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Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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1.1 What you write down

It might surprise you how much you actually write every day. A lot of our communication is now written.

Activity 1 Daily writing

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Make a list of the things you might write during a typical day. See if you can think of at least six and then make a note of what you use to write each one.

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Your list probably included some of the following:

  • Text message – mobile phone
  • Email – computer or mobile phone
  • Social media posts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) – mobile phone
  • Shopping list – phone, pen or, pencil
  • Telephone message – pen or felt-tip or pencil
  • Letter – computer or pen
  • Form – pen or online
  • Cheque – pen
  • Instructions – pen or felt-tip or pencil
  • Notes – pen or felt-tip, tablet or computer, pencil
  • Essay – computer or pen

You might have included some that aren’t on the list. You may well have found that you actually write more than you thought you did!

When you write a shopping list, you might use your phone, or a scrap of paper or the back of an envelope and write with whatever comes to hand – pencil, pen, felt-tip. However, if you write an important letter to apply for a job you are likely to use a computer. If you wrote by hand, you would need to be incredibly neat. In fact, handwritten formal letters are very rare. For most people, writing a job application letter by hand is out of the question.

How often, and how much, you write probably depends on how confident you feel about your handwriting and spelling. You may feel quite happy about sending a text to a friend but feel less confident if you have to write a formal letter or fill in a form.

Activity 2 Your writing

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Go back to the list you made in Activity 1 and note down whether you feel confident (C), quite confident (Q) or not confident (N) about writing in each of these ways.


Did you notice a pattern in your answers? Maybe you found that you were confident writing emails and texts, but less so with business letters and forms. You probably felt most confident with those things that you write most often or that are going to be read by family and friends.