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Thread: Terminare una lettera/email in inglese

  1. #1
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    Terminare una lettera/email in inglese

    Closing a message


    Dear friends,

    There are many ways of closing a letter or message, also depending on a number of factors, formal/informal, technical/non technical, level of relationship/confidance...

    Now, while in Italian there seems to be more variety (not to mention, then, if you're willing and able to "bend" the language ad libitum - for example I can think of numberless salutations...), in English all possibilities seem to come down only to a few. Of course I assume this is my personal impression, a mistaken impression to be mainly ascribed to my own limitations as an L2 writer...

    And that's where you guys come into play, isn't it?

    Thus I can think of,

    Love
    Yours
    See you soon
    Write soon
    Here from you (soon)
    A big hug
    kisses
    All the best
    Take care
    I wish you well


    And in a pretty informal contest, I guess that exhaustes my immediate repertoire...

    Formal:

    Yours faithfully (when you don't know the addressee's name)
    Yours sincerely (as I'm told, when you know it)

    (best) Regards
    Very truly yours (especially in AE commercial corrispondence, is this right?)

    Plus, I assume a dear old "thank you very much" is never out of place. I can say,
    Thank you very much
    Thank you for your time
    Tanks in advance


    But can these substitute the closing in a letter? (I see no problems in closing a post this way, for example)
    Personally, when I write a letter, even - I dare say especially - a formal one in Italian, a closing like


    Grazie infinite,
    V. Ch.


    is quite nice. Is it the same in English??

    Where are all the espressions like for example
    Ossequi,
    Con (profonda) stima,
    Con (profondo) rispetto,
    Con assoluta reverenza,
    Con piena gratitudine,

    ??

    or

    Con profondo affetto (this one I know is currently said: "with deep affection")

    Augurandoti tutto il bene del mondo. (considering that it's not even close to "I wish you well")

    Ringraziando della infinita disponibilità... (es. porgo cordiali/distinti saluti...) (this always gets me cross..!!)

    ??

    ...and most important: how would they be put in GOOD English? Because this is the difficulty I face, seeing that I can provide a literal translation for nearly everything that tiptoes around my contorted Italian mind...

    Oh, by the way the original idea for this thread - from which I wandered a little, widening? the subject - was to summon up some variety focused on the idea of "usefulness" and "gratification in being useful". Things conveying the feeling "I'm happy if I did something that helps you", "I hope I did something useful"
    This is an idea I use almost all the times in my letters, say in this forum as well as in many occasions of my private life.
    Having to choose always HOPE THIS HELPS is frustrating, and I feel even more unconfortable realizing that I don't even know if that's exactly correct to the native's eye...

    Any assistance will be sincerely appreciated.

    V.

  2. #2
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    Re: Closing a letter/message

    This is just one but I know that you can say "Yours respectfully"

  3. #3
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    Re: Closing a letter/message

    You forgot "kind regards" and "Yours truly". About informal ones, I would also mention: bye, later and the like and, oh, "give my sugar..." (it is used in Texas)
    Please do not PM me, my PM box is full. You can send an email instead.

  4. #4
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    Re: Terminare una lettera/messaggio in inglese

    Responses to some of your question-points:

    About the "thank-you" expressions you list, you ask: "But can these substitute (for) the closing in a letter?" My tendency would be to say the thank-you expression first, then a closing phrase, eg:
    § Thanks very much!
    ¶ Yours, (my name)

    At the end of your message, you ask about: 'Things conveying the feeling "I'm happy if I did something that helps you", "I hope I did something useful"' – If I have been answering a question someone has asked me, I might end up with:
    § I hope this may be of some use.
    § Yours, (my name)

    Regarding some of the complimentary closes you ask about (English equivalents of Italian expressions), … well, … contemporary English simply won't go so far as Italian, I gather, still does. ("Ringraziando…" –delightful! If I felt I really had to pour it on, I might say: "Once again, I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for your help in this matter.")

    For "Ossequi" through "Con assoluta reverenza" one might use "With great respect," I suppose.

    …I have observed that some academics (classics professors, actually) like to end their emails with "All Best (, name)".

    Hoping that all this may have been of some use,

    I remain

    Very faithfully yours, etc.

