer to an earlier in-person conversation with the recipient (le destinataire). For example:

  • Suite à notre entretien du 14 juin: Following up on our interview on June 14th…

  • The following phrases are good choices when your letter’s intent is to inquire about employment
    Je vous propose ma candidature pour le poste: I would like to submit my candidacy for the position

  • Je me réfère à votre annonce parue dans: with reference to your post advertised in

  • Votre annonce parue dans… a retenu toute mon attention: Your post advertised in… caught my attention

  • Je me permets de poser ma candidature pour le poste de… / au poste de: I wish to apply for the post of…

  • Je vous serais très reconnaissant/reconnaissante de : I would be very grateful if you could…

3. Be 100% Formal

When writing formal letters, always use “vous” and never “tu”.

When using you in the singular form, tu implies intimacy and informality, whereas vous is used in formal contexts.

4. How to write “enclosed” for an attached file

Most official documents have a title, so look for the title to insert the appropriate name of the document.

  • Veuillez trouver le document demandé en pièce: Please find the requested document as asked
  • Je vous joins mon CV: I enclose my resume
  • Veuillez trouver ci-joint mon CV: Please find attached my resume

5. Choose the right objet

However, just like an email in English, you’ll have a subject or in French “objet” which tells the recipient what the email is about. Choose a keyword that is professional. For example:

  • Candidature pour le poste de chef de projet: Application for the position of project manager
  • Location appartement: Apartment rental
  • Demande de renseignements: Information request

6. Closing

A French business email always ends with a formule de politesse, a closing formula.

Some typical formal ending formulas are:

  • Je vous prie d’agréer, (repeat the title as you started your letter), l’expression de mes salutations distinguées.: Yours sincerely.

  • Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de mes salutations distinguées.

  • Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame Intel, l’expression de mes salutations distinguées.

Another formal sentence would be:

  • Je vous prie d’agréer, (repeat the title as you started your letter), l’expression de mes salutations dévouées.

  • Je vous prie d’agréer, (repeat the salutation), l’expression de mes sentiments distingués.

The following sentence adds an extra thank you at the beginning for some extra respect points.

  • Avec mes remerciements, je vous prie de trouver ici, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués. 

If you’re waiting on a response from someone in a formal situation, you can add “waiting for your response” to the beginning of one of these expressions: 

  • Dans l’attente de votre réponse, je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur/Madame, l’expression de mes salutations distinguées.


FRENCH ACADEMY | +91 9811841782

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *