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How To End A Letter


Dear Sir or Madam,

If you begin a letter with Dear Sir or Dear Madam, it should end Yours faithfully. If you address them by name, i.e. "Dear Mr Smith", you should end with "Yours sincerely"

Yours faithfully,

Katharyne Harrnacker

How to remember the right letter ending

SO many people get confused between yours faithfully and yours sincerely. Whilst it won't matter in the real world, in English class you lose marks for the wrong ending!

Just remember Sir is Faithful: and from there you can work out that a named contact must be sincerely!

By: Katharyne Harrnacker on Sun, Jun 16th 2002

More writing skills advice

I always believe the person who is ending their letter with "yours sincerely" or "sincerely yours" or "yours truly" or "truly yours", knows not of what they speak. It becomes inappropriate, and I believe the letter is manufactured (or they really do have feelings for me). "Sincerely" should only be used in conjunction with "yours" when end a letter to a loved one. "Truly yours" should only be used in the ending of a letter to the 'one' you love (ie. your lover). "Sincerely," is professional, when used all by itself. "Thank you," is perfectly acceptable as a closing. There is nothing more dispising than a letter from a company stating "Yours Truly,". They might as well have stated "Yours affectionately,". (Unless they actually enclosed a coupon for dinner and a movie.)

Yes, but this doesn't help with how to end a letter that begins "To whom it may concern:"

Maybe neither sincerely or faithfully is appropriate. I'm going to plump for "kind regards"...

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