IELTS General Writing Task #2

Tip: In the first paragraph, explain why you are writing. In this case, because you are concerned about the fines.

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir,

You borrowed some books from your school or college library. Unfortunately you have to go away to visit a sick relative and cannot return the books in time.

Write a letter to the library. Explain what has happened and tell them what you want to do about it.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to inform you that I am unable to return the books I have borrowed from the library this week. I appreciate this will not be welcome news, though I feel I must explain my circumstances and ask for your patience at this time.

Unfortunately, yesterday evening I learned that my younger brother has contracted a serious illness. Although we are hopeful that he will make a full recovery, my parents were struggling to cope with attending to his needs and those of their farm. I have therefore decided to travel home to help them for the next two weeks as I have no classes.

I must admit that I forgot about these books as I hastily packed. I promise to return the books as soon as I return, which will mean they will be three days late. I accept that I will have to pay late fines, although I would be grateful if you were willing to waive these in the circumstances.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Yours faithfully,

(176 words)

Useful Language

to contract an illness – to get sick/to become ill

a full recovery – to return to normal health

attending to one’s needs – to look after someone, especially when they are sick

hastily packed – to pack quickly and without much thought

late fees/fines – an amount of money to pay if you return a book late to a library

to waive a fee/fine – to allow someone to not pay a fine or fee

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