•  95
  •  2,086,902
+8

"To Whom It May Concern" - What does it mean, when is it used?

What is the purpose of this phrase, or should I use "Dear Sir/Madam"?

1 4 5 6 7 8  10 11
Comments  (Page 9) 
A colon
Dear Sir or Madam is also rude since it put the man before the woman. Many women would think that this usage is sexist. The best alternative is to use "To whom it may concern." Period.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi,

Dear Sir or Madam is also rude since it put the man before the woman. Many women would think that this usage is sexist. In my opinion, you are looking for problems where none exist.

The best alternative is to use "To whom it may concern." Have you read this thread? Do you want the person to whom you are writing to think that you have a very poor grasp of how to write a letter?

Clive
Hello boys,

It is to happily say that the expression "to whom it may concern" should be written, only in impersonal letters I mean in business letters; and we use this expression when we don't know person to whom we write and send our letter, like usually we do not recognise the person .



best regard ,

Syed Rahim Saadi,
Hi,

Sorry, but what you have said in this last post is not correct. You need to read the rest of this thread.

Clive
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Good evening!

I am not sure whether this thread is still active (the last post was more than one year ago), but I would like to ask something anyways and hope somebody might help me with the question.

I totally understood the meaning and usage of "to whom it may concern" and I will try to avoid using it in future letters. However if I want to address several people, is there something like a "plural-version" of "Dear Sir and Madam" ? Or should I only use "Dear Sir and Madam" no matter whether I want to address one or more persons? "Dear Sirs and Madams" sounds weird for me...

This thread helped me a lot, thank you very much for this!

And also thank you in advance for your answers!

Best regards, Tobi
Hi,

Don't say Dear Sirs or Madams. It sounds ludicrous.

I would consider simply 'Dear Sirs'. I don't think any women would be offended.

Or you could say eg Dear Colleagues, eg Dear Customers, depending on who you are writing to.

Are you sure you need to write to several people? Often, you can just write to one, and cc the others.

Clive
Dear Clive,

first of all thank you VERY much for your fast answer!

The letter I need to write is a "Motivation Letter" or in my case it is called a "Letter of Purpose", which I need to write in order to apply for a foreign semester in Canada within my Master-Study program. I need to send it to those responsible at my university and they ( it is a committee) will select the applicants suitable for the program abroad. So I guess I should address several persons and not only one, do I ?!

Thank you very much for the answer, I might take "Dear Sirs" then as it should be formal and "Dear Colleagues" would not fit for my letter. Should be fine then, shouldn't it?

Best regards,

Tobi
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi,

I would just say Dear Sir or Madam,

I believe that's the common approach.

Clive
Show more