Business letter writing phrases

Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely; Dear Sir or Dear Mr



On this page we look at important phrases for writing letters and emails, such as when to use Yours faithfully and Yours sincerely, Dear Sir, Dear Madam, and so forth.

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. When writing letters and emails we need the skills to be able to express ourselves well and with the correct level of formality.

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:

10 good opening lines

We need an opening line in a business letter or professional email:
to make reference to previous correspondence; to say how we found the recipient’s name/address; to say why we are writing to the recipient.

  • 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, … .

10 good closing lines

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

  • 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.




‘Yours faithfully’ or ‘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

7 Comments

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    [...] you want to read a little more about this, and pick up some useful stock phrases, go to this website, or simply google for more [...]

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