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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 330
    #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.

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • Czech Republic
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      • Czech Republic

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    #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.

    • Member Info
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      • England
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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.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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      • United States

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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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