Abstract：China has developed a more and more closed relationship with other countries in the world since its entry into WTO. In the international trade, English letter of business relations becomes a main means in communication. Therefore, a well-written English letter is of great importance. It can not only establish a good image for the enterprise, but also facilitate the process of negotiation and goal achievement. Politeness is an inevitable element in a well-written business letter.
There are two influential theories on the research of politeness. One is the cooperative principle by American linguist and philosopher Grice, and the other is the politeness principle by British linguist G. N. Leech. These two principles have also been discussed in domestic research. However, there isn’t any deep research on politeness in English letters of business relations. The research focuses on the application of politeness principles. Through analyzing Leech’s and Grice’s theory and some important politeness dictions, comparing the difference between Chinese and Western culture, this paper tries to draw conclusions on how to utilize politeness principle in English letters of business relations.
Key words: politeness principle; an English letter of business relations; cooperative principle