- For Teachers
I would like to ask about the format of letters.
Dear parents, / Dear sirs
Yours sincerely, / Yours faithfully, / Regards,
Could you tell me which combination(s) is/are Okay?
Last edited by Naamplao; 26-Nov-2007 at 17:05.
Dear [Sir/Madam//Sirs} >> Yours faithfully
Dear [Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss +surname] >> Yours sincerely
Dear [parents] = if this is a general letter to the parents of children in a school who are known to the writer >> Yours sincerely
We should perhaps mention that there are differences between British and American English.
If you know the person's name, you should always use it in the salutation (family name only, with Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms as appropriate):
Dear Ms Smith,
Dear Mr and Mrs Jones,
(Note: "Mrs" is for married woman, "Miss" for unmarried women, and "Ms" the modern version for both married and unmarried women. A few women still prefer the old-fashioned "Mrs" or "Miss", but if in doubt, it always safer to use "Ms".)
If the addressee has a title like "Rev." or "Dr", you should use that instead of Mr/Ms.
"Dear sirs" is the old-fashioned way of addressing somebody whose identity you don't know. The more modern version is "Dear sir or madam", but it is probably better to use a job title ("Dear manager") or other general noun ("Dear parents").
The end of the letter is where British and American usage differ. Americans often use simply the word "Sincerely". In Britain, you use "Yours sincerely" if you used the person's name in the salutation; otherwise you use "Yours faithfully".
In both Britain and America, "Regards" or "Kind regards" can be used as a slightly less formal alternative.