Dear Mr Smith<?> [comma after greeting in business email]

MILANAchka

New Member
Russian
Dear English speakers

I've recently noticed that according to the rule you do not need to put a comma after greetings in letters, like : "Dear Sir or Madam/Dear Anna/Dear Mr Smith". I mean it should look like:
Dear Mr Smith
We are glad to inform you ...bla-bla-bla

Is it right? No need to put a comma after Mr Smith?

And as for the ending, when you write: Sincerely, Best regards - a comma is not needed,right?

Like:
Best regards
Tom Brown


Thank you!
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    In an American business letter, I would expect to see a colon after the salutation and a comma after the complimentary close. In a personal letter, I would expect to see a comma in both places.
     
    Last edited:

    MILANAchka

    New Member
    Russian
    Thank you for the links. There is an answer to this question in one link, but it's regarding informal emails. Even in some textbooks they give the rule "no comma", but still later they give examples of business e-mails where they put a comma. So I wanted to hear from native speakers, how you apply these rules in real life.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thank you for the links. There is an answer to this question in one link, but it's regarding informal emails. Even in some textbooks they give the rule "no comma", but still later they give examples of business e-mails where they put a comma. So I wanted to hear from native speakers, how you apply these rules in real life.
    For what it's worth, I as a BE speaker use commas consistently after the salutation in both personal and business emails but tend to sometimes omit them at the end if I'm writing informally.

    But as you've by now presumably realized, there are no fixed "rules" about this: it's more a matter of style and personal preference than anything else. :)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    There is no fixed rule for emails. There are older "rules" for business letters. Some people imitate those rules in emails, while other people think those rules don't apply to emails, because business emails are "less formal" than business letters.
     
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