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  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 350
    #1

    Question What to use after Dear <First Name>

    Hi,

    Dear Teachers:

    I want to ask a question about "Dear <First Name>", should I use the colon ":" or comma "," after the "Dear <First Name>"?

    Thanks.
    Dear Teachers,

    I have always used comma "," in my email, until today, I received a email from Microsoft and it begins with "Dear <My Name>:".
    So I want to confirm which is correct, comma or colon?

    Thanks.
    For me, both comma and colon are correct, please help to confirm, thanks.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • Czech Republic
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 11,792
    #2

    Re: What to use after Dear <First Name>

    The traditional punctuation in BrE was a comma. Many people today don't bother with one.

  3. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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      • England
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    #3

    Re: What to use after Dear <First Name>

    Yes, a colon is not common, but the grammar police aren't going to arrest anybody for it — especially big boys like Microsoft.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What to use after Dear <First Name>

    In American English, colons are for business letters and commas are for personal letters.

    Not everyone abides by that, though, and as Piscean and Rover say, it's not a big deal.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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