My company is going into new countries, everybody in the administration is taking an English course. During this course one teacher claimed that you should never, never use the greeting “Best regards”. Instead you should use “Yours sincerely” or “Kind regards”.

Well, when I went to business School in 1979 I only learned that you should only use the phrase "Yours faithfully,".

Reading this very long thread I think that one should conclude that if you know the person, you can use "Yours sincerely", and if you do not know the person, you should use "Yours faithfully".

Is this correct?

Someone wrote that you might capitalize the first letter in both words. What is the significance of that and what would it mean?

Yours faithfully,

Benny Bubel

More: Yours sincerely or Sincerely yours

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Comments  (Page 3) 

To me, the formality in letter writing has lost it’s place and no one in the new generation seems to really know what is proper and what isn’t anymore. Everyone is using Outlook for business and copies the greetings and pastes them onto the next e-mail, at least it seems that way!

I have never come across “Yours faithfully” in my 15 years in the business. Occasionally, I’d see “respectfully” and more commonly “Sincerely” but the most abused is “warm regards” or “best regards”. We hardly know each other. How warm can it be?

Back in primary school (final year 1982 - thank you Mrs. Drake), I learnt that you conclude a formal letter with "Yours sincerely" if you had addressed it to someone specifically (Dear Mr. Jones) or "Yours faithfully" when you addressed it to a "Dear Sir". The "Regards" are very informal and best reserved for your family or mates. I hope this helped - Carlos Pereira
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I have never heard of Best regards and was never taught it in school but I am coming across it, particularly in emails from other people. As far as I know "Kind regards" is correct but "Best regards" is not. Maybe some people are confusing it with "Best wishes"
AnonymousI have never heard of Best regards and was never taught it in school but I am coming across it, particularly in emails from other people. As far as I know "Kind regards" is correct but "Best regards" is not. Maybe some people are confusing it with "Best wishes"
Best regards is quite commonly used with e-mails in the US. I am not sure where you are but I don't think it's wrong to use "best regards".
We are having a ”dispute” where I work, concerning how to end an email. My company is going into new countries like Finland.

As a Finn I would use "Best regards" or "Kind regards". The 3rd option "Yours sincerely" sounds somehow too personal to be in business letter. If you think wishes literally, that will be most likely how we Finns tend to see those.

Best regards,

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Many Thanks,it 's very useful

Simple Thailand man
I'm confused as to why everyone thinks that we need a "rule" to tell us how to end an e-mail? Isn't it kinda funny that the less you know the recipient, the more cheesy your ending has to sound? (sorry, that was a cheap shot) Honestly, I think that e-mail is a superior method of communication when compared with traditional letters, since it is more conversational. (junk mail still very much exists, just like spam does... for all of you snake-oil salesmen out there). I own and operate a web design company and when I email clients, I use the closing that is the most honest. If I am asking them to do something or thanking them for doing something that took up a large chunk of their time, then I end the letter with "Thank you for your time,"... if its the holiday season, I may end the letter with "Happy holidays,". If writing a business letter to someone, I would probably end the letter with a closing statement and follow with my name/info. The way that I see it, telling a stranger that you are honest (sincerely, yours truly, etc) doesn't make them trust you any more than they already do. I would say that the creators of this "rule" did their best at the time, but times are different. Including unneccessary words for no reason (other than to obey grammar rules) seems like a waste of time.
I have to say I agree, but yet, disagree with some points about e-mails. At work, I do probably between 3-5 e-mails a day; sometimes more, for communication, acknowledgment and “CYA” purposes. With the nature of the business being different, I don’t think we can use a fixed generic closing expression for all purposes. For matters relating to business, the most commonly used are [best regards], [regards], [warmest regards], and [sincerely] which is the least seen in my observance. [Respectfully] sounds too cheesy and [faithfully] is too personal for my taste. In any case, each of us may have a slight interpretation and perception of each closing expression. Use your own judgment and pray it’s the right one! For those who are still feeling fogging about closing line and expression, Below is something that’s worth checking out. It may help clear some of your questions. As far as e-mails are concerned, I think they serve the purpose as documented evidence and proof. People tend to be more liberal with words which they may not use otherwise in person because the negative effect is not immediately felt. That's just my two cents.

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I seem to remember (and it was quite emphatically put) in school that the difference between "Yours sincerely" and "Yours faithfully" in written mails was that the former was the complement of "Dear Mr/Mrs XXX" whereas the latter was the complement of "Dear Sir/Madam" and that, in an English O Level/GCSE exam, to subvert these rules would result in a loss of marks.

The whole area of email signoffs is a malaise though, granted. I don't believe there are currently any hard/fast rules and current vogue seems to very much apply.

Hope that helps - in some small way


Jez, London
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