"You can use this model letter."
Translation:Tu peux utiliser ce modèle de lettre.
I couldn't agree more. Sample letter or letter template is common. Never heard of model letter. I wonder if moderators take into account all concerns raised by users in these forums. It's been a year since this issue has been raised. At least an explanation would have been appreciated.
A template is a blank page that specifies what information should be filled in, and in which part of the page; a form letter is a general statement that conveys routine information; a model letter is one that is worded to present oneself well or make a request persuasively.
Why are they treating model as a noun here, not as an adjective? In English, we would consider it an adjective and it is both an adjective and noun in French as it is in English. In English we would not usually say model of a letter, which is what the French is literally here. In the US, we call such things form letters.
Most adjectives precede the noun. Some can come either before or after, but the location changes the meaning. It's worthwhile consulting a grammar book to learn about the appropriate word order for adjectives. That said, the following usually precede the noun: the most common of those having to do with age (jeune, vieux), size (petit, grand), basic quality (bon, mauvais), appearance (joli--but not laid=ugly), deliberate behavior (mechant--but a "good" child is "un enfant sage," and a "bad" child is "un enfant turbulent." Some adjectives expressing a strong emotional reaction can be placed before the noun: affreux (dreadful), adorable, horrible--but not all of them. Keeping a list of some whose position changes their meaning helps you remember those: "cher" before = "dear" but after = "expensive"; "ancien" before = "former" but after = "ancient"; "simple" before = "mere" but after = "single" although "simples" can also be a noun referring to tennis "singles."
I use it any time I want to refer to a sample to illustrate how to deal with various basic situations (job applications, complaints, reservations, etc.). Once a relative of mine rode in a sleeping car on a train, and was bothered all night by bedbugs. He complained bitterly to the railway, and received a flowery letter full of humble apologies and assurances that this could never, never happen again. On the back of the letter, in pencil, was written "Joe, send this S.O.B. the bedbug letter." Another time, I protested that the U.S. Government was spending much too much on nuclear rockets, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union already had enough to destroy all life on earth 43 times. I received a form letter from the Defense Department, saying in effect "Don't worry. The missal launching site in _ (the blank was filled in with the name of the town where I lived) is perfectly safe." I hadn't known we had a missal silo there, even though I had once taught Civil Defense.