How to Write an Address
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Basics on the topic How to Write an Address
How to Write an Address – Introduction
When sending a letter, a postcard, or a parcel, we include an address. We need to make sure it is spelled and structured properly, so the post office workers can deliver the letter to the correct location.
Addresses consist of the following:
- person's full name,
- house number,
- street address,
- city name,
- state and zip code.
On a letter or a package, the address of a recipient or a person who you are sending the mail to, is written in the middle of the envelope. Your address, known as the return address, is written of the same side of the envelope, in the upper left corner. It is important to include your own address, so if there is a problem with delivery, your mail can be sent back to you.
In this article, we will answer how to write an American address. If you are sending a letter internationally, check online how to address an envelope to the country you want to send your letter to.
How to Write an Address – Formatting
When we write an address on the front of an envelope or a package, we split it into three lines. Have a look at the example below:
|full name||Sarah Smile|
| house number
& street name
|123 Giggle Ave|
| town / city,
& zip code
|Richmond, VA 22548|
The first line of an address includes a full name of a person you want to send a letter to. The second line is a house number and a street name. In the third line we write a town or a city name, a state abbreviation, and a zip code.
A zip code is one of the most important components of the address. It is a unique five-digit number that tells the postal workers which post office in your town to send your mail to. So make sure to double-check it before you send a letter!
To better remember the format of an address, use this graphic organizer:
Pay attention to the punctuation for addresses. We always use a comma between the name of a city and the state.
It is also useful to know how to write an address with an apartment number. If a person you are writing to lives in an apartment, you need to include an apartment number in the second line, like this:
55 Recess Rd Apt 44
Boulder, CO 80304
Sometimes you need to write an address inside of a letter. In this case it will include the same information, but have a different format. This is how to write an address on one line inside the letter:
Marion McMusic, 321 Sonata St, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Pay attention to commas in address examples: when we write an address in one line, we put a comma after every section of the address.
Common Address Abbreviations
You have probably noticed, that we use a lot of abbreviations in addresses. In street names, some parts of the name can be shortened, like avenue to ave. If you are wondering, “How do you abbreviate addresses?”, our list of common street address abbreviations can help you:
State Abbreviations in Addresses
All the U.S. states and territories have specific two-letter abbreviations, where both letters are capitalized. If you are wondering “How do you write a state abbreviation?” or “What are the 50 state abbreviations?”, check out our table with abbreviations for all the 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
|State or Territory||Abbreviation||State or Territory||Abbreviation|
|District of Columbia||DC||North Dakota||ND|
How to Write an Address – Summary
Let’s remember what we have learned about writing an address.
Addresses are made up of a person's full name, house number, street address, city name, state, and zip code.
When we write the address on an envelope, we write it like this:
123 Giggle Ave
Richmond, VA 22548
If we need to write an address inside the letter, we write in like this:
Sarah Smile, 123 Giggle Ave, Richmond, VA 22548
Don’t forget to capitalize every word in an address, include commas in proper places and use abbreviations.
Now you are ready to send a letter to your pen pal! You know how to write an address correctly and how to use commas and abbreviations in addresses. If you want more practice, check out our video and activities!
Frequently Asked Questions about Writing Addresses
You need to write an address in three lines. The first line includes the full name of a recipient, the second has a house number and a street name, and the third line is a town or a city name, a state abbreviation, and a zip code.
When we write an address on an envelope in three lines, we include a comma between a city or town name and a state abbreviation. When we write an address in a line, we also include commas after every section of the address.
A return address on an envelope is written in a standard format in the upper left corner of an envelope.
You need to include a comma before a state abbreviation.
”Pl” in an address stands for place.
Transcript How to Write an Address
Pip is sending a package to his American pen pal, Josie. In order to make sure it is delivered, he needs to learn... how to write an address. Addresses are made up of a person's full name, house number, street address, city name, state, and zip code. The post office needs all of this information spelled properly and in the correct order to get mail to the proper location, so we have a standard way of writing addresses. When writing an address on the front of an envelope or package, we split up the parts into three lines, like this. The first line is the FULL name. The second line is the house number and street name. The third line is the town or city name, a COMMA, state abbreviation, and zip code. All words in an address MUST be capitalized. While we write out most words of the address, there are some parts we can abbreviate. In street names, some parts of the name can be shortened, like boulevard to ,
good job pip
How to Write an Address exercise
Who sent the letter?Hints
The sender's information is located on the upper left side of the envelope.
The full name is always located in the first line of the address.Solution
Otis sent the letter!
Do you know these abbreviations?Hints
Abbreviations are the short form of a word. They have some, but not all, of the same letters as the full word.
Boulevard = Blvd
This is an example of an abbreviation. You can see how the letters b, l, v, and d are also in the word Boulevard.
Can you guess which letters would be in the short form of the word Drive?
States also have abbreviations that are only 2 capital letters.
Can you find the abbreviations for the states Maryland and Oregon?Solution
The abbreviated forms are:
- Street = St
- Avenue = Ave
- Road = Rd
- Lane = Ln
- Maryland = MD
- Oregon = OR
What's Tony's address?Hints
Look at the example below of a correctly written address.
What information is written first? A name, street address, or zip code?
Remember: the name is first, then the street address.
Do you know what comes next?
Remember: the city is written in front of the state.
Can you find the city and state in the word bank?Solution
The correct way to write Tony's address inside a letter is:
Tony Orchard, 1002 Blossom Road, Traverse City, MI 55692.
Reading an address.Hints
The recipient is the person who receives the letter. In the US, their information is located in the middle of the envelope.
The Zip Code is a 5-digit number of the post office that the letter will be sent to.
Do you see a 5-digit number in the image?
Remember: when addressing mail, the state is written in a shortened form.
Look for 2 capital letters to find out which state the mail will be sent to.Solution
- House Number: 16
- Name of Recipient: Bobby Sprout
- Zip Code: 57791
- Street Name: Grassy Plains Blvd
- City: Wasta
- State: SD
The image below shows a correctly written address.
On which line do you see a person's name?
The zip code is a 5-digit number that goes in the third line.
Where do you see the zip code?Solution
The address should be written as:
78 Grasshopper Rd
Boise, ID 98522
Spot the errors.Hints
The beginning of every word in an address should be capitalized.
Do you see any words that Pip forgot to capitalize?
Commas are a type of punctuation that look like this: ,
Notice where the commas are in the correctly written address below.
We abbreviate states and words, such as road and street.
Do you see any incorrect abbreviations?
There are 5 errors on the envelope.
Can you spot them all?Solution
The errors are:
- The comma after "Treehouse" should be removed
- "jimboomba" should be capitalized
- "waterfall" should be capitalized
- The zip code "00749" is in the wrong order. It should be at the end of the third line
- "Florida" should be abbreviated as FL