To Whom It May Concern?

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Anonymous:
" To Whom It May Concern"- what does it mean? what purpose of this phrase?
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Hi,

" To Whom It May Concern"- what does it mean? what purpose of this phrase?

It's a formulaic way of starting a letter or notice. It means 'this communication is intended for anyone that it has importance for.'

If you are writing to a person whose name you know, but instead you begin in this way, it sounds very rude and very aggressive.

eg To whom it may concern: If the rent arrears are not paid in full immediately, I will change the locks.

eg To whom it may concern: The undersigned will not be responsible for any debts incurred in his wife's name.

Best wishes, Clive
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"To whom it may concern" should only be used when writing a letter and the identity of the person reading it is not yet known. A classic example is a reference when you leave a job that you can present to a prospective employer.

Many phrases are picked up and used in the wrong context because people do not quite understand them. It is usually harmless and amuses lawyers no end.
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Hi Forbes,

I'd be reluctant to just say to English learners that it's for writing a letter to someone whose identity you don't know. With a definition that simple, I'd prefer to say that you should write 'Dear Sir or Madam'.

Best wishes, Clive
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You are quite right.

You should use "Dear Sir or Madam" when writing to a specific person whose identity you do not know, for example the occupier of a particular property. You will use it in a letter you are likely to post.

Dear Sir or Madam,

We write to inform you that tree felling will be carried out in Acacia Avenue and Laurel Close on the 25th March.

"To whom it may concern" should be used when you do not know into whose hands the letter will come. You will use it in a letter that you are likely to give to someone who will show it to someone else.

To whom it may concern

Freda Smith worked for us as a secretary for two years. She is an excellent typist and very reliable. We do not hesitate to recommend her.
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Anonymous:
This is the phrase used at the beginning of a letter when you do not know the person who should recieve the letter. We often use "Dear Sir or Madam" in this situation too, which is a bit more polite and personal. "To whom it may concern" is very impersonal and means the letter is addressed "to who ever may be interested" in the information in the letter. Is that clear?
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Anonymous:
It is normally used to introduce somebody to whoever requires certain credentials to be considered. Therefore, it means here Iam eventhough we haven't seen each other.
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Anonymous:
This is really very simple:
Use Dear Sir/Madam when you know (or can assume) the position of the person you are writing to but not their name or gender. Use To whom it may concern when you don't even know their position. If you use To whom it may concern end with Yours faithfully.

Endi
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Hi,

I disagree. Emotion: smile

A few special cases were described earlier in which 'To whom it may concern' could be used. Other than those, my advice to English learners is to never use this phrase. I don't remember the last time that I used it myself.

In addition, I never see letters here in N. America with 'Yours faithfully'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Hi

I would like to know, we can use this phrase or not "to whom this may concern" instead of "to whom it may concern"

if using it, that wrong or not?

thank you in advance

Honi
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