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Writing business letters - Useful phrases: Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely?


You know how important it is to speak good English in an international working environment. If you work for a company which does business abroad, you probably read and write a lot of English, too. Writing, like speaking, is communication. In our letters and emails we need to express many things: authority, gratitude, dissatisfaction, etc. Expressing ourselves well and with the correct level of formality is an important skill.

Do you have that skill? Ask yourself these questions:

Do you present yourself in a professional manner when you write?
What image do you give to the people who read your letters and emails?

In short, you want to give a professional image when you write to your customers and business partners. To get you started, we've prepared some lists of standard phrases. Take a look at:

Opening Lines

Closing Lines

Dear Sir and Yours Faithfully


Opening lines

Why do we need an opening line in a business letter or formal email?

- to make reference to previous correspondence
- to say how you found the recipient's name/address
- to say why you are writing to the recipient.

10 Good Opening Lines:

With reference to your letter of 8 June, I ...

I am writing to enquire about ...

After having seen your advertisement in ... , I would like ...

After having received your address from ... , I ...

I received your address from ... and would like ...

We/I recently wrote to you about ...

Thank you for your letter of 8 May.

Thank you for your letter regarding ...

Thank you for your letter/e-mail about ...

In reply to your letter of 8 May, ...

Closing lines

Why do we need a closing line in a business letter or email?

- to make a reference to a future event
- to repeat an apology
- to offer help

10 good closing lines:

If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.

I look forward to your reply.

I look forward to hearing from you.

I look forward to seeing you.

Please advise as necessary.

We look forward to a successful working relationship in the future.

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience.

We hope that we may continue to rely on your valued custom.

I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.


When 'Yours faithfully' and when 'Yours sincerely' in a business letter?


When the recipient's name is unknown to you:

Dear Sir ... Yours faithfully

Dear Madam ... Yours faithfully

Dear Sir or Madam ... Yours faithfully


When you know the recipient's name:

Dear Mr Hanson ... Yours sincerely

Dear Mrs Hanson ... Yours sincerely

Dear Miss Hanson ... Yours sincerely

Dear Ms Hanson ... Yours sincerely


When addressing a good friend or colleague:

Dear Jack ... Best wishes/Best regards


Addressing whole departments:

Dear Sirs ... Yours faithfully


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