does a letter which starts with "To whom it may concern:" end with "Yours sincerely" or "Yours faithfully"?

Thank you!

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Yours faithfully.
Nona, could this be a BrE vs. AmE thing?

I've never signed a letter under "Yours faithfully" my whole life, but I have used "Sincerely" with great frequency.
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Maybe. In BritEnglish you put Yours sincerely if it is a letter addressed to a named person (Dear Mr. Smith) but Yours faithfully otherwise.

I've always used the guideline that "business should always be faithful but friends are sincere." That, of course, fits generally with your assertion - if you know a person's name, you are more likely to be friendly whereas a "Dear Sir" needs to be "faithful."

My guess would be that "to whom it may concern" should therefore end "yours faithfully" because it is a business issue AND not a named person. I don't have a reference to pull from, just years of habit Emotion: wink


Generally speaking, I can't imagine starting a business letter with 'To whom it may concern'. My preference would be 'Dear Sir'.

I think you'd perhaps need to look at the purpose of the communication in order to decide how to end it. It might be that a simple name ,or even no name at all, might be appropriate.


To whom it may concern:

This space is reserved. Please do not park here again, or else your car will be towed away.

Building Management

I feel the phrase sometimes even has a mildly threatening tone, which does not seem to warrant much cordiality in the ending.

Best wishes, Clive
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Yours faithfully
Being American I can say that "Sincerely yours" and more commonly just "Sincerely" is AmE. I have never signed a letter with faithfully. In AmE faithfully is a salutation for lovers to declare their loyalty to one another.
And I have written "To whom it may concern" hundreds of times, it is intended for those times when you have no idea who will be receiving the letter but you know that it should be someone who can address your letter properly.
letters which starts with to whom it may concern ends with sincerely, yours faithfully.

much thanks!

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