In professional correspondence, there are a few different ways to say “thank you.” But which one should you use? Regards, best regards, and sincerely are all pretty common—but what’s the difference? And when should you use each one? Read on to find out!
What is a Closing Salutation?
If you’re like most people, you probably start your emails with a “Hello” or a “Hi.” But have you ever stopped to think about why you do that? Or what other options are available to you? A closing salutation is the word or phrase that you use to end an email. It is a polite word or phrase used to end a correspondence. The three most common closing salutations are “regards,” “best regards,” and “sincerely.”
And while “Hello” and “Hi” are perfectly fine options, they’re not your only choices. In fact, there are a variety of closing salutations that can be used in different situations. For instance, if you’re emailing someone for the first time, you might want to use a more formal option. On the other hand, if you’re emailing someone who is a close friend or colleague, you might prefer to use a less formal option.
Ultimately, the best closing salutation for your email will depend on the relationship between you and the recipient. But by taking the time to choose a well-suited salutation, you can add an extra layer of meaning and intention to your emails.
The 3 Types of Closing Salutations
When you’re writing a letter, email, or other formal communication, it’s important to choose the right closing salutation. The closing is your opportunity to sign off in a way that leaves the reader with a positive impression of you and your message.
There are three main types of closing salutations: regards, best regards, and sincerely. Here’s a brief overview of each:
This is a simple, straightforward salutation that can be used in most situations. It conveys respect and professionalism without being overly familiar or formal. It’s appropriate for both formal and informal correspondence. For example, you might use it when emailing a colleague or business associate. You might also use it when writing to someone you don’t know well.
This is a more formal closing than “regards,” and is typically used when writing to someone you don’t know well. It conveys warmth and respect. It’s often used in business correspondence, such as when emailing a client or vendor.
This is the most formal of the three closings, and should be used sparingly. It’s appropriate for situations where you want to convey deep respect or sincerity, such as when writing a letter of recommendation. For example, you might use it when writing a letter of recommendation.
How to Choose the Right Closing Salutation
The best way to choose a closing salutation is to consider your relationship with the recipient. If you’re corresponding with someone you know well, “regards” or even “best regards” may be appropriate. If you’re corresponding with someone you don’t know well or if the correspondence is particularly formal, “sincerely” is probably the best choice.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Regards: Use this when you’ve established a rapport with the person you’re writing to. It’s friendly but not too familiar.
- Best regards: A bit more formal than “regards,” this is a good choice when you’re writing to someone you don’t know well or when the relationship is business-related.
- Sincerely: The most formal of the three, use this when you want to convey respect or when the correspondence is very formal.
One final note: While “regards” and “best regards” can be used interchangeably, “sincerely” should only be used when you really mean it. Overusing this word can make it lose its impact.
When you’re ending a letter or email, it’s important to use the right type of closing salutation. Regards is less formal than best regards or sincerely, so it’s generally better for less formal situations. If you want to be more formal, best regards is the way to go. And if you really need to impress someone, go with sincerely-it’s the most formal of all three options. Keep these guidelines in mind when you’re putting together your next business correspondence!
What is the difference between regards, best regards, and sincerely?
The main difference between these three types of salutations is their level of formality. Regards is less formal than best regards, which in turn is less formal than sincerely.
When should I use each type of salutation?
The most appropriate type of salutation depends on the situation. In general, you should use the most formal version that is appropriate for the context. For example, if you are writing a business letter, it would be appropriate to use sincerely at the end.
What if I’m not sure which type of salutation to use?
If you’re unsure, it’s always better to err on the side of formality. In other words, it’s better to use sincerely than best regards in a formal setting, and it’s better to use best regards than regards in a less formal setting.
Are there any other tips for using closing salutations?
Here are a few general tips:
- Make sure your salutation matches the tone of the rest of your letter. For example, if you’ve written a friendly letter, using sincere at the end would probably seem out of place.
- If you’re writing to someone you don’t know well, it’s always better to err on the side of formality.
- In general, shorter is better when it comes to salutations. So if you’re unsure which to use, go with regards or best regards instead of sincerely.