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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    A Few Questions About Letters

    Hi,

    I'd like to ask a few things about letters. First, is it customary to start the first paragraph after addressing the recipient in a letter with a small character or should I capitalize it?

    Example:
    Code:
    Dear Mr. Somebody,
    
    how are you? ...
    What about if the adress line does not end in a comma, as in:

    Code:
    Dear Mr. Somebody
    
    how are you? ...
    Secondly, what would be a proper way of addressing a teacher in an email? Would it be impolite to start with "Hello Stephen" or should I use "Hello Mr. Lake" instead, considering I've had email conversations with him before?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: A Few Questions About Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by silmaril View Post
    Hi,

    I'd like to ask a few things about letters. First, is it customary to start the first paragraph after addressing the recipient in a letter with a small character or should I capitalize it?

    Example:
    Code:
    Dear Mr. Somebody,
    
    How are you? ...   Always capitalize the first word in your paragraph [I know it might seem illogical as the salutation line ends with a comma, but that is the ancient convention]
    
    
    What about if the address [salutation] line does not end in a comma, as in:

    Code:
    Dear Mr. Somebody
    
    how are you? ...
    It should always end in a comma


    Secondly, what would be a proper way of addressing a teacher in an email? Would it be impolite to start with "Hello Stephen" or should I use "Hello Mr. Lake" instead, considering I've had email conversations with him before? How do you address him face to face? If you use Stephen, then you can use it in your email; if you are more formal in speaking to him, then use Mr Lake
    .


    There are two things here. Letters and emails. Letters carry a certain formality in their structures. Emails are much more informal and fluid, so the rules are often ignored.

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