You or you? Dear or dear? Kind regards or yours faithfully? This way you write the right email in every situation | MyGuide

You or you? Dear or dear? Kind regards or yours faithfully? This way you write the right email in every situation | MyGuide
You or you? Dear or dear? Kind regards or yours faithfully? This way you write the right email in every situation | MyGuide

JobatYou’re sitting at your computer, ready to send that important email. But then doubt sets in: which greeting should you use? And how formal or informal should you be? In this guide, gives you all the answers you need.

How do you start an email?

Dear or dear?
When you write an email, the greeting is often the first thing you notice. But what is the correct salutation? Should you start with a formal ‘dear’ or can you be more informal with ‘dear’? The choice depends on the situation: in traditional correspondence – such as letters – ‘dear’ remains the default, but in emails there is more freedom. If you don’t know the recipient well or the situation allows it, ‘best’ is a good option. For an even more informal tone, you can also consider greetings such as ‘hello’ or ‘good day’.

Email like a pro? Also check out these ten tips, from the use of emojis to the time of day.

Mr. Ms
If you are not sure what the recipient’s name is, you can use “Sir” for men and “Madam” for women. Make sure you write out these terms completely. ‘Sir’, ‘sir’ and ‘mister’ are not appropriate in the salutation. And the use of ‘(Mi)miss’ is a bit old-fashioned. Alternatively, you can always just choose ‘reader’.

Use of the name
If you know the recipient’s name, it is a good idea to include it in your greeting. In a formal context it is appropriate to use the surname, such as ‘dear Mr/Mrs Surname’. In more informal situations you prefer the first name, for example ‘dear First name’. If you address a non-binary person in a letter or email, you can write down the first name or initial(s) together with the last name.

For a group
If you send an email to multiple people, it is important to choose a greeting that suits everyone. “Dear team” or “dear colleagues” are examples of common greetings for a group.

Spelling mistakes are – of course – not allowed. These are the twenty most common mistakes: how much do you score on the test?

Which form of address: you or je?

Traditionally we associate ‘you’ with politeness and respect. It is preferable when we communicate with people we do not know well, such as during a first meeting, or in situations where there is a hierarchical relationship, such as contacts with high-ranking people.

However, in recent decades the U-shape has been losing popularity due to the growing emphasis on equality and informal interactions. Nowadays we mainly regard it as a form that expresses some distance from the conversation partner. This is often chosen when we do not know someone’s first name or if we would not spontaneously address the person by their first name.

We then link ‘you’ (you) to confidentiality. In standard language it serves to address people we know or with whom we have or want to have a close relationship. It corresponds to the ‘ge’ form in colloquial speech and most Flemish dialects. Nowadays we switch to the je form more quickly than before, even when contacting people we don’t know well yet.

How do you close an email?

Kind regards
A classic in email etiquette that conveys friendliness and politeness while remaining professional. It is suitable for most situations where you send an email.

Yours faithfully
A more formal option that is commonly used in business communications, especially when there is some degree of distance between the sender and the recipient. It shows respect and politeness, and looks good at the end of letters or emails addressed to people in a higher position or authority.

This informal closing is perfect for emails to colleagues, acquaintances, or people with whom you have a more informal relationship. It’s a friendly way to close your email and leaves the door open for further communication.

Want to write a strong motivation letter? This free e-guide explains how to make a good first impression.

The Ten Commandments for the Perfect Mailer:

1. Don’t waste your time: respond quickly to very quickly to important emails, but wait with less urgent emails until you have more time or forward them to the right person.

2. Use the correct email address: for professional emails, use your work email and avoid excessive information in your email signature.

3. Find an attractive title for your subject: create a clear subject title that attracts attention and, if necessary, mention the name of the recipient.

4. Don’t beat around the bush endlessly: be concise and powerful in your message, avoid long introductions and get straight to the point.

5. CC or BCC, that’s the question: use CC and BCC correctly to safeguard the importance of your message and respect the privacy of recipients.

6. Turn off your emotions (and emojis): Keep your emails businesslike and formal, avoiding playful emojis and emotions.

7. End on a sweet note: end your emails with an appropriate greeting such as ‘kind regards’ instead of informal closings.

8. Read it before you send it: check your email for content and grammatical errors before pressing the send button.

9. Forget 24/7: set limits on your availability and communicate them to your colleagues.

10. Warm language: package your message in a friendly and positive way, regardless of the nature of the question or statement.

Why it is better to answer work emails in the afternoon

Five tips to communicate better in the workplace

Apologize via email? This way you smooth out all the wrinkles

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