+0

Is there anybody who might be able to tell me the difference of "Yours sincerely" and "Sincerely yours"? Is it a difference between British English and American English?

I am looking forward to reading your ideas,

Alexander

+6

Hi,

Yours sincerely is the standard and polite way of ending a letter. The words mean very little.

Sincerely yours sounds warmer, more friendly, more personal. You can use it when you are writing to a friend.

Best wishes, Clive

+4

In the UK, traditional valedictions have largely been replaced by the use of Yours sincerely or Yours faithfully, a shorter form of the archaic "I am yours sincerely."

"Yours sincerely" is typically employed in British English when the recipient is addressed by name and is known to the sender to some degree, whereas "Yours faithfully" is used when the recipient is not known by name (i.e. the recipient is addressed by a phrase such as "Dear Sir/Madam").

One way to remember this is the saying "S and S never go together" (for "Sir and Sincerely" respectively). When the recipient's name is known, but not previously met or spoken with, some people prefer the use of the more distant "Yours faithfully", at the risk of annoying the recipient.

In the US, "Sincerely yours" or "Sincerely" is commonly used in formal correspondence. "Faithfully yours" is rare. Other formulas such as "Best wishes" and "Best regards" (see below) are also common in formal correspondence.

In contrast to British English (see above) there is no special convention for combining these with any particular salutation.

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+3

Generally speaking, yours sincerely is the standard way to end a letter. Sincerely yours is a somewhat less common variant.

Let's say I receive a letter from someone I don't know:

If it ends 'Yours sincerely', this tells me nothing about the feelings of the writer.
If it ends with 'Sincerely yours', it doesn't tell me much, but it does suggest a bit that the writer is trying to 'be my pal'.

Best wishes, Clive

+2

If the modern formulas are commonly held to be largely devoid of meaning - akin to the rather cheesy-sounding "Well, that's all for now", just an attempt to sign off without being too abrupt - it matters little what one uses.

If various constructions are held to connote some attempt to communicate feelings towards the recipient, it would be good to know what exactly is being attempted. The disparity of opinions above ('this means he's being sincere' / 'No, it just means he's American') cautions us to be aware that our first interpretation may not be the one hoped for by the writer.

I usually stick to rules for business letters (Yours faithfully) - I take that to mean I haven't lied and/or I hope/have faith they'll respond the way I ask. I'm not really offering them my undying devotion (I remain, your faithful servant . . .).

With personal letters, I usually abandon formulas to try to show more sincerity - eg:

Hoping you are soon back playing rugby, Great Grandad . . . (I'm 62)

Edwin Ashworth

+1

A complimentary close or complimentary closing is an expression or phrase that immediately precedes the signature in a letter, email, or other correspondence. The word or words so written express respect, esteem, or regard for the person to whom the correspondence is directed.

In American English, a complimentary close is also less commonly referred to as a valediction, which usually means the act of saying farewell, especially orally.

English complimentary closings typically contain the possessive pronoun yours. "Yours truly" and "yours sincerely" (or the variant, "sincerely yours") were by far the most common in mid-20th century, and were taught as standard closings; "truly" in business letters and "sincerely" in personal letters. Earlier style closings were usually much longer, and often a complete sentence. For example:
I beg to remain, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant,
A.B.

This kind of ceremonious closing is still in use in some countries, for instance in France and Italy , and in formal correspondence in the military.

Yours sincerely

In the UK, traditional complimentary closes have largely been replaced by the use of "Yours sincerely " or "Yours faithfully", a shorter form of the archaic "I am yours sincerely". Yours sincerely is typically employed in British English when the recipient is addressed by name and is known to the sender to some degree, whereas Yours faithfully is used when the recipient is not known by name (i.e. the recipient is addressed by a phrase such as "Dear Sir/Madam").

One way to remember this is the saying "S and S never go together" (for "Sir and Sincerely" respectively). When the recipient's name is known, but not previously met or spoken with, some people prefer the use of the more distant Yours faithfully, at the risk of annoying the recipient.

In the US, "Sincerely yours" or "Sincerely" is commonly used in formal correspondence. "Faithfully yours" is rare. Other formulas such as "Best wishes" and "Best regards" (see below) are also common in formal correspondence. In contrast to British English (see above) there is no special convention for combining these with any particular salutation.



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+1

Hello Belldandy 29,

I have been doing some research for you. When i saw your question i really wanted to know the answer as well. I want to become an English teacher, so I thought i would help you.

I found the answer about the saying:

Yours sincerely is typical British English and it must be used when writing to someone that you have met or spoken to. It is necessary that you address them by their first names, sign the letter Yours sincerely,and use your first name in the signature. This way of ending a letter is more personal.

In American English, Sincerely yours or Sincerely is commonly used in formal correspondence. It means that ''Sincerely yours" is:

  1. American English
  2. More formal

Coming back to your question I would definitely chose "Sincerely yours" because you are aware of the persons name, although if it is a formal letter I would advise you to use "Yours Sincerely".

This is my first year at university so I am not sure that all the information that i gave you now is completely right. I did my best to find the correct information for you. I must admit that I thought English was a very easy language but I think i was wrong. Now while going to University I learn so many new things.

English is not my mother tongue but I am doing my utter best to understand and learn everything that has to do with the English language.

I think i have to end this letter with "Yours sincerely" because:

I know your name (nickname) and I rather stick to the British English then American English.

Yours Sincerely,

Bo

+0
Though both are one and the same, the latter shows little more intimacy.
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Comments  
Alexander
I've just checked some letters I received from English and American Universities,sending me their prospectus.
The letters from UK are signed with "yours sincerely" and these from the USA are signed with "sincerely".
I hope this will help...
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if you know the name of the person with whom you write then it is "sincerely yours", if not it is "yours sincerely"
In British English that is incorrect.

If you know the name use Yours sincerely; if you do not know the name use Yours faithfully.

We have covered the Yours sincerely/Sincerely yours topic before and came to the conclusion that the first is British English word order and the second is American English word order.
 Anonymous's reply was promoted to an answer.
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my english teacher (she was from the uk) taught us to avoid "sincerely yours" and to use only "yours sincerely", because "sincerely yours" sounded too much like "all yours"...
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
hi...

I came across this doubt too...

I wrote sicerely yours, but I think that it implies more intimacy than yours sincerely....

anyway if you have doubts put best regards, and this should solve the question

best regards,

Milena
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
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