How to End a Letter in English

Hi everyone, first and foremost I would like to thank you for visiting us, no matter if you are here for the first time or if you are addicted to this Blog. Both are equally important to me. You must be wondering, why is Alessandro writing in English today? I tell you, I think that is very important to practice writing everyday, and I have not been doing this lately. I have spent a lot of time writing to you, but always in Portuguese. Today, I wanted to change a little bit and I hope you don’t mind.As you know, I just started a group on Yahoo Groups called English-Experts (makes sense doesn’t it?). It’s sort of a study group. There are a lot of teachers and learners there. A couple of days ago we were talking about an interesting topic; that is how to end a letter.

Gustavo said that he usually ends his emails or letters with “Best regards” or “Thank you very much.” He asked which other phrases he could use in formal or informal circumstances.

You probably know that we usually begin letters or e-mail messages with “Dear” and the person’s name. If the letter is formal, we would put a colon after the name and in an informal letter, we would put a comma after the name. The end of the letter also depends on if it is formal or informal. Take a look at how Bill answered this question.

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There are so many different ways to end a message. What you wrote that you usually use is perfectly good. For a formal message or letter we would tend to sign with “Sincerely…” or…”Sincerely yours…”. More informally we would sign off with anything from “all the best…”….or “as always”….or “take it easy….” or “be seeing you…” etc… But I think that foreigner has to have the “feeling” for how/ when to use the many many informal ways of signing off a message or a letter. The common way of signing off with “regards” or “all the best” for an informal message/letter is always good. The common “sincerely” for a formal message/letter is always good. One thing for sure English people don’t usually end a message or a letter with “kisses” or “hugs” except when they are writing to a close family member or a boy/girl friend.

So, I hope that helps.

All the best! ;-)

Collaborator: Adam Lorenz

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Alessandro Brandão

Alessandro Brandão é coordenador do English Experts e do Fórum de idiomas. Trabalha também em projetos na área de Ensino a Distância (EaD).

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