Many of our students ask us “What is the best way to end an email in English?”
Well, the answer is it depends. Is it a formal communication? How well do you know the person? Is it a professional email? There is a lot to consider! However, let’s not overthink it! Most times you won’t offend anyone too badly with the wrong kind of closing:) Are you stressed about how to end an email in English? Before we get into the options, let’s discuss the context of your communication.
Who are we talking to and why?
So this is the way I think about it. The context will dictate how formal you want to be. Consider two things.
- How close are you to the person(s) you are emailing?
- What is your relationship to them?
This will determine how formal or informal to be when ending an email. If it’s not someone you know very well, you probably want to err on the side of caution and be more formal with a closing. When you are emailing a friend, it’s probably OK to be very casual. If you are emailing someone in a professional context (say a customer or your boss), even if you know them very well you may want to be formal just to show a sign of respect.
Here is a short list of common email endings or closing (in English) and what they mean.
9 Ways to End an Email in English
|Sincerely||This is a classic formal closing that harkens back to when people actually wrote letters with pen and paper:) It’s a go to closing for business emails to clients, colleagues and other professionals. To be sincere, means to be genuine… like you mean what you say.|
|Respectfully||This is a very formal way to end an email in English. Respectfully, Respectfully Yours or With Respect, these all mean that you have a lot of respect for the person you are emailing. This is something you’d use when applying for a job.|
|Regards||Regards, Warm Regards and Best Regards are ways to say that you are thinking of your audience, but in a very polite and formal way.|
|Best Wishes||This is a nice thing to say… nothing wrong with wishing someone the best! It is considered formal, but also very personal. You would typically use it when there’s closure though. Use Best Wishes if it might be awhile before you see or talk to someone again.|
|Thank You||In my opinion Thank You is somewhat neutral when it comes to being formal or informal. It is a very versatile closing that shows respect, care and appreciation. Of course if you shorten it to Thanks it becomes less formal.|
|Cheers||In America Cheers is more often something you say when you are raising your glass and making a toast. However, if you are British or Australian it’s commonly used as a casual closing for an email.|
|Take Care||Take Care is a nice and simple way to close an email. Sometimes you hear someone say this at the end of a phone call. It’s a roundabout way of wishing that no harm comes to them… or simply wishing them well.|
|XOXO||Hugs and Kisses is a super casual way to close a message. It really should only be used with close friends and family. You wouldn’t want someone to get the wrong idea!|
|Nothing||More often than not, it’s OK to close with NOTHING. Especially if your email communication is more like an exchange or conversation thread. Sometimes you may just put your name at the bottom or nothing at all. It’s not very formal, but totally acceptable… especially in this day and age where everyone is trying to save time.|
What else can we help you with?
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