Hi everyone

I'm doing a cover letter for a resume, however I'm not sure about:

1. Whether to indent at the start of each paragraph

2. Whether to put a comma after 'Dear Sir/Madam' and 'Yours faithfully'

What is the formal way to do this?

1 2
Dear Sir/Madam,

1. No first line intents. But a 1-line intent after each paragraph. I mean, separate your paragraphs by one empty line and use left justification.

2. See above and below

Yourth faithfully,

P.S.: All that is just my guess.
Hi Anon

You can by all means have a lot of intent in your letter but no indention is necessary these days. (Just referring to a previous reply.)
I have got(ten) the impression from my British friends' letters that commas are out of style in British English. (However, I don't know your nationality at all.)

In BE most up-to-date people don't use commas after Dear Sir and Yours faithfully. They don't even use commas in dates nowadays: January 10 2007. Americans are another breed. They want you to put a comma after Mr in Mr. Smith.

It's a free world (at least to an extent). Take your pick.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
When writing formally, a comma after the greeting and after the end salutation is required. Whether you indent paragraphs without a space between the paragraphs or don't indent the paragraphs but do insert a space between them is entirely up to you. Either is acceptable.

They want you to put a comma after Mr in Mr. Smith.

I think you meant to say 'a period' rather than 'a comma'.

CliveThey want you to put a comma after Mr in Mr. Smith.

I think you meant to say 'a period' rather than 'a comma'.
Hi Clive

Yes, of course. Sorry about that. In BE they call it 'a full stop', I think.
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Thanks everyone.

I'm in Australia, and we tend to use British English more often than American. I'll leave the commas out
I'd just like to point out that this isn't grammar - this is "style." And different style guides will tell you different things.


  • Colons after the salutation in a business letter, comma after the closing.

  • Do NOT indent the paragraphs in a business letter. Save that for letters between friends, thank you notes, etc.
Dear Mr. Smith:


Blah blah

Blah blah blah


Hi All,

I have a similar question about commas. When writing an email should one write " Dear Lindsay, Grandmother, and Dad, " or " Dear Lindsay, Grandmother, and Dad; " ? Or, should it be other way? Both ways seem strange to me but writing an email to three parties collectively is for me somewhat unprecedented.
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