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Kurs: -- English - Business English

Modul: Orders - Narudžbine

Autor: prof. Gordana Matorkić

Naziv jedinice: Orders and Replies to Orders

Materijali vezani uz ovu lekciju:

- Test orders and replies to orders
- Orders and Replies to Orders (PDF dokument)


When the seller’s offer is accepted, an order is to follow. A vital thing in completing an order is accuracy. You can have trouble if an error in quoting a catalogue number appears, and it can sometimes be difficult to put it right later. Such errors can occasionally occur; so it is prudent to double check everything.
Clarity is also essential. The buyer should make clear to the seller exactly what he wants. In the export business another things are very important, like method of transport, packing or delivery. Then, the buyer may ask for some special documents to satisfy import regulations. You should tell that to the exporter because he does not always know what the buyer needs.
Large firms have a custom to use an export order form for ordering; they print the special requirements on this form, and also details of terms and conditions of purchase. Every order must have its order number (O/N).

When writing an order you should:

  • acknowledge previous correspondent: 
    • Thank you for your letter of 30. September quoting prices and delivery terms for…
    • We thank you for the samples / price list / catalogue which you sent us.
  • state your reactions to the prices, discount, samples, etc.:
    • We are satisfied that the quoted terms / discount are / is acceptable.
    • We have examined the samples and are satisfied with their quality.
  • place the order: 
    • We are therefore ordering…
    • We therefore enclose our official order form, No 41, for…
  • confirm terms of payment or suggest terms of payment: 
    • Our usual method of payment is by ……… and we trust that this will be acceptable to you. 
  • set deadline for delivery (if appropriate):
    • Delivery before 15. June is a firm condition of the order.  
  • close the letter
    • We look forward to receiving our order / the shipment and doing business with you in future.

Replies to Orders/Counter-Offers


When you receive the order, the most convenient response would be to send an order acknowledgement right away. When doing business with already regular customers, just a short letter of acknowledgement is enough.

However, if you send a letter in which you repeat the order you will also check the accuracy of the description of the goods ordered. In that way, the order becomes a contract. The letter sholud be closed with an assurance that the order will be promptly delivered.

  • acknowledge receipt for the order:
    • We thank you for your order, No. 5029 for bathing robes, which we received yesterday. Thank you for your order of 12 November for...
  • confirm that you are able to supply the goods:
    • We are glad to confirm that we can supply the above order.
  • say what you are going to do next about the order:
    • We will dispatch the goods immediately we have received...
    • As there are no special instructions for forwarding, we are passing the order to our forwarding clerks in the standard way.
    • The goods are nearly ready for dispatch and we will be glad to have your instructions.
  • assure the buyer that you can meet the conditions of the order:
    • You can rely on us to follow your instructions to the letter.
    • You may be sure that we will carry out your instructions in full.
  • close the letter:
    • We look forward to to hearing that your order has arrived safely and to doing further business wtih you.
    • Sometimes, the supplier will not be able to meet the customer`s order but he still should not refuse him, what he should do is to make a counter-offer and suggest an alternative.

This is how a counter-offer should be written:

  • thank the customer for the order:
    • Thank you for your order, No. 4751D, which we have received today.
  • say that you cannot meet the order:
    • We very much regret that we cannot accept new orders at present.
    • We are sorry to tell you that we are unable to supply the goods you have requested.
  • say why you cannot meet the order: 
    • Owing to heavy demand for these goods from our existing customers, we are unable to accept new orders at present.
    • This model has been discontinued and replaced by...
    • We are unable to offer as large a discount as you have requested.
  • suggest an alternative:
    • If you are willing to wait for a short period, we can supply you in four weeks` time.
    • We expect to have this item in stock in July.
    • We can assure you that model No 458 will be suitable for your needs.



Example 1

Dear Mrs. Ferguson,
We would like to thank you for your letter of 4 June in which you enclosed your latest price list together with the catalogue.
We are satisfied that a 15% trade discount is acceptable.
We therefore enclose our official order form, No 3589, for eleven coffee tables.
We suggest that payment is made by Documentary Credit. We will instruct our bank in Zurich to open a Documentary Credit in your favour. The terms are CIF Zurich.
This order is subject to delivery before 21 August.
We look forward to receiving our order and doing further business with you in future.
Yours sincerely
Enc. Order form.

