The salutation in a letter or email is the greeting at the very beginning.
For formal or business letters and emails, you can use these types of salutations:
- Dear Dr. McQuillan:
- Dear Drs. McQuillan and Tse:
- Dear President McQuillan and Ambassador Tse:
1. Notice that we use a colon ” : ” after the name or names when it is a formal business letter. If this is a less formal and more social letter or message, we use a comma ” , ” after the name instead: For example, “Dear Dr. McQuillan,” or “Dear Ms. Rodriguez,”
2. Use the title Ms. for a woman, unless she tells you that she prefers Miss or Mrs.
3. Never spell out the titles Mr., Ms., Mrs., and Dr.
4. Do spell out these titles and similar ones: Professor, Dean, Senator, Governor, Captain, Judge
5. If you are writing to a company or department rather than any specific individual, use the company or department name:
- Dear Northwest Airlines:
- Dear Googlepleasebuyour Company:
- Dear Customer Service:
If your message is informal or if you already know the person you are writing fairly well, you can use these salutations, with or without a comma before the name:
- Dear Jeff,
- Hi Jeff, (or Hi, Jeff,)
- Hello Lucy, (or Hello, Lucy,)
- Good morning Lucy, (or Good morning, Lucy,)
Next week, I’ll talk about which salutations to use if you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing, and/or don’t know the gender (male or female; man or woman) of the person who will read your letter or note.