3

Is it correct to say the following?

I let you know that I have sent you a letter.

Or is there a better way to say this sentence? For example:

I inform you that I have sent you a letter.

  • 12
    For some strange reason, I want the "I let you know" to be an "I'm letting you know". But really, you should get rid of it altogether. "I have sent you a letter" already is informing. No need to further inform about the informing. – RegDwigнt Feb 4 '14 at 15:10
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    If you really want to inform them that you've sent them a letter (say, you run into them and want to alert them) you can say, "I want to let you know that I've sent you a letter." Using inform is very formal, and people wouldn't normally say, "I want to inform you..." – anongoodnurse Feb 4 '14 at 15:29
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    I agree with @RegDwigнt. Unless you're trying to imply that in the future you will let them know, in which case the sentence needs to be "I'll let you know when I send [you] the letter" or similar. – Doc Feb 4 '14 at 15:31
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    Or if you want to be extremely formal, you can also say, "This is to inform you that the letter has been sent." – Louel Feb 4 '14 at 17:17
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    More informally (if you happen to run into someone whom you've just sent a letter, and they haven't received it yet): “Just to let you know—I've sent you a letter” or “Just so you know, I've sent you a letter” both sound very normal and realistic to me, whereas “I let you know I've sent you a letter” sounds like nothing anyone would ever say in any normally occurring situation. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 7 '14 at 0:58
7

As others have noted, it seems a very odd construction. Technically, it's grammatically correct, but the context of that statement seems very limited. For example, I could only imagine saying that to describe of a conditional or hypothetical situation. For example:

"We have a procedure in place for this: You send me a request for information. I write you a letter. I let you know that I have sent you a letter. You get the information once you receive my letter."

Aside from that, it doesn't seem to make sense to me to use "I let you know that I have sent you a letter." Any other intended meaning seems to imply a different tense, to properly frame the context of the statement:

"I'm letting you know that I have sent you a letter." (The focus is on the present act of letting "you" know, occurring at this very moment. As RegDwigнt notes, this might be redundant, since the rest of the sentences is already making the informative statement. That being said, it may be an intentional use of overly-formal language, in which you are "officially" making the announcement.)

"I will let you know that I have sent a letter." (Indicating the future act that will happen, after "I" have sent the letter.)

"I let you know that I [had] sent you a letter." (Indicating the past moment when "I" announced the sending of the letter.)

In short, the original statement's "correctness" is very much related to what you're actually trying to communicate with the statement.

4

Though I let you know that is technically grammatical, it sounds like a quite unusual construction to my ear.

As a You-Perspective long-time convert, I'd suggest you use Be advised that instead. Or, in more informal contexts -- as Janus Bahs Bacquet submitted, Just to let you know/Just so you know, I've sent you a letter. Or, FYI, I've sent you a letter.

But what do I mean by You-Perspective aka You-Attitude?

Here's what it's all about:

Write from the You-Perspective

For years many people thought that they had to confirm strictly to a prescribed style of writing with standard expressions. As a result, business correspondence became rigid and petrified. Today, the emphasis is on clear writing and personal contact. The old cold and formal style of business writing is gone, and has been replaced by a newer and reader-friendlier style. In one word: YOU.

Whenever possible, speak directly to your reader and avoid talking about yourself and your company.

Let's consider the following example:

We would like to inform you that we are opening another store soon in the Green Oaks area.

The message in the We-Perspective focuses on what WE are doing indeed, this could be a speech made by the president of the firm during a management meeting, or part of an interview with a reporter from a newspaper or business magazine.

In the You-Perspective it would read:

You'll be happy to know that you (in Greek Oaks) will soon find an ABC store in your area.

Compare these other examples:

We ask that you cooperate VS. Please cooperate

We request your cooperation VS. Please give us your cooperation

We would like to remind you that we must receive your payment by the 30th VS. Please remember to send us your payment by the 30th

We ask (remind) you to enclose full payment with your order VS. Please remember to enclose full payment with your order

We inform you that the deadline is the 25th of August VS. Please note/be advised that the deadline is the 25th of August

[...]

Source: Better Business Writing Skills (Ed. 1997) by C.Douglas Millet, Media Training Corporation

0

I suppose there is nothing grammatically wrong with 'I let you know that I have written you a letter'. But it would be an unusual construction.

I assume this is something which is said, rather than written, else what would be the point?

Either of the following might be from a parent to a child: 'We were thrilled about your exam results, and have sent you a special letter with something inside', or 'We are appalled by your dissolute lifestyle and you can expect a letter from us explaining why you have been disinherited'.

If it were to someone who owed me money I might say: 'I have to advise you that a letter has been sent to your registered office, by recorded delivery post, stating that unless this amount is paid within seven days, we shall be entering proceedings against you in the County Court with costs'.

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Informal: I let you know that I have sent you a letter.

More formal - eg business literature: I inform you a letter has been sent to you.

protected by tchrist Jun 14 '14 at 18:34

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