+1

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

+3

As was pointed out "yours faithfully" is out of style but it still can be found in use especially in British English. However, as was also pointed out, there are alternatives that are used in both British and American (North American) English.

More formal
Sincerely yours, Yours sincerely, or even just Sincerely

Less formal
Sincerely, Kind / Best / Warm regards , Regards, *Best wishes

Informal
Best (wishes), Regards, Just write your name, See you, Thanks, etc., etc.

Not that this is a rule but in American English a comma is generally used after the greeting and after the closing.

+2

Hi Benny,

Welcome to the Forum.

Email is still new enough that conventions are still evolving. It's far from universally agreed that the conventions for regular, non-email business letters will simply be automatically followed in email. Email began as an informal. 'short-hand' medium, and in fact most people still seem to be influenced by this. I don't think it will ever be as formal as non-email.

As regards how to end a business, non email letter, here's what I think. 'Best regards' and 'Kind regards' both seem to me suitable only for a personal letter to a friend. I see little or no difference between 'Best' and 'kind' here. 'Yours faithfully' tends to sound old-fashioned today, and is seldom used.

By far the most common is 'Yours sincerely'. 

So, what to put at the end of a business email? Some people don't put anything at all. Others feel they should put something, as to them it feels wrong to just stop. I feel like that, here on the Forum, that's why I always end by putting 'Best wishes, Clive'. It's not a great choice, but it's relatively friendly and that's the habit I got into. But I'm not writing a business email.

You could just put nothing, except for a nice concluding paragraph. Or perhaps your name and/or the name of your company. Or maybe, you could put 'Regards'. I'd omit the 'kind/best' myself, and I'd only say 'regards' to someone I already know.

In a way, it doesn't matter too much what you put, because I don't think people much care what you write. They don't consciously read it, they see so many different endings and they themselves don't know what to write or to expect.

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+2

"Best regards", "Kind regards", and "Kindest regards" are all fairly common in BrE business emails. "Best wishes" is also used.

You also sometimes see Best followed by a comma, which always disconcerts me.

MrP

+1

Only by the strictest formal British business standards is 'Sincerely yours' used with 'Dear Mr Jones' while 'Yours faithfully' is used with 'Dear Sir'. This fine point can be gaily ignored in a casual note such as you are creating-- and after all, Mom is her name, isn't it?

Actually, in your letter from child to mother, even 'Sincerely yours' sounds overly formal-- why not just 'Love'? And if you do not have the time available to write an individual name on each, 'Your child' sounds just fine.

With a little extra photocopying, you could sign half of them 'Your son' and the other half 'Your daughter'-- or you could leave blank spaces and have the kids fill them in in their own handwriting:

'Dear _______ ... Love, _________ '.

+0

Hi, I was always told when I attended my PITMAN Shorthand School that if you started your letter with Dear Fred (because you were familiar with the person you were writing to) - you signed off with Yours sincerely

When your letter started Dear Sir (being a business letter and you were unfamiliar with the recipient) you signed off with Yours faithfully, and below the sign off the words:

'for and on behalf of:  FRED BLOGS COMPANY' or  'for:  FRED BLOGS COMPANY'.

I think it boils down to present day - we are all becoming very lazy with grammar and letter writing because we are in such a hurry to get everything done both in business and in leisure. You only have to look at the way children use the mobile phone text messages and that says it all.

Who is going to teach proper English (if there will be such a thing in 30 years when we are shortening all the words in the sentence for speed), how will today's educated (I choose the word loosely) be able to teach English in the years ahead?

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+0

I am an English businessman. The way you're supposed to sign off a letter depends on how you start.

In a letter, if you don't know the name of the person to whom you are sending the letter, you start "Dear Sirs,". If you start with this form, it is correct to end with "Yours faithfully,"

If you do know the name of the person to whom you are sending the letter, you start "Dear Mark,". If this is a formal letter, then it is correct to end with "Yours sincerely," - if this is an informal letter you can end it however you want.

With email the conventions are more recent and less clearly defined. I often start with "Hi Mark", or "Hello Mark" (just "Mark," is a bit gruff) if I've already spoken with the addressee. Most emails to me usually follow this format. I usually end these emails with "Kind regards," though lots of people just use "Regards,"

I do use the "Dear Mark, / Yours Sincerely" format in emails if I'm making contact with someone for the first time.

Hope this helps...

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Comments  
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As far as the capitalization in the closing, my grammar book says to capitalize all letters only if it's a business letter or any other formal type of letter.

Best Regards,

Monseul
MonseulAs far as the capitalization in the closing, my grammar book says to capitalize all letters only if it's a business letter or any other formal type of letter.

Best Regards,

Monseul
Capitalize the first word only (i.e., Thank you, Kind regards, etc.)
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"Kind Regards", "Best Wishes", etc. makes an email look a little like a greetings card. I'd only upper-case the first word.

MrP
Bubeldk

Reading this very long tread 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".

Some years ago, when I was taught how to write formal letters, they told me that this was indeed the rule.

Best,

Sextus

Other common expressions are:

All the best, All the best wishes, Cheers, which I think are neither formal nor informal. Or perhaps I'm wrong about this.

So, MrP, the use of "Best," disconcerts you...

Sextus
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