Difference between American and English email forms
Here are some different ways the British and the Americans may write their emails.
Start and Closing British Style
(f) = formal
(i) = informal
|Dear Sir, Dear Madam, Dear Sir or Madam (f)||Yours faithfully (f)|
|Dear Mr James, Dear Mrs Brown, Dear Customer, Dear Michael Owen (f)||Yours sincerely (f)|
|Dear Paul, Dear Jane||Yours sincerely / Regards / Kind regards / Best regards / Best wishes|
|Hello Kathy, Hi George (i)||Regards / Best regards / Best wishes / All the best / Take care / no close (i)|
|Kevin (i)||Best regards / Best wishes / All the best / Take care / no close / Cheers (i)|
Start and Closing American Style
|Dear Sir, Dear Madam, Dear Sir or Madam, To whom it may concern, (f)||Sincerely / Sincerely yours, (f)|
|Dear Mr. James, Dear Mrs. Brown, Dear Customer, Dear Michael Owen, (f)||Sincerely / Sincerely yours, (f)|
|Dear Paul, Dear Jane,||Regards / Best regards, (f)|
|Hello Kathy, Hi George (i),||Regards / Best regards / Take care / Thanks / no close, (i)|
|Bruce (i),||Regards / Best regards / Take care / Thanks/ no close, (i)|
It has become standard practice to use “open punctuation” in British correspondence. Punctuation marks are only included in the main body of the letter where they are necessary and make grammatical sense. There are no commas, full stops etc. in other parts of the letter / email such as the date, the salutation, the complimentary close etc.
There is also no punctuation used in abbreviations such as eg, nb, ps etc.
It is standard practice to include the following punctuation:
|Date||May 11, 2019||comma|
|Salutation||Dear Mr. McCain:||colon (more formal)|
|Salutation||Dear Nancy,||comma (less formal)|
|Titles||Mr. Mrs. Ms. Dr. (not Miss)||period|
|Other abbreviations||n.b. p.s. e.g.|
I’m looking forward to our seminar on 23 July 2019.(pronounced the twenty-third of July)
I’m looking forward to our seminar on July 23, 2019.(pronounced July twenty-third)
It is also possible to write 23.07.19 (British) or 07/23/08 (American), but it is best to write out the date in full to avoid confusion.
Some companies introduced the following system for writing dates:
If you are signing for somebody else*
- PP is used in British English.
- It means “per procurationem” , or “on behalf of”.
Yours sincerely Susan Smith
pp June Carter Managing Director
- In American English and increasingly in British English, it is common to write “for”. Sincerely,
for June Carter CEO
* Please note that this is only used in formal situations, usually in letters. There is no direct English equivalent for the German i.A. or i.V