General Writing Task 1IELTS Writing

General Writing Sample Task 1 #74 – Visiting a friend

You arranged to visit a friend in Canada but an important event at home now means that you must change the dates of the visit. Write a letter to your friend.

You arranged to visit a friend in Canada but an important event at home now means that you must change the dates of the visit.

Write a letter to your friend. In your letter:

    • explain the important event
    • apologise for the situation
    • suggest a new arrangement

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses.


Model answer 1

Dear Tani,

How are things with you? I’m afraid something has come up here which will probably affect my visit to Canada. Last week I was chosen to play tennis for my regional team in a national tournament. It was completely unexpected. I’m sorry but this probably means that I won’t be able to visit you for the first week of January, as we planned. I must stay here and practise until the tournament begins, later that month.

I wonder if it is possible for me to visit you later in the year. I can take some time off in early March and my air ticket can be changed with no problem. Is March a possibility for you?

Please write and let me know what your reaction is. I’m sure you realise that it’s an honour to be selected to represent your region and so I don’t want to miss this great opportunity. I hope you will understand.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you,

Warm Regards,

(174 words)


Model Answer 2

Dear Tani,

I hope this letter finds you in great health! With blended feelings of both happiness and sadness, I need to tell you that I will need to postpone my visit to meet you as the much-awaited marriage for my sister has finally been fixed during the second half of November month. As you know, Indian marriages traditions are given the utmost importance, being her only real sibling- I need to be present during all the occasions and ceremonies.

I am writing this letter with guilt in my heart that our trips further will now be postponed as well. I was hoping the marriage dates were late next year- however, as you know, respecting the conventional customs while deciding engagement dates are paramount in our culture.

To the wandering thoughts, as you have already taken days off from work, how about if you come to India to witness this beautiful Indian wedding and the arrangements it comes with. It will be a nice opportunity as I know you are always excited about Indian weddings.

Let me know your plans, as I am sure we both will accommodate something to find each other’s way.

Warmest Wishes,

Model Answer 3

Dear Tani,

Hope this letter finds you in good health and the best of spirits. I am writing this letter to inform you that I can’t visit Canada on the 4th of November due to an important occasion with my relatives.

I apologize for not coming on the decided date as I get an invitation to my cousin’s brother’s wedding. He is my maternal uncle’s son and we all have a great bond together. It’s essential to attend the event and perform Indian rituals that a brother performs at a brother’s wedding. On the 3rd of November, I will leave for Bangalore from Hyderabad to attend the lady sangeet, which is in late the evening and, the wedding is on the 4th of November.

Admittedly, I was extremely excited to meet you and have fun with you. Although It takes time but soon, I will reschedule my arrival date and let you know. I am so thrilled to see the serene beauty of Canada. Once again apology for disappointing you.

Yours Sincerely,


Model Answer 4

Dear Tani,

Hi! I hope you are doing well, and I am writing this letter to inform you about my change in plan for visiting Canada due to the engagement ceremony of my elder sister. I know you are astonished to hear this news as it happened so fast. Actually, one of my father’s friends recently visited India with his family and they find my sister as a suitable match for their son, so we planned their engagement on next Saturday as they have to return back to their country after that.

I am really sorry as you have to do lots of amendments in your schedule, but this was something for which I have no prior clue. I know you already had applied for leaves from your office, so I suggest you postpone your leaves plan for 1 week. I would be there on 3rd March and I already mailed to airline company about this.

Tickets, which I purchased online for Wonderland have validity for 15 days, so make yourself ready to visit that place first after when I reached there as city tour could be enjoyed later. Once again, I really apologize for the inconvenience due to change in dates.

Pay my regards to uncle and aunty.

Yours truly,


Model Answer 5

Dear Tani,

Remember we will have an appointment next week? Well, I am writing this letter to notify you about altering the dates of the visit.

My sister is going to give birth next week, but I do not know the exact day. My mother wants me to be here at that time, and I am afraid that the event is going to coincide with our meeting. Therefore, my flight to Canada must be postponed in spite of my being well-prepared for the trip. I’m really sorry for this unexpected change.

However, our arrangement was just be delayed. I will be free in the week after next, so I am going to visit you this time. I will update the details later. Tell me if it is fine for you? Write to me soon so that I can reschedule.

Hope to see you soon and looking forward to your reply.

Yours truly,


Model Answer 6

Dear Tani,

Hope you are doing fine. I have been eagerly waiting to meet you in a few days and spend some pleasant time in Canada. However, my younger sister gave birth to a baby boy two days ago and would be staying at our home for around 3 weeks. I am afraid I will have to reschedule my visit to Canada in early June instead of early May.

I have almost finished my preparation to travel to England and applied for the visa. If things go as expected, I will get the visa in a week. Despite my anticipation to meet you on 3rd May, my current situation forces me to delay the tour for a month. My sister has had her first baby and she is staying with us. We are so happy to have a new angel in our family and my presence is quite important for the baby and the mother. I am the only male member of the family and cannot desert my family while I travel to Canada.

I am so sorry that I cannot visit you as initially planned and it must be hard for you to reschedule everything. I wish I have had an alternative!

Wishing to meet you on 4th June if everything goes smoothly.

Take care and have an excellent time ahead.

Warm wishes,



Plan Your Answer

Step 1) Analyse the task

  • Who will receive the letter?
    Organization or private individual
  • Relationship
    Someone you… know well, …a little or …don’t know
  • Style and tone
    Formal or Personal – Friendly or Neutral

Step 2) Generate ideas

  • Explain the important event
    tennis competition / great honour to play
  • Apologise
    and give justification for cancellation (need to practise)
  • Suggest alternatives
    can take time off later / can use same airline ticket

Step 3) Think it through

  • Language needed?
    for apologising / explaining / suggesting new arrangements
  • Verb tenses
    present / past / present perfect / future
  • Use of modals
    Can / Could you…? / Would it be possible…?
  • Checking possibility
    Is it possible for you to…
  • How to start?
    (informal) How are you?
  • How to finish?
    Best wishes. / All the best.

Remember to indicate the need for a response (I’m looking forward to hearing from you)

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