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How should I start my OET letter when no name is given?



One of my YouTube students, Aswathy, got in touch after watching my video on "How to start your OET letter effectively" and wanted to know more about the acronym F.A.O.


Sometimes, in a set of OET casenotes, they'll ask you to write to the Nurse, or Physiotherapist, or Doctor. Most often, they'll give you his or her name, but not always, and this is where you can use F.A.O, which just means "For the Attention Of".


In order words, your letter would look something like this:


Recipient's Job Title (This might be Doctor / Ward Nurse / Physiotherapist etc. If you know their actual name, you would put that first and then their title underneath).

Recipient's Address


Date (as instructed in your case notes).


Re: Patient's Name and Date of Birth (or age if that's given)


Dear (and now, you would normally say, Mr Phillips, or Dr Phillips, or Nurse Phillips etc).


But if you don't have their name, you can just say:


Dear Nurse / Doctor / Physiotherapist


OR as an alternative way to begin, you could say:


F.A.O. The Charge Nurse / The Head of the Carehome / The Physiotherapist etc.

Dear Colleague,


So you can use the usual version - just "Dear + Job Title", or if you feel like something a bit different, you could use "F.A.O + Job Title". And then "Dear Colleague,".


You can use F.A.O before any job title provided that you don't know their name. If you do, use that instead!


I hope this helps and if you want any further practice, why not check out our OET writing playlist on YouTube!


Keep those questions coming in and good luck with the OET prep!


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