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How to write an email in French

In the digital age, emails are widely used for communication, whether it is for administrative purposes, job inquiries, or personal reasons. Writing an email is not always straightforward when you're unfamiliar with the rules to follow. Just like in English, an email written in French must adhere to certain essential rules to ensure it is read and understood clearly by the recipient.

What is the structure of an email in French?

The perfect email has a structure!

To be effective when composing an email, it's recommended to follow the following structure:

  1. Subject
  2. Greetings
  3. Presentation and message Introduction
  4. Main Message
  5. Closing Phrases

The Email Subject of “l’objet du mail” in French

The perfect email includes a subject!

Just like in English, the email subject is crucial to precisely convey the content of the email. It is the first thing the recipient sees after the sender's name. To indicate the email's importance and encourage its opening, the subject should be concise and engaging. It could relate to various subjects, such as:

  • Une réclamation : claim
  • Une candidature: an application (e.g., for an internship: candidature pour un stage: for a work-study application : une alternance; for an unsolicited application: une candidature spontanée...)
  • Une demande d’information : request for information
  • Une relance : second request or reminder
  • Prise de contact, de la part de … : contact on behalf of …
  • Demande de précision : supplemental details
  • RDV: meeting

Greetings or “formules de salutation” in French

The perfect email starts with a greeting! The choice of wording depends on the recipient:


If it's a professional email, you can use the following greetings:

  • Cher/ Chère monsieur/ madame / mademoiselle : dear Mr. / Mrs. / Miss…
  • Cher Monsieur/ Chère Madame : dear Sir / Madame
  • À qui de droit : To whom it may concern


If you're sending an email to a friend or family member:

  • Cher Bryan : dear Bryan
  • Mon cher Bryan : dearest Bryan / my dear Bryan
  • Salut / bonjour : hello / hi

Email introduction or "présentation du mail" in French :

The perfect email includes an introduction!

Depending on the email's subject and the recipient, you can start addressing the main point in different ways:


  • Je vous écris pour me renseigner sur… : I am writing to inquire about
  • Je vous écris en référence à…: I am writing in reference to...
  • Je vous contacte au sujet de …: I'm contacting you with regard to...
  • Suite à votre dernier mail …: Further to your last email...


  • Comment vas-tu ? : How are you?
  • Je voulais juste savoir si … : I just wanted to know if...
  • Pourrais-tu … ?: Could you please...?

The Main Message or "message principal” in French

The perfect email contains a main message!

Here, the goal is to be concise and precise. Maintain the same tone as at the beginning of the email and ensure it is formal if it's a professional context. In this section, you can express agreement, disagreement, request additional information, or confirm an appointment:


  • Je pense la même chose de...: I think the same about…
  • Je dois dire que je pense le contraire: I have to state that I think otherwise
  • Je vous écris pour confirmer un rendez-vous avec vous le...: I am writing to confirm an appointment with you on…


  • Je suis d’accord avec ça : I agree with that…
  • Je ne suis pas d’accord avec toi : I don’t agree with you
  • Et si on se retrouvait vendredi prochain ?: How about we get together next Friday?

Closing Phrases or "formules de clôture" in French

The perfect email ends with a closing or polite phrase!

Conclude your email gracefully, ensuring it aligns with the rest of the text:


  • J’attends de vos nouvelles : I look forward to hearing from you soon
  • Cordialement: Yours sincerely.
  • N'hésitez pas à me contacter si vous avez besoin de plus d'informations : Please contact me if you need any further information.


  • Bonne journée !: Have a good day!
  • À bientôt: See you soon.
  • Bises: Love.
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