  5. #5
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    Re: Terminare una lettera/messaggio in inglese

    There are two possibilities for the complimentary close for business or formal letters in British usage----"Yours sincerely" if you used a name in the salutation (example, "Dear Mr Adams"), or "Yours faithfully" if you didn't use a name (example, "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam"). American usage is "Sincerely yours" or sometimes "Yours truly".

    You can preface the complimentary close with anything you think is appropriate, like "Thank you for your assistance" or "Kindest regards" etc.

    In informal correspondence you can say what you like....."Love", "kisses", "yours" "see you soon", "cheers".....almost anything goes depending on the relationship between you and the recipient.

    But in this email age so many of the old rules of address have gone out the window. When I first came to England 40 years ago you would never ever address anyone but a close friend or relative by the first name. But now it is quite common even for business letters to start, "Dear John".

  6. #6
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    Re: Terminare una lettera/messaggio in inglese

    Hello!
    volevo sapere se chiudere una email con soltanto BEST può andar bene, perchè tempo fa sono andata ad una mostra d'arte e per l'acquisto di un quando ho parlato con la curatrice (americana) li presente e poi ci siamo sentite via mail per pagamento,spedizione etc.. lei ha chiuso il messaggio scrivendo solo 'best' , quindi volevo sapere se è un errore (typo?) o se si usa, magari tra persone che si sono conosciute appunto, anche se in rapporti professionali, oppure è meglio evitare?

    Thanks in advance!
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  7. #7
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    Re: Terminare una lettera/messaggio in inglese

    Best, è accettato nella corrispondenza informale come abbreviazione di All the best, Best regards, o Best wishes.
    Non piace a tutti, e molti puristi hanno da ridire. C'è chi lo considera scorretto e chi lo considera semplicemente pigro (viene da chiedersi, "Best... che?"), ma di fatto è usato.
    Personalmente l'ho trovato la prima volta in Harry Potter e l'Ordine della Fenice, in una breve lettera che Harry invia a Sirius.
    Se la Rowling ritiene opportuno farlo usare da Harry (e la sua editor concorda), sicuramente non è un errore, e per quanto mi riguarda è inglese corrente al 100%.
    Saluti,
    V.
    Last edited by vincenzochiaravalle; 8th August 2014 at 1:01 AM.
    Please help me with my English. All corrections are most welcome and appreciated. Thank you!

  8. #8
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    Re: Terminare una lettera/email in inglese

    Quote Originally Posted by lilant View Post
    Hello!
    volevo sapere se chiudere una email con soltanto BEST può andar bene, perchè tempo fa sono andata ad una mostra d'arte e per l'acquisto di un quando ho parlato con la curatrice (americana) li presente e poi ci siamo sentite via mail per pagamento,spedizione etc.. lei ha chiuso il messaggio scrivendo solo 'best' , quindi volevo sapere se è un errore (typo?) o se si usa, magari tra persone che si sono conosciute appunto, anche se in rapporti professionali, oppure è meglio evitare?

    Thanks in advance!
    As someone already said above, in this age of email all the old rules have flown out the window. Ten years ago I never would have used "Best". I was a bit scandalized by people who did "should have known better" and thought of it as a misguided abbreviation of "All the best" or "With my best regards". "Best what?" is what I thought. And now 10 years later I use it all the time for emails, it's the 4-letter prefix to my name and SEND. Quindi, direi che va benissimo per una mail professionale, ma non per una mail tra amici (è un po' impersonale) e non per una lettera formale (non è abbastanza formale).

    By the way, it could just be my pet peeve, but I've never liked "Thanks in advance", and I don't think it sounds polite. When I read it in a letter to me it grates on me, if I edit a letter/email ending in that phrase I delete "in advance". I explain that it sounds like you're assuming the recipient of your letter will do something for you, it sounds presumptuous.
    EDIT: crossed with vincenzochiaravalle's post above
    Last edited by amatriciana; 8th August 2014 at 1:00 AM. Reason: crossed with another post

  9. #9
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    Re: Terminare una lettera/email in inglese

    Thank you Vincenzochiaravalle and Amatriciana
    Got it! Your replies are thorough and so useful
    By the way, I had no idea that 'in advance' could sound pretentious :-/ I've always used it to say I'm thankful for whoever is so kind to pay attention on my topic and even answer... now I know it.
    All the best guys!
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