The Parents of Your Australian Friend Chris Have Invited You to a Surprise Birthday Party for Him

The parents of your Australian friend Chris have invited you to a surprise birthday party for him/her.

Write a letter to Chris’s parents. In your letter

  • say why you think Chris will enjoy the surprise party
  • explain why you won’t be able to attend the party
  • give details of a plan to see Chris at a different time

This formal letter question is from Cambridge IELTS 17 General Training Test 2 Writing Task 1.

Sample Letter 159 Words

Dear Mr and Mrs Collins,

Thank you so much for the invitation to Chris’ surprise birthday party in Sydney.  I think he will enjoy seeing so many of his friends at the party and the surprise element will be fun for you all. Chris loves that restaurant, so I think it is an excellent choice for the party venue.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the party. That same weekend in October, I am already going to a family wedding, which will be held here in China. As one of the bridesmaids, I can’t miss it.

I know that Chris still loves camping, and we had been talking about going on a trip to the Blue Mountains. Once the party has happened, I will make sure we book a camping weekend in the spring. I plan to fly to Sydney in March next year, and Chris and I will go on our trip then. 

Yours sincerely,

Ellen Smith

Surprise Element

A surprise party is one where the person being honored does not know it is taking place. The assumption is that they will enjoy it all the more, and of course the people arranging the party and the other guests may well have fun in keeping it a secret from the person (Chris). “The surprise element” refers to anything related to keeping it a secret from Chris, as well as the moment that Chris discovers a party has been laid on for him.

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