Letter writing tips | Appropriate salutation

Begin the letter on the left. In informal letters, it is common to address people by their first names: (e.g. Dear Alice). In more formal letters, titles and surnames can be used to address people: (e.g. Dear Ms Sullivan). Use Dear Sir(s), Dear Sir/Madam or Dear Madam to address people whose name you don't know. Some people use the first name and surname (Dear Penny Hopkins) when writing to strangers or people they do not know well. Do not use a title like Mr together with a first name.

In American usage, Gentlemen is used instead of Dear Sirs. After the opening salutation, Americans may put a colon, especially in business letters (Dear Mr Parker:), or a comma.

Sections in this article

Address and date
Body of the letter
Subscription or leave-taking
The Tone and Language of a Letter
Personal Letter Writing Tips
Example of formal letter and envelope
Formal Letter Sample 2
Example of informal letter and envelope
Informal Letter Sample 2
Informal Letter Sample 3
Informal Letter Sample 4

See Also

What is an email
Subject line
Formats, grammar and spelling
Addresses and personal names
Courtesy and politeness
Privacy concerns

See Also
Letter writing: Formal and informal
Resume writing

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