Best regards, yours faithfully, yours sincerely

Discussion in 'English Only' started by OzzChiops, May 10, 2010.

  1. OzzChiops

    OzzChiops New Member

    Hi there!

    what is the difference beetween these three forms of greetings in English?
    1. best regards
    2. yours faithfully
    3. yours sincerely

  2. patates_frites Senior Member

    Japanese, English - US
    All are ways to say "I wish you well" or "good bye". They can be used interchangeably. "Yours..." may be more affectionate. "Yours faithfully" to me sounds the most affectionate.

    I will attempt at explaining the greetings, in a possibly tedious fashion.
    1. With the best, most positive cognition of who you are, I say good bye.
    2. With faithful feelings, not betraying your trust, I say good bye.
    3. With sincere, truthful feelings, hiding no ill intent, I say good bye.
  3. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    They are not greetings, but are closures at the end of a letter or message

    Conventionally, in BE, in letters:

    A formal letter to a business, or to somebody whose name you do not know:
    Dear Sir (Sirs, Madam etc)
    ... text of letter ...
    Yours faithfully
    author's name

    A formal letter to somebody whose name you do know:
    Dear Mr Smith (Mrs Jones etc)
    ... text of letter ...
    Yours sincerely
    author's name

    "Best regards" is a casual way of finishing a message, normally seen in e-mail or in a note.

    A letter to a friend or relative, written by Bert, might, perhaps be
    Dear Doris (Mum, Fred, Uncle George etc)
    ... text of letter ...
    Best wishes, Bert OR Love, Bert
  4. OzzChiops

    OzzChiops New Member

    Thank you very much!
    what is the meaning of BERT??
  5. patates_frites Senior Member

    Japanese, English - US
    Yeah, closure. I just thoughtlessly used the given term. Agh.
    In terms of the use in business, "yours..." is more formal indeed.
    I don't know if the above distinction between -sincerely, -faithfully is widely used in business beyond Britain.

    Bert is a name, used as example
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  6. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Welcome, OzzChiops, :)

    By putting yours faithfully in the search box at the top of the page, I found this long discussion:And this shorter one:You could find similar discussions by entering each of the closings individually.

    If you look up letter closing in the search box at the top of the page, you will find more threads on the subject in general. (It always takes a while to learn how to pick the words to find the relevant threads.) These discuss the particular closings have asked about:
  7. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    It's certainly what I was taught at school: 'yours faithfully' if the addressee isn't named in the salutation and 'yours sincerely' if the addressee is. I would assume that this is the convention in Australia too.
  8. OzzChiops

    OzzChiops New Member

    thank you! I love this community....
  9. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    British English
    Hello Patate:)
    2 and 3 are meaningless formulae devoid of emotion or 'affection' of any sort.

    'Yours faithfully' seems to be rapidly disappearing for a number of reasons but it is the most impersonal, used when you do not know the name of the recipient.

    I only use Best Wishes for people whom I know well enough to be on first name terms with,when the letter is not very formal, and when I have addressed them by the first name in the opening, "Dear Charles" and signed with my first name. I wouldn't say it is abolutely meaningless but it is still simply a way of ending a letter, not a personal statement of some sort.

  10. patates_frites Senior Member

    Japanese, English - US
    I am aware of that.
    That is why I wrote: "All are ways to say "I wish you well" or "good bye".
    But I agree I should have emphasized that these are pretty empty formulae.
    However, I wasn't aware of the intricate rules of use, especially in business, corresponding to the writer's degree of knowledge of the other's name, or familiarity in name-calling.

    I also have least seen "yours faithfully". I basically learned to write "yours sincerely" for most cases. I don't really see a significant point writing faithfully when you don't know their name, and sincerely when you do.

    It's indeed just a custom, a formality.

    This tendency to do things by formality is especially strong in Japan. And that has motivated me to use words for what they are. That's another story.

    Thanks for the business lessons!

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