E-mail opening: Dear Sir/ Dear Sir or Madam etc.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Aleessa, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Aleessa Member

    Hi everyone,

    could you please explain me how is it better to start an e-mail to the person whose gender you are not sure about. For Instance, it's not clear from the e-mail address who it is: a man or a woman. I found such expressions as Dear Sir/Dear Sirs/ Dear Sir or Madam. But it's said there, that such expressions are good if writing to the whole company or department. What if you need to address a single person?
    Thanks a lot.
  2. You can't go wrong with Dear Sir or Madam.

  3. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Dear Sir or Madam will work fine when addressing one person.
  4. *cat*

    *cat* Senior Member

    I would and also did use "Dear Sir or Madam" when I didn't know the gender of the person. It's singular.

    Dear Sirs would be for a whole company.
  5. Aleessa Member

    Thank you very much. I will use "Dear Sir or Madam" then.
  6. researcher616 Member

    American English
    If, for example, the person's name is AB Smith, then another option is: Dear AB Smith, which may make it more personal than just Dear Sir or Madam. Each situation is different and may require different usages.
  7. deadbox Member

    Dear sir/madam is ok.
  8. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Well, it's ok if you say Dear Sir or Madam... you don't want to lowercase or slash anyone. :)

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