Starting and finishing emails
Here are some important points to consider when starting and finishing an email.
Formal or informal?
We write a formal email when we want to be polite, or when we do not know the reader very well. A lot of work emails are formal. We write informal emails when we want to be friendly, or when we know the reader well. A lot of social emails are informal. Here are some examples of formal and informal messages:
|An email to a customer
A job application
An email to your manager
A complaint to a shop
An email from one company to another company
A birthday greeting to a colleague
Before you start writing an email, decide if you want to write a formal email or an informal one.
Layout and punctuation
Starting an email: We normally write a comma after the opening phrase. We start a new line after the name of the person we’re writing to.
Finishing an email: We normally write a comma after the closing phrase. We start a new line to write our name at the end.
Dear Mr Piper,
Phrases for starting and finishing
Here are some phrases which we use for starting and finishing emails. We use these in formal and informal emails:
|Starting phrases||Dear Tim,
Good morning Tim,
With best wishes,
With many thanks and best wishes,
You also need to know which phrases to use only in a formal email or an informal one:
|Starting phrases||Dear Mr Piper,
Dear Sir or Madam,
Hi there Tim,
Hello again Tim,
|Ending phrases||Yours sincerely,
Bye for now,
See you soon,
I learn many things in this video and I will apply them when I send an email to anyone.
I have a query with regard to the use of phrases like 'good morning', 'good afternoon' as a start of an email. When they are used on their own, without a name, do we need to capitalise the second word or not? Which one is correct:
I have been looking for information online and could not find an authoritative source I could rely upon.
Your help would be much appreciated.
There is no single authority I know of for this. In general, though, I would recommend 'Good morning' instead of 'Good Morning' as a salutation in emails.
Hope this helps.
All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team
convenient format of tasks
Hello Helen BP,
The traditional rule - my time in school was a few decades ago as well - was as you suggest: Yours sincerely (or just Sincerely) if we know the name; Yours faithfully (or just Faithfully) if we do not. However, many other forms are used today, such as Best Regards and Regards, which can be used in either case.
Personally, I would not switch Sincerely and Faithfully around if for no other reason than the fact that the other person may interpret it as ignorance on my part if they are of a traditionalist bent. Why risk creating a bad impression for no gain?
The LearnEnglish Team