More than half of web users make judgements about the sender of an email based on the language they use, says GMX.

According to the free webmail service's 'Email Britain' study, 40 percent of Brits make judgements about a sender's intelligence, while 20 percent said they determine the sender's age from the content of the email. A further 16 percent said they make assumptions about people's social status from the language they use in an email.

The research revealed that younger web users make more assumptions about intelligence, age and social status than older surfers. Meanwhile one in three Brits admitted to adapting the language and style of their email to create their own identity.

GMX also said that email is frequently used by Brits to avoid stressful face-to-face or telephone conversations. Of those surveyed, 27 percent said they prefer to use email to converse with companies that make them nervous while 36 percent revealed they would use email in a bid to ask someone on a date.

The study also found that 26 percent of women hide their true feelings by using emoticons in emails, compared to just 13 percent of men.

"Email is today a highly valued means of communication for most Britons. Most people now make social judgements based on the emails they receive and care about their own email identity, which means that an individual's approach to their email has never been so important," said Eva Heil, managing director of GMX.

See also: 25% of Brits have sent saucy work emails