This is a discussion thread · 177 replies
Well, when I went to business School in 1979 I only learned that you should only use the phrase "Yours faithfully,".
I have been reading the treads concerning this issue on the site. Frankly, I have just become more confused.
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".
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?
More: Yours sincerely or Sincerely yours
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' 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.
I'm sorry not to be of more help to you, but the whole subject is still in flux.
Best wishes, Clive
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You also sometimes see "Best" followed by a comma, which always disconcerts me.
Let's look at the structure of an e-mail or a letter for that matter. Simply said you have 3 parts.
1. opening or greeting
3. closing or ending
NOTE: greeting means hello and not good-bye.
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.
1. More formal --- Sincerely yours, Yours sincerely, or even just Sincerely
2. less formal--- Sincerely, Kind/Best/Warm regards, Regards, *Best wishes
3. 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.
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.Capitalize the first word only (i.e., Thank you, Kind regards, etc.)
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...
People are waiting to help.
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