Letter - opening phrases

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by temujin, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. temujin

    temujin Senior Member

    Hamburg - Germany
    Norway / norwegian
    When writing official letters/e-mails, is there any proper alternative to "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren". Especially in e-mails, I find this way of adressing too "stiff" or too formal.
    The only alternative I know of is "Hallo" and this might be too informal in some cases.

  2. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    When writing an official letter, you can start like this:
    Sehr geehrte Frau .../Sehr geehrter Herr ...
    Liebe Frau .../Lieber Herr ...
    Sehr geehrter Betrieb des/der ... (If you don't know if a woman or a man will open your letter by sending to a company or sth. like this.)

    Maybe, Ralf knows more alternatives.
  3. Ralf Senior Member

    I'm afraid not. I've been writing businessletters for almost 15 years and I've been receiving them daily for almost the same span of time. But I never noticed any other opening than "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren," or "Sehr geehrter Herr ...," or "Sehr geehrte Frau ...". Oh yes, I forgot one exception: A real dumbass of lawyer (please excuse my language, but the guy was absolutely worth it) once opened his letter rather cool and snotty by simply writing "Guten Tag". Nothing else. He meant that to be understood sarcastically since he tried to spoil my day with his letter. Such things just happen, but he has never been heard of again.

  4. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    Ralf, a small suggestion:

    A real dumbass of a lawyer (please excuse my language, but the guy absolutely deserves it) once opened his letter rather coolly and snottily by simply writing "Guten Tag".

    If you think that sounds strange, you're right. So I would suggest:

    A real dumb-ass of a lawyer (please excuse my language, but the guy absolutely deserves it it) used a rather cool and snotty opening in his letter, simply writing "Guten Tag".

    (Common usage supports "dumbass", by the way, as one word!!! And "dumbass lawyer" would be even better) :)

    Off to work. <sigh>

  5. Adswright New Member

    English, northern slang
    Sorry but I get slightly pedantic when I see peoples corrections and I think they're wrong, you're probably right but it's just something I have a bee in my bonnet about.

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