1.I write business letters ….
a. very often.
2. I devote….of my workday to correspondent.
3. Please choose the appropriate form of salutation (the line salutation is marked by red arrow).
If you chose mostly a, this post was definitely written for you. This post covers not only fundamental issues, but also pitfalls of writing a formal letter and the salutation in particular.
If you selected c, we recommend you reading this post for basic understanding of business correspondence rules.
In our previous lessons we showed you how to choose a suitable formal or informal form of greeting. A
combined letter can either create a good impression on its recipients or spoil the business relationships with the writer's organization. It is time to give you some tips on ways of greeting in business letters.
- The first letter of the first word of the salutation is capitalized. So it could be Dear or To
whom, not dear or to
- The most frequently asked question is what salutation to use when addressing different people (sex, age, occupation, etc.). There are no universally accepted forms to use. Traditionally, you should address
-a girl as Miss or Ms and respect the individual's preference if you know it. For girls younger than 13, Miss or Ms may be omitted.
-a boy as Mr for boys younger than 13, omit the title. (Master is now rarely used except with the names of very young boys)
-a married woman as Mrs.
-an unmarried woman as Miss.
-a woman whose marital status you don't know; also used to address an unmarried woman as Ms.
-if you know the person's name:
Dear Ms / Miss / Mrs / Mr / Dr + surname or Dear Mr Miller.
You can also write the person's full name. In this case, leave out the title (Mr/Mrs). This way of writing the salutation is very handy if you don't know the gender of the person.
Dear Chris Miller.
-several persons as Dear Mr Anderson, Mrs Brodsky, Ms Carmino, Mr Dellums, and Miss Eustace or Dear Friends (Colleagues, Members, or some other suitable collective terms).
-a married couple (if a wife uses maiden name) as Dear Mr (husband's surname) and Ms (wife's maiden name).
-a married couple (married couple-husband has special title) as Dear Dr and Mrs ... (husband's surname).
-a married couple (both have special titles) as Dear Drs (husband's surname) or Dear Major and Professor (husband's surname). -organization of women:
If there are "only" women, so Mesdames or Ladies.
If there are two or more women, so Dear Mrs Allen, Ms Ott, and Miss Day, Dear Mrs Jordan and Mrs Kent, Dear Mesdames Jordan and Kent (more formal), Dear Ms Scott and Ms Gomez.
Dear Mses (or Mss) Scott and Gomez (more formal) or Dear Miss Winger and Miss Rossi.
Dear Misses Winger and Rossi (more formal).
-organization of men:
if there are "only" men in the organization as Gentlemen.
two or more men as Dear Mr Gelb and Mr Harris.
Sirs (more formal).
-organization of men & women as Ladies and Gentlemen or Gentlemen and Ladies.
-name & Gender unknown as Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Madam or Sir or To Whom It May Concern. -name Known, Gender unknown as Dear Marion Parker, Dear R. V. Moore.
-name unknown, gender known as Dear Madam or Dear Sir.
-name and gender known as Dear Mr Smith, Dear Mrs Gray, Dear Ms Simpson, Dear Miss Wells.
Find detailed list of salutations here (Webster's guide to business correspondence).
3. Did you pick the right form of addressing, but your letter still creates a wrong impression on a reader? The name of the game is…punctuation! Did you know that the British and Americans use different system of punctuation? Look at the list below.
Dear Ms Wexley
Dear Jane Wexley
Dear Jane Wexley:
Good chance to practise your listening skill along with your writing. Watch a short video on the discussed topic.
How to Address a Letter -- powered by eHow.com
We hope our tips help you in discovering ways of greeting in English.