Example 2

Dear Mr Wolfgang,
Your order No. 2741 for coffee tables
We thank you for your order for 11 coffee tables, which we have received today.
We are glad to confirm that we can supply the above order and therefore, we enclose a pro-forma invoice for the goods, CIF Zurich.
The order will be dispatched as soon as we have received confirmation of your Documentary Credit from Thomas Bank in London. We have already arranged for the transportation of the goods, and we assure you that we can meet your delivery deadline of 31 July.
We look forward to hearing of the safe arrival of your order.

Yours sincerely
Enc. Pro-forma invoice

Example 3

Dear Mr Smith,
Your order No 930 for DVD players.
We thank you for the above order which we received today.
We are sorry to tell you that we are unable to supply the goods you have requested by the date specified.
We have already faced problems by trying to satisfy the heavy demand for this product, and it is unlikely that we will be able to meet your order for at least three months.
However, payment in advance will provide the priority for your order, and we would, in that case, deliver the goods according to your needs.
We are waiting for your further instructions.
Yours sincerely




Nouns (imenice):Verbs (glagoli):
order - narudžbina
accuracy - tačnost
column - kolona
clarity - jasnost
room - prostor, mesto
discount - popust
delivery - isporuka
goods - roba
insurance - osiguranje
sample - uzorak, primerak
acknowledgement - potvrda
repetition - ponavljanje
assurance - uverenje
stock - lager
pro-forma invoice - profaktura
invoice - faktura (račun)
supplier - nabavljač
counter-offer - kontra ponuda
deadline - krajnji rok
quote - navesti, citirati
mistype - pogrešno iskucati
settle - odrediti, srediti
purchase - kupiti
acknowledge - potvrditi
enclose - priložiti
place - napraviti, dati (narudžbinu)
forward - proslediti dalje
dispatch - poslati
pay in advance - platiti unapred
Adjectives and adverbs
(pridevi i prilozi):
Prepositions and conjunctions
(predlozi i veznici):
prudent - mudar
promptly - odmah
sensible - razuman, pametan, mudar
heavy - težak, velik
due to - zbog, usled



Nouns (imenice):Verbs (glagoli):
order – request, demand, application 
accuracy – precision, correctness, exactness
clarity – clearness, precision, simplicity
room – space, area
discount – price reduction, deduction
delivery – distribution, dispatch, handing over
goods – merchandise, stock, products
insurance – guarantee, safeguard, warranty
sample – specimen, example, trial, model, pattern
acknowledgment – recognition, understanding; appreciation, thanks
repetition – repeating
assurance – insurance, guarantee, protection, provision, safeguard, warranty
stock – supply, store, reserve
invoice – account, charge, bill, statement, balance
supplier –distributor
deadline – time limit
quote – cite
settle – resolve, work out, establish
purchase – buy
acknowledge – affirm, allege, approve
enclose – send with, include, put in, insert
place – to give an order for
forward – send on, send, post, pass on
dispatch – send
Adjectives and adverbs
(pridevi i prilozi):
Prepositions and conjunctions
(predlozi i veznici):
prudent – wise, sensible
promptly – immediately, instantly, swiftly, directly, quickly, at once
sensible – wise, prudent, shrewd, reasonable
heavy – difficult, hard, demanding
due to – because of



Nouns (imenice):Verbs (glagoli):

complaint - apology

packing - unpacking

haste - slowness

supervision - ignorance

shortage -abundance, excess, surplus

customer - manager. owner

quantity - couple, few, bit

buyer - seller

consignment - holding, keeping, retention

piece - bundle, plenitude

item - cluster, lot, collection, group

complain - cheer, cheer up

carry out - forget, omit, fail

work out - fail

mishandle -succeed

mention - withhold, neglect

receive - exclude, hand over

examine - ignore, overlook, neglect

point out - hide

require - retain, forbid, interdict

state - withdraw, take back

regret - rejoice, offend

be obliged to - unobligated

cancel - confirm, agree

Adjectives and adverbs
(pridevi i prilozi):
Prepositions and conjunctions
(predlozi i veznici):

supervised - unsupervised

expertly - amateurishly

damaged – intact, undamaged

trained - untrained, unskilled, uneducated

inevitable - evitable, avoidable, unpredictable

unsatisfactory - satisfactory, acceptable

second-rate - number one, great

dissatisfied - satisfied, thankful, delighted, gratified

inferior - leading, prime, upper class, first class

without delay - later, never, eventually

since - presently, right now, as soon as, prior to, previous to

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