Business English 1.-Greetings and closings in Letters and E-mail messages – (I)

Greetings in Letters and E-mail

The level of formality in greetings depends on your relationship with the reader.

Guidelines

Follow these guidelines for greetings in letters.

  1. Use a colon (:): in a business letter after the greeting.
  2. Use Mr./Ms./Dr./Professor (last name).
  3. For a woman, Ms. Is more appropriate than Miss o Mrs.
  4. Use the first name if you know the person and use the first name when you talk to him or her.
  5. Use the person´s first name followed by a comma (,), in an informal (personal) letter to someone you know.

Examples:

Formal:

Dear Mr. Hogan:

Dear Ms. Grant:

More informal:

Dear Tom:

Dear Karen,

Follow these guidelines for greetings in e-mail.

  1. You may use a comma (,) at the end. A colon (:) is more formal.
  2. You do not have to use “Dear”.
  3. Use the first name if the reader signed a previous e-mail with his o her first name or if you know the person, and use the first name when you talk to him or her.

Examples:

Formal:

Dear Ms. Lane:

Ms. Lane:

Dear Karen:

Karen:

More informal:

Karen,

Hi Karen,

Greetings When You are not Writing to a specific person

It is always best to write to a specific person. However, when do not know the name of a specific person, you have several possibilities.

Possibilities:

–       Use a heading instead of a greeting in a letter: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

–       Use an impersonal greeting in a letter: To whom it may concern: /Dear Sir or Madam:

–       Use Dear (job title/relationship): in a letter: Dear sales manager: / dear customer:

–       In e-mail, you do not have to use a greeting.

Note: do not use the company name. Incorrect: Dear Microsoft:

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